23 July, 2008

Workout Shoes

When I did my first course from Reebok, we were a batch of about 15 people. We were told the importance of footwear. It was drilled in us that an aerobic shoe has to have good cushioning both in the heels and forefoot, ankle support ( because aerobics is lot of lateral move also not just forward move as in running), arch support, breathable (to absorb sweat), and bla bla bla. They even taught us what all goes inside making a good shoe and the terminology was drilled in us as fitness trainers. Every year, the batch of aspiring fitness trainers were taught this and a question on importance of shoe would be mandatory in the test. We would mug up all the points. They recommended, "different shoe for different activity."

Now, as I certified as a trainer and came in the industry to work, I was fresh burst of energy, ready to flaunt my newly acquired knowledge. Fortunately, I quickly got my first, very prestigious personal training. Nervous yet excited, I met my first clients who belonged to creme De la creme family in New Delhi. They were middle aged couple and had chosen to hire me after a lot of research and recommendations. My very first observation about them was that they were wearing wrong and not so nice shoes. Now, how could I have left this opportunity to puke out all I knew about the "importance of right shoe". I very blatantly pointed to them that they were wearing wrong shoes. They looked at their shoes and asked me very innocently as to what was wrong with them. Of course, I started rattling all the bookish points I had mugged in my course. They smiled sweetly and promised to change their shoes in our next session. Yours Truly, being her friendly self, now started with their impeccably designed workout session during the course of which, popped up the question as to what they did. The answer they gave to Yours Truly stuck like a thunderstorm. The Husband said that he was the owner of Action Shoes (One of the Indian shoe company. It is not supposed to be very elite brand because it is very fairly priced). The ground slipped from underneath me. I had given the lecture to the owner of Action Shoes and had told him how his shoes were so and so wrong. Possibly all over wrong and he had smiled and taken it from a novice like me. He knew more about shoes than all my batch of trainers combined together, who had recently passed out. He had travelled world over and studied latest researches about shoes. How could I? Well I tried to cover up my mistake now by saying that on second thought, their shoes were not all that bad either. But of course I was making more fool of myself. Anyways, we had a longest possible relation as trainer and clients. I was able to help them achieve their fitness goals and we are still in touch regularly. But that incidence in my career is the most embarrassing one for me.

Years passed and quite a number of my clients would again ask me my recommendation before choosing a new shoe. With my limited knowledge, I would again rattle those points which I had mugged in my Reebok course. Then I went to New Zealand and did more courses from Les Mills.

From New Zealand, I would not have come back without buying latesht fitness apparel and shoes (had to flaunt my phoren latesht gear after all). So one day I entered Nike showroom and chose really expensive and outstanding apparel for myself (that material and style was launched in India after 2 years. They were that much ahead). Now came the turn of shoes. The sales guy offered to help me very generously. He showed me his latest aerobic shoe. Now me being me, assessed it on the basis of my limited knowledge. I started arguing with him. " No you are selling me the wrong shoes. These are not for aerobics. I am a trainer myself and I know. These do not have good cushioning, no ankle support, no arch support."

And them I was taught by a sales guy in Nike store. He told me that Nike had actually done a research on Kenyan Marathon runners and found that they ran cross country bare foot and never had any injuries. They were the best runners with minimal reported incidents of injuries. Based on them Nike had launched a new shoe. It had excellent flexibility. So much so that it could twist and fold and be wrung like a towel. It was very very light. It allowed air to pass. It was made of unique material, which looked and felt like suede. It came with different levels of insoles. As you progressed and became stronger, you could change your insole to next level. Best part was that it came in beautiful colors. I bought mauve color. Again the same shoe was launched in India two years later and mauve color was never launched in India.

Finally I was able to get rid of my mugged up knowledge. 


  1. The owner of Acton Shoes was your first client!! That sounds awesome :) and the goofy incident was quite funny :D

  2. @ nischal. Yes they were my first client. And the incidence was really embarassing

  3. What a lovely post!!. Esp that action shoe incident. :P

    I loved my first pair of Nikes. Wore them for so looong. Just couldn't get my feet out of them. Wanted to know one thing? I heard Puma is better than Nike, true?

  4. @ Marina. If you ask me my personal opinion, i would rate them equal.