The first step outside in a new pair of footwears is often quite stressful, and is often postponed for more than a week after purchase. Although the moment of purchase is the point at which the money is exchanged the transaction has not been irredeemably committed-to until the shoes are worn outside and rendered unable to be re-sold as new in the eyes of the shopkeep. As I've had four or five pairs of this particular shoe-type before I was content to take them outside after a mere evening and morning's indoor-wear to check that there had been no major design changes affecting the fit of my feet in the size 46. I was therefore quite remarkably irritated after a couple of miles when I reached a relatively quiet street to find that the left heel was squelching almost as noticeably as the heel of a much older trainer. Although a few old pairs were recycled a while back I have one reference pair of this model which squelch quite noticeably with every step (but which were kept for cycling in as they're still quite waterproof and warm) though only after about six months' wear and well over a million stepsworth of use. I was anticipating that this new pair might only last a similar length of time but am not accepting having to squelch everywhere (unless I walk really slowly) from day one. Seeing as the shop they came from isn't really big enough to be able to demonstrate the full-speed walk at which the squelch becomes apparent I have emailed the shop's customer services explaining the history and current situation to attempt to get round the expected problem of returning a pair of shoes which have been obviously (if briefly) worn outside, where the abrasion to the sole is slight but nevertheless sufficiently evident to be obvious upon even a quick inspection. I would be happy to exchange for a different model (such as another pair of those I've had to revert to wearing even though the heel is worn through to the squidgy and absorbent foam layer) but always dread returning things to shops even when they're unworn or still in their original packaging, never mind when they've been slightly used even though the fault may only be apparent after some use. It's unlikely to be the shop's problem - they would surely be able to return a faulty item to the manufacturer; the risk is that they might attempt to argue that this is what I should do seeing as their obligation to refund or exchange ended when I stepped outside the front door. They, however, are the people with whom money was exchanged so they'll be the first point of contact. I expect neither a swift nor non-automated reply from the website so shall probably wait until a weekday to visit the shop, when popping to it after work when it's about to shut and its staff are unlikely to want to draw out a potentially argumentative and stressful (for me, at least) happening is perhaps more likely to result in a successful refund or exchange.

It's a shame as they're noticeably grippier and bouncier than the alternative shoe-form I changed to after it became obvious that the six-month squeak was a permanent design feature.

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