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I Smell Like... New Shoes
Took up a new part-time job about two weeks ago with a small chain of running stores. As much as I love working freelance, working in front of a computer every day is starting to take a toll on my eyes, so I decided to take up something more active as a second job. I've never held a retail job before, so it's a bit intimidating for me to enter this field when all I've known in terms of employment is Graphic Design. The only real running experience I've ever had was on the track team in high school all those years ago, so for the most part, I'm fairly out of the loop.

The biggest challenge I've had thus far is familiarizing myself with all the products, which includes over 50 pairs of running shoes, including those bizarre ones with the individual toes. I'm also still struggling on gait analysis (how a person's foot rotates during stride), which is the main cog of the store's operations. It starts off with a foot analysis, which I've totally gotten the hang of (it's a floor sensor that lays out pressure areas of customers' feet onto a computer, and then recommends shoe size and orthotic), and from there, we give them a test shoe and watch them run/walk on a treadmill (behind which is a low-mounted camera that projects footage onto a TV in front of them). This is the part I often have trouble with, as I don't really know what I'm supposed to be looking at. Sometimes, I'm lucky enough to have some co-workers be an extra set of eyes for me, but eventually I'm gonna have to do it without said safety nets.

The most important thing I've learned is that proper shoe need a good thumb length to allow for foot expansion, as all feet expand during lengthy foot activity. So if the toes touch close to the edge of a shoe, it's too small and can lead to stuff like black toenail and if there's too much room, there's a higher risk of blistering. As a runner, that's something I never knew about.
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Wow, I've never seen or heard of a store that does so much to make sure their costumers get the right shoes. Good luck on your retail adventure! : )

Thanks! It's a real learning experience for sure, and makes me think twice about certain ways I've approached running overall.

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