Football has helmets. Basketball has shorts. Baseball has hats and gloves. Hockey has sticks and skates.
Running, however, is all about the shoes.
Sure, it is important to get equipped with the right technical shirts, tights, pants, and jackets. In the winter, you want to make sure you have a hat, maybe some ear warmers, and definitely a good pair of gloves. Running, however, is the one sport where the primary focus needs to be on the shoes!
Your feet take a beating while running. Step after step, mile after mile, your feet are carrying you to new places and new heights that you never before thought possible. They have carried you across fields, down wooded trails, across busy intersections and round and round in circles on the local high school track. Running brings you joy. Your feet allow you to run. Don’t you think you should pamper them?
Running shoes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. From minimalist to stability, there is a type of shoe for every type of runner…even those who like to give each toe its own private space. Shoes can be pure black, pure white, or a plethora of colors in between. Some are built for the city; others, the great outdoors. Throughout life, just like relationships, you will have good pairs and bad pairs, until you finally find that one perfect brand and style that you just absolutely love (until, of course, they discontinue that line…and the search starts all over again) .
I have been blessed over the years to be able to try a wide range of running shoes. I started with the Nike Air Pegasus back in high school. I ran with that shoe for years until recurring injuries proved that, like a wizard trying to use another’s wand, these shoes just were not for me. I have run in Asics, Brooks, Adidas, Skora and New Balance. I have run in track spikes, cross-country spikes, mid range shoes and stability shoes. I have run the gamut from white shoes to black shoes to my newest obsession with shoes that practically glow in the dark. Needless to say, I am slightly passionate about running shoes.
Why should you share my passion? Just as running becomes an expression of who we are, running shoes are an even further extension of our personality. Black shoes may say I am conservative and responsible. White shoes can speak to our need for a fresh start. Neon blue or yellow shoes scream out “Look at me and watch out, I am coming for you!” Even the most introverted runner can share a little bit of themselves with the world through their running shoes.
So the next time you are up for new shoes, really shop around. Maybe give your old standbys a break for a season. Head to your local running store and get your feet and stride evaluated. Take your time looking at all the shoes, and if you find one you like but not in a color you like, just ask! You might just be able to order them in other styles online. Consider it a pampering session for you and your feet…because with all the miles you have run and will run, you deserve it.
What are your favorite shoes to run in? What’s your style, plain or flashy? Share in the comments below!