Sunday, June 20, 2010

Six: Shoes

Ultra-runners seem to be obsessed with the make and model of their shoes. In just about every interview I've seen with a top runner, they talk about what shoes they are wearing. On the other hand, I have never seen an interview with a marathon runner, or any other sports athlete, where they talked about their shoes!

When Anton won Miwok this year, he got a bunch of comments on his blog about his shoes! Nobody asked what did he eat, how much salt did he take, did he have a detailed race strategy, etc. It was all about the shoes.

Can you imagine some sports reporter standing courtside with Venus Williams, asking,"Venus, great job on your Wimbleton win. Your fans are dying to know what shoes you were wearing for the match!"??

I understand that ultrarunners are on their feet more than any other athletes and that foot issues can derail a good day. I know that it is important to have good shoes that are comfortable and don't cause blisters, but I am not expecting my shoes to have magic powers that make me run faster. Although it certainly would be cool if I could run like Anton just by wearing the same shoes as Anton!

I have always had a utilitarian attitude toward my shoes. For the first 15 years of my running "carreer" I just bought whatever pair of Nikes that was on sale at the local Big 5. The only injury I ever had was the season I bought a pair of Adidas, so I took that as a sign from the running gods that I should keep wearing Nikes. I know I had a few pair of Air Pegasus shoes, but otherwise, I have no idea what models the shoes were (maybe "Air Cheapos"??).

Then I started running ultras and decided to get "fitted" for some shoes and I was told I over pronate and should wear stability shoes. So I bought the "Air Stabilizers" or whatever Nike's motion control shoe was and I hated them. I think the motion control just felt funny. The next recommendation was the Asics 2140. They work well and I am on my 4th pair, but I suspect I would have been just as happy in cheap Nikes.

For trail shoes, I have been running in the Montrail Streak and will be for Western States. I chose them in an even less scientific manner: I won them. They seem to keep me running well so I am happy. I guess my only complaint is that they don't make me run like Anton. ;)

Have you found the perfect pair of shoes, or are you a fickle consumer like me?


SteveQ said...

20 years ago, when Asics (maybe still Tiger then!) discontinued my favorite road shoes, the Jayhawk, I bought every pair in my size in the state. And I'm easy on shoes; I had a pair I ran 15000 miles in (not a Jayhawk, though)!

For trail shoes, I have to admit that I've bought them just to look like everyone else out there. Never found a pair I loved.

Goes On Runs said...

love the count down. thanks! can't wait to hear about the race....first time i will ever actually look it up on-line to read about it!

crowther said...

Well, I bet Venus has strong feelings about her racket, which might be more analogous to the shoes of runners.

I'm sort of like you. I wear and like Brooks shoes (Cascadias for trails, Racer STs for road racing, Infinitis for road training, etc.), but that loyalty is based mostly on my relationship with the company and my trust in its employees -- not some sense that Brooks shoes are far superior to anything else that is out there.