I buy shoes every 4 or 5 years, whether I need them or not. These are my latest. They may also be the most important, in quite some time. That’s only one of them; the other is practically a mirror image.
It was definitely time to replace the shoes I bought for running who-knows-how long ago. While not approaching Air Jordan figures, these are the most expensive shoes I’ve ever purchased. I headed out to Universal Sole, a store catering to runners. I read a few articles on the interwebs that explained how people who know shoes determine which type to look for, be it stability, support, etc. I expected a small battery of tests. Instead, the woman at US had me do one exercise; stand on one leg and squat down. The left leg was awkward; when I did the right-legged squat, I looked across the store to see where my knee would end up. It was one of the most difficult movements I’ve ever tried, and she needed to see no more. I needed a stability shoe, and soon.
They have a treadmill in the store so customers can take a test drive before buying. Having never been on a treadmill in my life, I never let go of the handrail and couldn’t get much a feel for the first shoe. Fortunately, they also let you wear the shoes outside and take a quick jog up and down the block.I tried four pairs of shoes that way; the Nikes were hands-down the best-feeling shoe of the lot. Now, Nike has never signed me to a contract, but I have always been a Nike guy. The first 3 pairs were non-Nikes, but I’d like to think I chose these shoes based solely on their comfort and stability. I also had no idea what the price of any of the shoes were, so I couldn’t let that factor into my decision. In the end, I’m happy I bought the shoes I bought. After the first 8 miles, they feel good. I’ve got no blistering, no foot pain, and no additional muscle pain outside of the tightness I’ve already been experiencing. A good start.
My lesson has been learned. I’ll never again buy the coolest looking running shoes off the sale rack at Foot Locker or the remnant shelf at the outlet mall. Running is hard on the body, and until I can buy the latest and most innovative human feet on eBay, I’ll keep shopping for a good pair of kicks as soon as the current ones need replacing.
I’m still thinking about getting some 2011 calves though.