Put me in a beauty hall and I’m in my element. Plonk me in a sports shop and I’m a tad confused and quite overwhelmed by the wall-to-wall rows of trainers (and the smell of testosterone in the atmosphere).
Until I took up running last year, the closest I came to ‘sports’ shoes were Skechers. They make pretty footwear while maintaining that element of comfort but essentially they are fashionable looking plimsoles.
A few weeks ago the chain store JD Sports got in touch and offered me a pair of trainers* to try from their website so I clicked on the ‘women’ tab and went about cyber window shopping.
Navigating around JD Sports’ website was clear, concise and well designed and I found myself making a wish list of footwear to buy after pay day.
I’m pleased JD Sports offers the convenience of collecting your order in store without extra charge and free delivery when you spend over £60.
In the end I settled for a pair totally outside of my comfort zone with the Nike Air Max. These are part of Nike’s Crosstown Running range and are currently on sale in a variety of colours.
I opted for a size bigger, which was a good thing because with the cushioning there is about a centimetre gap between my big toe and the inside of the shoe. It wouldn’t have been a disaster if I had picked the wrong size for JD Sports allows free returns either by post or popping into one of their branches.
My running trainers are two sizes up to accommodate the customised insoles and to allow room for when my feet swell up in the heat. With that in mind, I think these Nike Max Thea trainers will serve more than adequately for walking.
At the weekend I put them to the test with a jaunt to Birmingham and the Bullring shopping centre to be exact. I took the train instead of driving, which involved a fair amount of walking from getting to Euston and making my way to the quiet zone carriage that happened to be at the end of the actual train. Normally I would have opted for my ballerina pumps but even those are uncomfortable after a few hours because they do not offer support and cushioning.
Once at New Street, I was met with a long and winding route that connects the station to the Bullring. It’s about a 10 minute walk to the shops and very new since the station has undergone a major redevelopment and continues to. (Birmingham, you are shaping up rather nicely, if I may say so.) Funnily enough, I walked past two JD Sports within yards of each other in the Bullring vicinity.
A few girls at the make-up counters in Selfridges remarked on my trainers and confessed they are looking for comfortable footwear for commuting.
If you’re thinking of the same thing then I would like to point you in the direction of JD Sports particularly their user-friendly website.
Using the online option suits me. The description of the products are detailed and the images are clear and true to colour, so I can see what I am getting. Unless I require specialist assistance like fittings for running shoes, I prefer to shop online if all I am looking for is fashionable or practical footwear.
With regards to these Nikes, I have to say they supported my feet for 12 hours with no soreness or sweatiness on the longest day of the year (also a pretty sunny one too). The only tiredness I have is from walking for that length of period which no footwear can compete against. All in all, I’m pleased I made a good choice and these will serve me perfectly for all those long treks in and around London’s busy underground.