Alternative title: “Running Shoes: A Love Story.” (This is a play on a book I enjoyed, Running: A Love Story by Jen A. Miller. Pick it up if you get a chance.)
For a long time, I bought the least expensive pair of running shoes I could get away with. I wanted them to look okay but still be cheap enough that I could afford a pair. All running shoes were one and the same to me.
I’ve changed my tune since then. Oh, how young and naïve I was! I wonder now if I would have saved myself a lot of pain and trouble if I had taken the right shoe route, but what’s done is done.
Now, I truly love running shoes. I love going into specialty running stores and seeing the wall-o’-shoes with their bright colors and sleek appearances. I want them all, but I have learned to be selective and really pay attention to certain features. Particularly those that aid my often-painful plantar fasciitis flare-ups in my heels.
The first time I put on a pair of ASICS Gel Kayano 22, I literally felt like my feet were getting hugs. Heaven. Paradise for my feet that had been begging for support and cushioning for quite some time. These shoes provided the stability I really needed.
You may have seen them featured in most of my race pictures. They have been steady sidekicks for some time.
However, even the best running shoes must be retired eventually. Usually sooner than when you’re ready to part with them. My ASICS have lost their cushioning and huggy feeling. The heel fabric inside the shoe is split on both shoes. It is time to retire them and induct them into their respective Hall of Fame.
Of course, I could have bought a new pair of the same, but I had some curiosity. I decided maybe I needed to try a few new things before I truly knew these shoes were “the ones.” There’s also the fact that companies continually put out new models of their shoes, so I won’t be able to purchase these ASICS forever.
I didn’t intend to try two new pairs at the same time. But I bought the Brooks Ghost 9s and the Saucony Guide 9s just a couple weeks apart, due to some darn good running shoe sales. So far, the Brooks and I are at friendship-level. The Sauconys, though? I have googly eyes for those babies. I’ve only run a couple of times with them.
And no, I didn’t have that same immediate romantic feeling as I did with the ASICS. I’m going to chalk this up to the fact that I was running in totally-awfully-wrong shoes prior to putting my ASICS on. I may never have that same magical feeling again, even if I buy the same pair of ASICS brand new again.
Nonetheless, my Saucony’s are pretty. They’re comfy. I’m hoping they will have a brief break-them-in period, and then we’ll live in running bliss together for another 300-500 miles.
Happy weekend, friends.
Read on. Run on.