Some people bounce between running shoes like someone hot on the dating scene bounces between men. One day they wear their Brooks. The next day it’s their Sauconys and for long runs, it’s their Asics or Mizunos. A new day, a new shoe. Or a new dude – to keep my analogy going here.
I mean why commit to one, when you can constantly mix it up?
But I’ve never been that person. (In running or in dating)
In fact, I’m very much a running shoe monogamist.
For the past eight years, I’ve had a very steady and happy relationship with my Mizuno Wave Inpsires. They take care of my feet through rigorous training. They’ve crossed the finish line with me at every major (and nonmajor) race I’ve run. They are good and loyal.
And in return, I’ve been loyal to them, buying nothing else at the running store and ignoring people when they say I should try something new — you know, add some spice and variety to life.
But ever since I started having my myriad of foot problems a little over a year ago, my orthopedic doctor has been telling me to go get re-fitted, to try a different shoe, to try inserts.
For nearly a year, I blew off his suggestion. I loved my shoes. The shoes were not the problem. I didn’t need to stray from a relationship I was very, very happy in.
But after my plantar fasciitis diagnosis in January, doubts starting creeping in. I was wondering if my perfectly happy monogamous relationship was growing stale, and if I really did need to get myself back out on the running shoe dating scene.
So I went to Road Runner Sports to get fitted for orthotics and get some new shoes.
They did the whole gait analysis — video taped me while I ran on a treadmill, analyzed my balance and how I distributed weight over the length of my foot. So I knew if I was going to cheat, I’d at least have some data backing it up and saying that I should do it. Something to assuage my guilt.
Eventually they printed out a reading that said I should be in a Stability Plus shoe.
My Wave Inspires are just a regular stability shoe.
So they brought me out a ton of different shoes to try. A pair of Nikes (didn’t even try them), two pairs of Mizunos (the Wave Inspire and a new model) and a pair of Asics (the Kayano 20).
I tried them all on, jogged back and forth in the store, and realized that the Asics actually felt really, really good on my sore feet. I told the salesguy I felt like I was running on a cloud.
So I left the Wave Inspires at the store and took home my new pair of Asics.
And holy crap did I feel guilty.
I mean, seriously, for weeks I made no mention of the new shoes on social media, I refused to take pictures of them (which as you know is weird because I tend to take a lot of pictures in my shoes), heck I even kept them in their box in the my closet so my other Mizunos wouldn’t have to see them.
Those shoes were my dirty little secret.
I rationalized that if the Asics helped with my foot problems, then I had made the right decision, even though it felt pretty wrong.
But it turns out, the Asics — like any dating fling — just caused a whole bunch of problems of their own. My first run in them, an easy 5 miler, left me with a massive blister on my big toe.
My second run in them – the Shamrock half marathon – left me with an even bigger and nastier blister.
Then there was the heel sliding, the shin splints and the horrible, horrible calf tightness every time I took a step in a run over a half mile.
As of this weekend, I had enough. My dalliance with the Asics was over. The luster and shine of their newness had worn off, and I just wanted my faithful Wave Inspires back.
Thank God Road Runner Sports has an amazing return policy (90 days no matter how many miles you’ve put on the shoes). I took the Asics back, dropped them on the counter and asked for the Wave Inpires.
The guy brought out some other shoes too, but I didn’t even bother. I knew exactly which shoes I wanted.
I went on a run yesterday in my new Wave Inspires, and everything felt right in the world again.
So the moral of the story here is don’t cheat (on your running shoes or in life). If you have something that works, stick with it — no matter who is telling you otherwise.
Cheating gets you nowhere and causes a lot of pain and heartache (and shin splints).