I needed new shoes. Wearing my old Merrell Pacegloves was starting to hurt my feet in a way that I knew meant they were worn out. I knew this because I’ve been wearing that style of shoe for more than five years. But when I went to order a new pair, I found that they no longer made them.

Which meant I needed to shop. For shoes.

Not my favorite activity, because my feet are not standard sized. They are not even the same size. So shoe shopping is usually an exercise in frustration for me, and something that I avoid like the plague.

Alas, I had to do it. And I thought I was doing well when I found a pair that didn’t pain my right toe, but alas the Altra Torin Knit 3.5 shoes did not fit as well after I wore them for 20 minutes as they did when I tried them on. I wasn’t entirely sold on the cushiness of them to start, but I gave them a good try. I tied them in different ways, but I still ended up with pain on the top of my left foot. And both feet kind of slid around inside.

Also, I had to jump higher with my double unders, because the soles were so much thicker than I was used to. I actually had a really hard time getting those down, though I did eventually start to get the hang of that aspect.

That did not make up for the foot pain the shoes caused me. So even though I wore them for the Spartan Race, I had to bring them back. Since they were used, I did have to pay 20% of the cost, but I got a refund on the rest of it.

So for now, I’m wearing a pair of Reebok Athlux that I got at Costco for $25. They are serviceable shoes, though I’ve already started to tear up the sole from rope climbing. The biggest selling point is that they don’t make my feet hurt. But I’m not convinced these shoes will be right for the long run, because they were so cheap.

I just might make my husband take a detour when we take our trip to the Washington coast in search of a store with greater variety in footwear than is available in Boise. That tactic worked for my hiking boots – why not CrossFit shoes?

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