Posted by: mdmusingsie | January 14, 2012

Siopadóireacht sa Baile Átha Cliath

I estimate that I walk between 20 and 30 miles a week these days – obviously more when the weather cooperates.  Without a car, I walk most places and as mentioned frequently, really enjoy my walks along Galway Bay.   That adds up to a lot of wear and tear on my “trainers” (aka tennis shoes, athletic shoes, sneakers, etc.).

A few months ago I knew I was going to need a new pair soon and since I really like the ones I have and have worn them for years (not the same pair, mind you), I expected to just dial them up online and get a brand new pair shipped to my doorstep.  As with all good things, the lifecycle of this particular model of New Balance shoes has come to an end.  Not a pair was to be found in my size anywhere on the internet.

I drug it out, hoping to stumble across a new pair somewhere in Galway, but all-black women’s trainers are not an abundant commodity (in the US, either, but at least they could be found much more easily).  After too many days of coming home with aches in my feet and back, I decided I would have to bus it into Dublin and expand my search.  The first pair of any shoes must be tried on in a store – it’s too difficult to experiment online, especially with shipping costs if things don’t work out.

This also gave me the opportunity to explore some of the other areas of city and I found myself in a newer mall called Dundrum Town Center.   Large malls are a rare commodity in Ireland (not necessarily a bad thing) and this one was on a more US scale.  It even had some of the common US stores like Hollister, complete with tiki hut entry (the favorite destination for some of my nephews), and Urban Outfitters.   While there was no shortage of shoe stores and several athletic shops, plain black women’s trainers were nowhere to be found.  I did, however, spy some nice looking purple ones at Clarks, but alas, they didn’t have my size.

Back to familiar Grafton Street I went, hoping something suitable would turn up.  While New Balance shoes were notably absent, I was able to find a pair of black Reeboks at Foot Locker that felt comfortable, and they were even on sale.   New trainers in hand, I continued exploring as I still had plenty of time before my bus back to Galway.

I stopped by a smaller mall called Jervis, which didn’t have anything I was looking for, but I did discover another department store nearby called Arnotts.  While I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to explore the huge store (there was one more Clarks store on O’Connell to check for the purple trainers), I’m certain I’ll be back to that one on my next visit.

Third Clarks was a charm, and they had the purple trainers in my size.  Hopefully both new pair will prove to be as comfortable in my long walks as they were in the short stroll about the store, though I will still miss my old New Balance favorites.

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