Thursday, July 19, 2012

On running shoes

Alice Waters wouldn't approve, but the wisest purchase I've made in a long time was a pair of... Nike sneakers. They're gorgeous (Europeans, don't judge), combining neon yellow-green (like the Cambridge satchelwith reflective-tape-material. 

There's this thing with running shoes, where you're supposed to consult an expert and get the very shoe that is the only one you could possibly run in without injuring yourself such that you will never walk again. These will inevitably be the ugliest marshmallows ever made, but if you're a serious runner, you wouldn't concern yourself with aesthetics. (Sure, you may run on average two to four miles at a time, and not every day or close, but who doesn't want to be serious?) You must not be cynical and consider that maybe the salesperson has been instructed to direct gullible customers like you away from the more attractive, better-selling pairs. (Does anyone not learn that the puffiest white ones with lilac details are the way to go?) Never mind that the science of running sneakers a) changes daily and b) is more relevant to athletes than to occasional joggers. This is science, and continued walking ability isn't something to sneeze at.

Whatever the case, this time around, I took the usual approach to shoes, adding a bit of jogging-in-place, and lo and behold, the sneakers that looked the best also fit if anything more comfortably than the monstrosities I'd once been told were all I could wear, and have allowed me to jog for 25 consecutive minutes without complaint. What stopped me from going further was my own desire to come back to the apartment and eat an Austrian soft pretzel, or maybe that the small dog alongside me had had enough. Not the sneakers.


Britta said...

I got these running shoes, also because I wanted relatively good looking running shoes.

I ordered them off the internet without trying them on, so basically I did the opposite of what you're supposed to. I used to run x-country and track when I needed very well fitting shoes, and now I go to the gym every once in awhile and run a few miles here and there, so I also figure I don't need to worry about fit as much, as long as the shoe is the right size.

Britta said...

Oh, looks like the link isn't specific. I got the black ones with the teal and red stripes and light teal around the bottom.

Phoebe said...

Ha - something about how exciting this afternoon has been, but I'd already clicked on the link and indeed had hoped it would be those colors! Very chic.

PG said...

I think the specialized sneakers are for people on either side of the running spectrum: athletes, and then people like me who have run so infrequently and with so little supervision that we have developed dangerously bad running styles. At the point you can't seem to keep yourself from bending your ankles and legs in all kinds of hazardous ways, it is worthwhile to buy shoes (not necessarily ugly, though often expensive) that correct for your bad habits by forcing you into a better style.

Phoebe said...


Most likely, which is why running-shoe stores will try to convince you that you fit into one of those two categories. I did eventually have my gait reassessed, with time to kill on 14th Street a few months back, and to be fair to running-store employees everywhere, it turned out that while I have an odd and inefficient running style, I "land" normally, and so can in fact wear normal running sneakers.