For the love of shoes

Most women love their shoes. Boots, high heels, saddles you name it. But for me its RUNNING SHOES! Today there are so many different types of shoes to choose from. The colours are pretty bold, and the style’s vary. As I am learning there is a whole technical thing when it comes to running shoes. While it remains true that you can run in whatever you want, there are pros and cons to all types of shoes. Add in the barefoot movement and you have the makings of a great debate.

For as long as I can remember I have liked to wear running shoes as my main footwear. Why not, I like to wear jean’s, a t-shirt, and a hoodie. What else would I wear on my feet? They say your style defines you (I think they say that?). Well I guess I am comfortable. I am on my feet a lot too, so a good pair of cushioned runners feels great.

Back when I was first got my treadmill I had picked up a nice inexpensive pair of Avia shoes. From the moment I tried them on I loved them. They weren’t primarily white which was new to me, and welcome. They had a grey base with a touch of pink. Perfect I thought, my favorite colour these days is pink, and it’s not over done. I was good, I only used them on the treadmill no matter how much I wanted to just wear them around. On my first outdoor run in YEARS I laced them up, they felt great as usual and off I went. Since these shoes were also very light it was like I didn’t even have shoes on. But running shoes don’t last long when you are out there pounding pavement, and I knew that before long I would need to find a replacement. I tried to hunt down another pair of my beloved Avia’s with little luck. So I bought my first pair of Saucony shoes.

What did I know about buying running shoes? NOTHING! I knew Saucony, New Balance, Asics, and Nike made good running shoes. I didn’t know the difference from one brand to the other, or one model from another. I have since learned that selecting the right pair of running shoes can be daunting, and influenced by many factors. Take for example the types of shoes; we have stability/motion control, cushion, minimalist or racing flats these may also be known as barefoot. Now add in the measurements. You get numbers for the height of the heel and the height of the toe. These will give you the drop number. It’s the difference in mm from the two heights. Some of them have big foam soles, some have individual toe slots (yes you have seen them) and some glow in the dark. You can do lots and lots of reading on what shoes are better but when it comes right down to it, it’s about what feels good and doesn’t cause injury.

After The Weekend to End Women’s Cancer in Sept 2014 I started to have issues with my ankle. I ended up in physio, and was told it was time to retire my beloved Avia’s. Well they still have lots of life in them, but not for running in. Guess what I wear with my jean’s now. The Saucony shoes I have which are the Progrid Mirage 3 are pretty good, and I am told an appropriate shoe for me to have. Of course I didn’t know that when I found them on the sale rack at Source Sports. They too are soon due for replacement. I have put about 250 km on them now and typically a good pair should last from 500-800 kms. It will soon be time to go shopping!

For the winter I selected the Saucony Razor 2. These look a little funny and are all black with a little purple on them. They kind of remind me of the Cobra symbol from one of the cartoons I watch as a kid… I don’t remember was Cobra in He-Man or Gi Joe?  These shoes had a build in gator. What’s a gator you ask, well you l know the rubber boot things that fit over top of mens dress shoes? Its kind of like that only they aren’t like that for running, but that should give you an idea of what they do.  The build in version is a waterproof material like Gore-Tex that zip up over the laces and come up over the ankle like a high top. The Razor’s have a vibram sole which is great for traction. These particular shoes have a lining called eVent. This is the same thing as Gore-Tex only its the competition.  These shoes are marketed as a trail running shoe, but double as a great winter shoe. The grip snow and ice, and keep water out. Perfect! Only they are now discontinued and so this will be my only pair. It has something to do with a contract Saucony signed with Gore-Tex. Given that I will keep them as winter shoes, they should last a few winters.

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