Finding just the right running shoe: Part 1

I love shoes (what woman doesn’t?)! And while I think heels are pretty, my favorite shoes are my athletic shoes. Naturally, I was overjoyed this last month when I was able to get two new pairs of shoes.

The first pair I got are what I like to call my “Sugar Shoes”. If you’ve ever watched Burn Notice, the drug dealer (Sugar) had on a pair of silver shoes in the pilot episode and my new shoes being silver always make me think of his. The shoes are New Balance 110s.

Now a silver shoe would never be my first choice, but I wanted to get a shoe based on how it felt, not on how it looked. I was looking for a somewhat minimalist trail shoe and frankly when I first saw these I thought “No way”. But I looked at the bottom and they had a nice tread, plus they had a rock plate inside the front half of the shoe, which to me was a huge plus since the terrain I run in is very rocky. These were only the second pair of shoes I tried on, but I ended up buying them because they were so comfortable.

I was all excited to wear them, but I had to wait a week before we went on the trail. The trail we were going to run on is the same course for the 5K I signed up for in March. This trail runs along the side and through some small mountains. It was once a railroad used to transport materials to build the Hoover Dam. There’s five tunnels scattered along the trail which overlooks Lake Mead. It’s a really pretty area.

This wasn’t my first time running this trail, just the first time in these shoes. Instead of running maybe a half mile to break them in and switching to my usual shoes, I decided to run three miles in these shoes. “Hey, what’s the worst that could happen?” I thought. Big mistake!

This trail is all rock (except for the tunnels). Many of them large (large being the size of my fist) and jagged. After about a miles and a half, the ball of my left foot was killing me (I guess the rock plate in the shoe can only do so much). I had to walk the rest of the way back and even that was painful. This happened on a Sunday. On Tuesday, I tried running again. This time on concrete and a different pair of shoes–that just irritated my foot more. I didn’t run for a week, but my foot still wasn’t improving. I did notice that walking around barefoot helped and I was in the middle of reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, both of which led me to my next pair of shoes: Vibram Five Fingers (I’ll talk about these in my next post).

I haven’t given up on my New Balance shoes, but the next time I use them, I’m going to break them in slowly.


About T. R. Kolbe

I have been writing since July 2010. I wrote one novel although I haven't finished editing it and I don't know that I will. I have also completed 3 short stories and have 3 more that I am working on.
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2 Responses to Finding just the right running shoe: Part 1

  1. D.J. Lutz says:

    From 86 – ’07, I ran with NB. – the trick was finding the right ones. I went to their website and researched my type of running, combined with the usual surfaces I ran on, distances, etc. and came up with four or so models. Took about two years to go through them all, then I found “my” pair. Of course, every few years, I would have to upgrade to the next in that particular line. I hated that part, but found no other shoe that helped my arches and instep like NB.

    • T. R. Kolbe says:

      I hate when you find something that works and then the company discontinues it or “upgrades” it. I read somewhere that Nike discontinued a popular shoe and then brought it back for a limited time in hopes that consumers would stock up on the shoes (making the company a lot of money) before they discontinued the shoes again (this came from someone who used to work for Nike).

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