I tend to get very sentimental about my running shoes. I only change them every one or two years. I wait until the last possible moment (like getting a haircut) before buying a new pair. I usually know I absolutely need a new pair when all the original rubber is gone from the sole and I start getting running injuries. I love my shoes to be the dirtiest and grimiest they can be.
My last pair of of shoes have lasted me for hundreds, maybe even a thousand, miles. Theyâve been through two half-marathons along with all the training that required. They are a pair of white and blue Asics I bought at a sporting goods store in Newbury a year and a half ago. Theyâve served me well, but they were ready for retirement.
Under the guise of ârunning some errandsâ, I left the shoes by the back door at home and visited the same sporting goods shop in Newbury. I hate buying new shoes (well, all kinds of clothing actually). There are so many different brands and it seems too tedious to try them all on.
It took me a while, but I finally got the attention of a guy who worked there to help me fitting a new pair.
âDo you have high arches or low arches?â he asked me. I didnât understand the question. Iâve been running for fun since I was 18, but no one had ever asked me that. I told him I didnât know what he was talking about. But I made sure to mention that Iâve been running a long time so he wouldnât think I was just one of those New Years guys who picks up a pair of shoes a few days before the 1st and then never tough them again.
He made me stand on a little gel heat sensor device. It was like standing on a big mood ring, so when I stepped off of it, you could see the imprint of my feet. Iâm low arched, but apparently Iâve always worn high arched shoes. Does this mean Iâm flat-footed? Thatâs always a bad thing when they talk about it on TV (usually about cops). Hmm, more internet research is required here, I think.
I picked up a new pair of Asics. I used to be a Nike man, but admittedly I liked the ads more than anything else. I also liked to shop at the Nike store in London because it made me feel more athletic. But, in the end, I find the Asics shoes a lot more comfortable and usually cheaper.
My old shoes, dutifully sitting by the back door, warned me of the blisters and pains I would get from the new pair of shoesâand they were right. After my first 6-mile run in the shoes, I have blisters on my arches. Maybe I am high-arched after all, and the machine was wrong. But, the calluses will form and the new pair of shoes will take me at least a year forward.
Iâm training for the marathon this year, so lots of miles need to be piled up.
I couldnât throw away the old shoes just because all the rubber has disappeared from underneath them. Theyâve become my gardening shoes. Now, I just have to take up gardening.