I was feeling smug earlier reading City girl Katie’s experiences of fitness in London – expensive classes, gym joining fees and bitchy pilates prima donnas! I congratulated myself, thinking of all those free country walks I can go on around our neighbourhood without parting with a penny. In our Essex town we’ve got the best of both worlds – good amenities and shops, although you sometimes have to drive further than you would in London to get to them, and we are surrounded by beautiful countryside. We even have a quiet nature reserve within walking distance of our house.
But the smugness began to dissolve when it dawned on me that I need to put my hand in my pocket to buy a new pair of trainers. My knees were aching a bit yesterday after all the walking last week, and it occurred to me that my trainers might be too old and not properly supporting my joints. According to various walking websites I’ve checked out, I should replace my trainers every three to six months and my existing ones are far older than that. The problem is that these cost about £35 from Clarke’s – not exactly cheap – plus I’m not sure if they’re proper running trainers. I bought an almost identical pair about eight months ago from the same shop but they aren’t as comfortable and have developed a hole in the toe – my fault for forgetting to spray a waterproof coating on them. But I’ve visited our local sports shop and most of the trainers there cost about £60. Not to mention that the staff were more interesting in gossiping with each other than assisting me. I don’t really want to pay as much as that – especially if I’ll have to replace them frequently! Surely there must be a better solution?
The cheapest running trainers I could find on JJB Sports’ website are £24.99, reduced from £44.99. Still not exactly bargain basement though. Ebay could be a possibility – there trainers sell from upwards of £6, but am I’m brave enough to buy them without trying them on? Especially as one of my feet is half a size bigger than the other. The walking websites recommend you get fitted for walking shoes and even test them by jogging around in them in the store. Plus, it’s probably a false economy to buy cheap trainers altogether, especially with my Terrett knees, so I should pick a decent brand.
A solution has occurred to me though. If I can find the a good brand of running shoes for sale on Ebay and in a store, I could try them on cheekily in the store and save money by still buying from Ebay but knowing they fit!
What hidden costs have you come across while trying to get fit? Have you found a way around them? Leave a message and let me know.