It must be the (same) shoes

Posted: June 4, 2013 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

For a relatively skinny guy, I like to eat. I’m hardly Anthony Bourdain in terms of food knowledge and/or palate sophistication, but I enjoy the process of learning about and devouring good grub. And I wouldn’t think of ordering the same entrée every time I dine. Because variety is supposed to be the spice of life.

But this mix-it-up philosophy does not translate to shoes.

I have purchased over the past maybe 3-4 years six pairs of the exact same model of running shoe: The Nike Structure. There are slight variations in color and design, but it’s basically the same shoe every time.

TV has these shoes and many pairs just like them.

TV has these shoes and many pairs just like them.

There are legit reasons, primarily that I’m an avid exerciser and plantar fasciitis sufferer – have been since middle school or longer. There are two main components to the Structure that help with the affliction: Extra stability in the inner heel in the form of a super-dense insert – excessive cushioning is no help – and a narrow forefoot. I’m still in pain every morning and many nights, but not while working out.

I’ve tried a couple other models to no avail. So I’m stuck at Applebee’s, per se.

Am I missing out? Maybe. Probably. Yes.

Although steadfastly against the foot-glove thing, I’d be up for wearing something other than, one of the cool, hyper light and thin models that seem to be the future of running shoes – not that my shoes look orthopedic or anything. It’s just that nothing really changes aside from, say, the color of the sole.

I’m not really complaining – more like lamenting. Because I genuinely like shoes, especially the athletic kind. That likely dates back to playing sports as a kid. Having a special shoe made just for that activity – football spikes, baseball cleats, high tops – made you feel official. That was back when everybody wore some sort of worn-out T-shirt under their uniforms as a way to soak up sweat.

Timing is a factor, too. I was born six months after Nike officially became Nike, arguably the start of the modern sneaker industry. To this day, I identify some of my childhood heroes – Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, Charles Barkley, the Fab Five – with their signature sneakers. I had some of those kicks and the corresponding clothes or posters.

I grew out of that stage during college when I started running for the sake of exercise rather than as athletic punishment. In short order, my knees started to ache and somebody pointed out that my Allen Iverson’s probably weren’t ideal for running laps on an indoor track. They were right. (Side note: The shoes weren’t great for practice, either. Rimshot.)

That was a decade and a handful of children ago. Now, substance unquestionably trumps style, although I prefer to have both. The Structure gives me enough of that so I’ve resorted to becoming a collector, of sorts, keeping one eye open for an updated pair because my mileage has increased and they can be somewhat hard to find. I’ve purchased them in Vegas and Seattle, online and in stores – I’m like a ceramic cat hoarder.

I suppose I could go back to using an orthotic, but then I’d have one less inane thing to bat around. This makes much more sense.

  1. shawnfury says:

    What’s your favorite soccer shoe?

    Plantar fasciitis, ouch. Always a bad injury when you hear a pro has it much less a citizen.

  2. Terry…this reminded me of my own experience and also an ad campaign that Mizuno’s agency did for them earlier this year. Basically, it’s hard to get runners to switch shoe brands so cultivating new adult buyers can be tough. What Mizuno ended up doing was giving away some shoes to select runners, allowing them to test them out and to also gift other free Mizuno shoes to friends. There’s a pretty good overview of the program on agency’s website.

    I’ve basically been a Nike running shoe guy since my HS days at Le Sueur-Henderson Being a young teenager during Michael Johnson’s historic 1996 Olympics the fact he wore Nike spikes wasn’t lost on me. I’m such a loyalist that it’s hard for me to get rid of anything, even worn out running shoes. I basically wore the same pair of trainers all through 10th & 11th grade because I liked them and had success with them even though they were ripping, the sole was falling off and they probably weren’t providing much support.

    Once I got to SJU I evolved from simply a Nike guy to a Nike Air Pegasus guy. A coach recommended them and they seemed to work…at least for a couple of years. My junior & season seasons of college track were filled with injuries and unmet expectations. For whatever reason though I’ve continued to buy Air Pegasus each time I’ve needed new running shoes. I suppose the fact my injuries were pulled muscle and not foot related convinced me it wasn’t the shoes.

    I’ve been running a lot more in the last 5 months than I had the previous couple of years so I’m probably due for a new pair of shoes. The safe bet is on Air Pegasus. Ideally I’d get the same color as I have now.

    • Glad I’m not the only one-shoe weirdo out there. I’ve found a need to replace them more often as my miles have increased (even though I’m still very much low miles). Fortunately, the Ultrawebs make it pretty easy to track them down.

      That Mizuno study is really interesting. Reminds me of the updated Walkman that Sony gave out via Klout. I got one, liked it and did go out of my way to tell others about it through social media.

  3. Funny you mention the Sony Walkman from Klout. I received one as well but have had trouble installing it. Did you experience any troubles setting it up? I like the idea of working out without having to worry about whether I brought my ear buds for my iPhone or having the cord get in the way. I have though been using the Nike Run app lately so I don’t see myself not bring my phone along for runs.

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