About a month ago, The Parent Bloggers Network contacted me about trying out some new Ryka shoes. Yes, SHOES! After I pinched myself to make sure I wasn't suffering from a sleep deprivation induced hallucination, I quickly agreed to give them a go.
I do not have a typical foot. As much as I passionately adore shoes, most do not fit me with any measure of comfort. Athletic shoes are a particularly sticky situation. I have a wide toe box, narrow heel and falling arches. My falling arches contribute to my bad knees and if a shoe does not provide me proper support, I end up swollen and in pain. The fact that I adore walking as my main form of exercise does not help the situation. Doctor after doctor has begged me to take up the recumbent bike,particularly since my knee surgery 6 years ago. It's lovely and all but I just don't see the same results as I do with walking, so I walk.
The Ryka's came right to my door which had me a little nervous. I've never sucessfully purchased shoes through the mail. My feet are at a 10.5. Most athletic shoes I order an 11 but Ryka shoes are true to fit sizing so I ordered 10s to avoid swimming in my shoes. It was a good choice. While a little snug, I was easily able to stretch them for comfort. Initially they were also tight on my toe box but with some lacing adjustments and a few shorter walks for stretching purposes, they settled into fitting just fine.
Fine, however, is not the word I would use to describe the shoe stabilization. Heavenly, perfect, supportive are more apropo when speaking of their foot stabilizing abilities. My 1st long spin around the block was actually about 2 miles down the trail. Even in my old shoes which were adequate but certainly not perfect, the mile mark is where my foot/ arch fatigue begins and by the end of 2 miles my left knee is screaming, if not also slightly swollen.
I'm very pleased to report that it took the full 2 miles before I felt any foot fatigue what so ever (and that probably had more to do with my recent inactivity then the shoes) and my knees? Nary a complaint from them after walking in the Ryka shoes!
In the visual appeal department, these Ryka's are very low key. I like that. I can step out to the store in them and not feel like I am radiating a 'poser gym rat' vibe. They go with all my workout and casual clothing and I don't have to obsessively worry about color coordinating my sports bra to the hot pink stripes like did with my last pair of workout shoes.
If my ringing endorsement is not enough to make you trash your old pair and grab a pair of Ryka's maybe their contest will help nudge you into converting. Through October, Ryka is giving away 50 pairs of shoes and 50 shirts a day. Click on over HERE and try your luck.