Friday, August 5, 2011

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes!!!

Perhaps I am just at the age that I do not have enough experience to have seen trends come and go, and maybe I am just the right age that the shoe companies target when the newest fad comes out, but after looking into my newly organized gear closet at our new place, I realize I have a ton of different shoes!

I am starting to realize that shoes are really like relationships we have in our lives.  Some pairs are simply bliss, while others are fraught with pain, discomfort and bitterness.

You buy shoes new, and they are fresh and clean and full of promise.  I am not one for foot fetishes, but there is something sexy about a new pair of shoes!

There seems to always be a honeymoon period with the shoe, where everything feels great, you and your new mate are clicking and just effortlessly rattling off the miles.  Then there is the middle of the relationship where things just keep going on like they always have...or the problems begin to arise, and then there is an end, where the old friend is retired after miles of reliable service, or a short and prompt divorce occurs and the relationship is mercifully over.

I am thinking about all this now because for as many shoes as I have been through over the last few years of resuming my life as a runner, I have yet to find that 'reliable' shoe.  I am not sure if it is because of the types of running I do, or is a product of the fads I have bought into, but at this point I am standing here looking for a shoe that will be able to handle lots of miles and function on both the trails and the roads... is that too much to ask?

I don't even think I am asking for suggestions here, I am just lamenting that I have found myself really happy with certain shoes for certain situations, but I am increasingly finding less and less in my bank account for footwear, and just need something reliable and versatile.  Does that exist?  Or am I like that tradesman that feels like he needs a work bench that includes every tool for every job, when I hammer and some duct tape will do just fine!

Just like old girlfriends, I don't want to sit here rating all the old shoe relationships I have had, because it is easy to romanticize about the old days and the shoes that just always worked for me when I was a speed demon in college... I seriously switched my brand trainers and racers ONCE throughout college!

I have found great options for certain situations lately, but haven't found THAT shoe.  I have been thinking about minimalist / barefoot running, and see both sides of the story on that front, but definitely feel like, for me, I need cushioning for the mileage I plan on logging in preparation for a 50 miler this Fall.

Enter my new 'mail order bride'...

I am going to try a pair of Hoka Stinson B / Combo XT's.  It is a big risk and I will have the return box ready at hand, but for what I am seeking - versatility(roads and trails) and high mileage - it is a chance I am willing to take. 

More on show reviews later, though, because thankfully I have been injury free for multiple months now, and have been using many different brands / models, and have LOTS of thoughts and opinions on footwear with my accumulated years of experience.

Hoppy trails!

1 comment:

pathfinder said...

I too have a shoe for just about every mile I have ever run.....I think it is our nature to special fit for that little bit extra.

Though I do have certain shoes for specific types of running, I do have a fail safe all around shoe that I can always fall back on wether it be trails or road.

That being my New Balance 572s. I can wear these for anything.