What to Do When They Stop Making Your Shoe

Shoe shopping

I’ve been sitting on this bench for a few minutes, but it feels like hours. Hope has turned to anxiety, as evidenced by the incessant tapping of my right foot which I only just noticed. Finally, through swinging doors, the shoe salesman emerges—but his hands are empty.

My heart sinks.

"I’m sorry,” he says. “That shoe has been discontinued.”

I take a deep breath, attempting to fill my chest with oxygen—which I guess I’m hoping will force my heart rate to slow and quell my sudden state of panic. That was my shoe. My race is in three weeks.

Now what?

For some of us, finding the right running shoe is a Herculean struggle. We spend hours going back and forth to the shoe store in search of the perfect shoe; a shoe that won’t give us black toenails, allows us to run comfortably—and maybe, if we’re lucky, even looks cool. And once we’ve found our shoe, we’re loyal to it. After all, why mess with a good thing?

But shoe companies are constantly changing things—newer models, updated materials, a different fit, an adjusted heel-to-toe drop. Eventually, the day comes when you walk into your local shoe store and confront that dreaded scenario: They’ve discontinued your shoe altogether.

So where do you start? How do you choose a new shoe that will allow you to continue your training without a hiccup?

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