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A Running History...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

...of My Running Footwear - or Chasing Imelda Marcos

I remember the first non-hand-me-down non-thrift-shop shoes I ever got. For my 10th birthday, my mother let me order a pair of military surplus sneakers from Hudson's Supply. They were a couple sizes too big, but she said I'd grow into them, and I did. They looked like this:

-except that they were olive green rather than olive drab and the soles were black.
By the time they died I was 14 and starting high school. I went out for X-Country and bought a pair of Adidas through my coach for $7.00 I think this is the model:

It was the cheapest training shoe Adidas offered. Two years later, I upgraded to a pair of blue suede Adidas Gazelles like these:

They cost $26.00. You can see where this is going.

From '71 through '80, I was working my way through college among other responsibilities and didn't have time for sports or money for sports equipment. In 1980 I entered the NYC Police Academy and had to start running again or be dropped. We ran in the P.A. gymnasium. Running shoes were not permitted. We had to wear white canvas hi-top sneakers. Mine were Converse like these:

I got mine at a Salvation Army Thrift Store for less than $5.00. Some squad members had Pro-Keds. Every day we ran two or three miles in 220 yd. laps.

Once I got out of the academy I pretty much stopped running unless I was chasing someone. But I did buy sport shoes. I just wore them as everyday shoes and never practiced a sport with them. The exception would be cycling shoes as I used the bike for my commute to work.

Anyway, jump ahead from 1981 to 2011. I decided to exercise again and I thought about running. In the past eighteen months I have accumulated six pairs of running shoes. This Picture should tell the story if it sizes big enough to show the text. If not I'll edit.

I ran two seven mile stints with the Mix Masters since I bought them last Wednesday. I probably should have gotten used to them a little more gradually because my ankles are starting to ache. They felt great while I was running though, so I'll probably use them for a little speed work instead of long distance.

OK: It looks like the edit is necessary.

From the Top Center going counter-clockwise:
1. Ozark Trail, WalMart $9.99 - Summer 2011 -Used for mowing and running but they were really mushy.
2. New Balance, Joe's New Balance 29.99 - Oct. 2011 -4 months running, a little dye, and now they are my dress shoes.
3. Mizuno Wave Creation 12, Finish Line Closeout 78.00 - April 2012 -Fantastic upgrade, but as the weather got warmer I realized that I should have gone half a size larger.
4. Mizuno Wave Prophecy II, RoadRunner Sports $171.00, Club price. Dec. 2012 -These are my favorite and so far fastest.
5. Mizuno Wave Ascend 6, RoadRunner Sports $76.00, Club Price. Jan. 2013 -I got these to spare the Prophecys in bad weather and to do some trail running. I do like them and wore them on my longest run with no problems. They are a bit heavier and have a little more stability than the Prophecys but I don't think I need the stability on the road.
6. Merrel Mix Master Trail Shoe, Burlington Coat Factory $29.00 Factory Defect, Feb. 2013 -These were a complete impulse buy. I couldn't resist the price. These are close to minimalist shoes although not barefoot style. There is no independent toe movement. After I bought these I read that there were durability complaints about the line which were addressed with Mix Master 2. The entire inventory of the first model were marked as defects. I can't find anything wrong them though. The pair of size 11s weighs in at less than 20 oz.

Now I'm going to rotate through these shoes to both spare the shoes and to prevent myself from becoming like the princess from the "Princess and the Pea" fairy tale.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What an assortment! I'm rather boring. When I find a shoe that works for my "difficult feet" I stay with it until the manufacturer decides to "improve" it to the point that it doesn't work for me anymore. Then it's off on a new quest.

    1821 days ago
    I think most runners have some sort of shoe progression like yours! Although I started off in knockoff Keds (plain white) and only recently started running as exercise/a hobby.
    1821 days ago
    Go for it!
    1821 days ago
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