My previous pair of walking shoes decided to collapse shortly before Marcon. This put an immense amount of strain on my feet as I walked around, which was shortly thereafter transferred up my legs and to my knees, including to my right knee which I had slightly tweaked sometime in the preceding week. Or, to characterize the situation briefly: Ouch! That hurts!
The solution was to get a new pair of shoes that would have some arch support, especially once my orthotics were moved into them. So I ordered a new pair of shoes from Zappos. They arrived on Tuesday and I opened them up on Wednesday, intent on making sure that they fit so that I could wear them to Marcon, where I would be doing plenty of walking.
These were high tops. I had not ordered high tops intentionally. I must have ordered the wrong shoe.
I checked the website. The shoes did not actually resemble the picture. I called Zappos. These were, in fact, the wrong shoes in the right box, which is not nearly as useful as getting the right shoes in the wrong box. An exchange was set up and new shoes shipped in my direction.
They arrived 20 minutes after I left for Marcon.
By the time that I was done setting up the table on Friday, my feet and legs were distinctly unhappy. It was shortly after that when I discovered that by walking in an exaggeratedly "correct" fashion on my insteps, correcting my natural tendency to pronate outward, I could greatly reduce the general stress on my feet, legs, and knees. It wasn't perfect, but it was a darned sight better.
On Monday, I opened up the new shoes, determined that they were the correct shoes and that they fit (New Balance changes models constantly, so you have to try on a pair of shoes to make sure that they haven't resized them out from under you), put in the inserts, and had arch support again.
This was just in time to spend two days in the Loop, walking the relatively short distance from Ogilvie to Willis Tower. In brand-new, not-broken-in shoes. While this was better than wearing the old shoes, it was nothing like good.
But the shoes were breaking in. And my gait was starting to approximate normal.
It was when my train pulled in at Cumberland and I discovered as I was standing in the vestibule getting ready to disembark that the particular car that I was in was past the end of the platform and the doors were not going to open. I sprinted (as fast as I can sprint) down the aisle and into the next car back which was also off the edge of the platform, but only barely, probably because the engineer had slightly missed his target -- and the conductor was there having opened the door, so he was probably as bemused as I was.
I hopped out the door, down onto the gravel, and stepped up onto the blacktop platform.
My legs are not yet all sorted out from the change of shoes, but if I can move that quickly when I have to, then I guess they're doing ok. :)