Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hey, I put some new shoes on and suddenly everything's right

Last year, I bought my first pair of running shoes. Sure, I've technically bought shoes for running before...but how I usually picked them out was this:

1. Walk into a store that sold all types of shoes
2. See a cute pair of "running" shoes
3. Try on said pair of shoes
4. Try to determine if they hurt or not
5. Buy them if they don't hurt
6. Wear them all the time

In case it isn't clear, my previous motivation of buying running shoes was, most certainly, not for running. The highest priority (of course) was whether they looked cute or not.
Last year, when I started getting more active, I opted to go into a running store specifically FOR runners called The Boulder Running Company. This store works completely differently...and for a good reason.
First, you walk in and tell the salesperson that you want running shoes. You give him your shoe size and he brings out a random pair of shoes that are "neutral" - meaning they don't have any corrective padding or shaping to them. You try them on. If they don't hurt, he takes you over to the treadmill (that they have in the store) and you jog for a minute. After that, you sit and watch the video of you jogging (feet only) which is just about the most boring home video ever.
During the video (where no popcorn is served), you get to learn if you under or over pronate, if your gait is crazy, and or if there are any other issues to be aware of. If there aren't (as there wasn't for me), you buy the pair of shoes.
Now, for the price of the shoes, you may be tempted (as I was) to never wear them because they're so expensive...and perhaps that is what I did to a certain extent.
I felt that it was a smart purchase. When I started adding running into my routine, I ran with confidence knowing that my shoes were right for my body and feeling that I was less likely to have an injury. But I made sure to never wear them unless I was running. I didn't want to "wear out" the shoes faster than necessary.
It's been a year. And according to my Nike+ account, it's been 264.87 miles (if you want to get exact). All on the same pair of shoes...which is not very smart.
So, this past weekend, I went to the same store and got my new running shoes. They're no prettier than the last pair I bought. And unfortunately, they're not less expensive. The salesperson took a look at my old ones and cautioned me to run as long on these - saying that the chance of injury is greater if I run on shoes that are that "shot."

In my defense, I had planned to replace them for Christmas...I asked for money from my mom for shoes. But then my dog got sick again around Christmas and it seemed like a smarter thing to put off the running shoes. I really didn't know how long shoes were good for - so I was just guessing that they needed to be replaced.
After talking with the salesperson, I have a much better idea how long they're supposed to be good for and I know what to look for when they're starting to give.
The good news? I ran on the treadmill and we checked my gait. Everything is still fine. Brooks shoes seem to fit me better than others so I'm happy.
The weird thing is that I'm proud that I only used my shoes for running. I'm proud that I got a lot of use out of them...and I'm proud that I just invested more money in me -and my health.
For your listening pleasure, I've also put a song in this post that I think is groovy and about new shoes. :)


~Lesia and Clay~ said...

I think your shoes are very cute. I couldn't get the music to work but hurray for you that you posted a picture...LOL You go girl!

Curvy Jones said...

mmmm I need new shoes... sorta... I've had the ones I hardly wear for yars but I am about to b Walkin' it Out in May. Hope they hold up.

Margie M. said...

I like your new shoes. And they are cute! I do not run. I'm old and my knees are already screaming at me sometimes to STOP walking. :) I do walk everyday, at least when I'm not at WDW, and I have a certain pair of shoes only for the exercise walking. I did buy them because they fit properly. They are a good pair of Nike shoes but they are blue. An ugly blue but I bought them anyway because they were the ones in the store that fit the best and were comfortable. But they sure aren't "cute" like your shoes. I'm jealous.

Margie M. writes at:

happyfunpants said...

You guys are so cute! I don't think that my shoes are cute at all - in fact, I think they look pretty manly. I like Lesia's much more than mine...but they're comfy and that's what matters, right?

~Lesia and Clay~ said...

I got to listen to the song this time way cute. I loved it! And thanks for think my shoes are cute....My feet are getting better I think (hope its not just wishful thinking). But I really hate having them on. I would much rather be barefoot and pregnant! Well NOT the pregnant part...LOL said...

Hey! I knew the song from the title! How cool! I love that song!

It's been really hard for me to focus on fit instead of fashion for running shoes. But I'm working on it!

Misspudding said...

I did the same thing very recently, but I haven't really run in them yet. :(

300-500 miles is what I've heard. That's how much your shoes should be able to handle before replacement.

happyfunpants said...

Missy - thanks for the info. I actually have walked/done the eliptical on them more than the mileage on Nike+ shows...

And according to this article ( looks like I would fall closer to the 300 mile mark because of my weight.

The guy at the store pointed out the creasing and wrinkling in the midsole area - which reinforces what the author of the article wrote. The cushioning on mine wore out faster than the tread.