'Tis getting on toward winter, and time that Five Fingerses and river shoes just aren't right for the weather. I need something appropriate for moderate rain and mud - and for keeping my feet dry! - and for those times when there's actually ice on the ground and I feel the need for actual shoes and socks to keep my feet warm.
So, off to a Real Shoe Store: Beck's, in Sunnyvale. Last time I bought shoes there was, er, upwards of twenty years back. They're still there. But...
They have insoles that seem to address my rolling-foot issue by stabilizing the heels: good. Trouble is, the nearest thing they have to light trail shoes is the Merrill hiking shoes, and those are just too stiff; they don't let my feet flex as they need to.
And so I was referred to the New Balance store in Santa Clara. I go in and explain what I'm looking for, and we quickly narrow it down. I try on three styles, one of them optionally equipped with fancy insoles.
I quickly rule out the fancy insoles with the arch support: they feel way too lumpy. The first shoe style seems to work well (based on pacing rapidly around the store), but, well, they look like modern sneakers. At least they're light gray, not fluorescent pink'n'purple. Second and third styles look more presentable (at least, before they get trail mud on them), but my heels slip. A change of lacing pattern, and the third style works (so far as I can tell in the store) perfectly. Decently light, moderately cushioned, and they're not trying to wear holes in my heels.
And said third style, the basic walking shoe, turns out to be the cheapest thing in the store. Which isn't exactly cheap, mind you, but if they keep my feet happy through winter, 'tis money well spent.
Now I have to learn the difference between a runner's loop and a jeweler's loupe. Apparently this is important.
And, sooner or later, I'll have to figure out how to get real boots working again. Probably later. Could just be a matter of not trying to wear them when I already have an ankle problem. Or maybe I need to find a cobbler, and have custom boots made. Or make my own, even.
Classical reference in title.