Etiquette expert Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, knows a thing or two about the rules of the road—and the descendant of the famous decorum diva is a runner too!
My friend’s running shoes smell. How can I let her know without being rude?
You know your friend best. Does she handle frank confrontation well or is she more sensitive and prefers gentle hints? “Girl, I love you, but your shoes are starting to get funky,” can come across as light, direct, even funny to some, but rude to others. A subtle, “I bought these antimicrobial sneaker balls the other day and they made my shoes smell so much better! Have you ever tried them? They’re amazing!” might work for those who need a more delicate touch.
If she doesn’t pick up on a gentle hint, a soft, simple but direct, “I know I’d want you to tell me if the situation were reversed. I’ve noticed your shoes are starting to smell a little off and I wondered if you were aware of it?” can come across as well-intentioned and helpful. Your goal is to try to be as sympathetic as possible and not embarrass her.
Have a question for Lizzie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @womensrunning with the hashtag #ProperForm.