the shoe saga, continued

I thought about not writing about this. I know many people in the running community have strong opinions about this, and hey, I won’t lie- of course I want to be accepted by the running community. Of course I want all my new “running” friends to smile and pat me on the back and tell me I made the right choice. But, the whole point of this blog is all about honesty, so here goes…

I almost bought running shoes today. Really nice running shoes- either Brooks Adrenaline or Asics Gels. I went to my local running store, tried on shoes, walked around in the store, tried on more shoes- honestly, I spent quite a bit of time there!

Finally I chose the Asics. Honestly it was a toss-up between the Brooks and Asics shoes. Both pairs felt good, both cost the same price ($100). The Asics were a little prettier, IMO, so Asics it was.

I happen to have this Visa gift card that I was going to use to buy the shoes. Every year, I order a year’s worth of contact lenses online from Coastal Contacts, then fill out a form that I send to Ciba Vision to get a rebate. Every year prior, I’ve received that rebate in the form of a check. This year, I received a Visa gift card worth the value of my rebate. That’s certainly not what I would have chosen- it’s much easier to deposit a check in my bank account than to deal with spending a Visa gift card- but whatever, I can use this card to pay for new running shoes.

So. I get to the cash register and whip out my Visa gift card. The employee at the register swipes the card. The card is declined. She swipes it again. Declined. Again. Declined.

I have another credit card with me (the one I regularly use, and pay off every month), but I really don’t want to use that. For one thing, I’ve GOT to use this gift card, sooner rather than later, and I don’t spend this much money very often. For another thing- well, it’s just a lot of money.

I never imagined needing to spend a lot of money to become a runner. I just ran. I used old cotton tshirts, cotton socks, cotton sportsbras that I’d had since high school, sneakers. And I ran, and it felt pretty good so I kept running. It wasn’t until I joined the running community online that I was corrected. Cotton tshirts are bad. So are cotton sportsbras and socks. You need tech tees that cost at least $50 each. You need tech sportsbras, also $50 or more. You need socks that cost $10 per pair. And sneakers- *gasp* – the horror! You can’t get decent running shoes for less than $100!!

I left the store without any shoes. I put on my trusty Reeboks and returned my car empty-handed. And sitting in the car, I had a revelation. At least, a mini-revelation. My “cheap” Reeboks seem just as comfortable as those running shoes. I can’t really “test” the shoes unless I can run at least 30minutes in them. And I can’t run 30minutes in them unless I buy them. And that’s a lot of money to spend if I don’t know beyond a shadow of a doubt that those shoes are better.

I’m not saying that those shoes are bad, or that I’ll never buy them. I just know that where I am, at the mileage I’m running right now, I don’t need to spend that much money on shoes. Not yet. I’m not a purist. I run in cotton socks. I’ve since bought a few more cotton/spandex sportsbras, but those were only two for $10 at Walmart. (Sportsbras from high school- at least 12 years old- they weren’t in terribly good shape.) Sometimes I still run in cotton tshirts, sometimes I run in cotton/polyester/spandex tank tops that I got at Walmart for $7 each. I’m a simple runner, not to mention a relatively (financially) poor runner.

Perhaps, as I increase my mileage, I will buy the shoes. But right now, I’m going to stick with my department store Reeboks. For now.

3 thoughts on “the shoe saga, continued”

  1. A decision well made. You can spend so much on tech gear! You are so right that if you aren’t a high-mileage runner yet, why spend bucco bucks? I have “problem feet” so my shoe problems are endless. I mitigate the whole workout clothes expense by buying cheap cami’s and tops at Target & Marshall’s. I don’t need hi-tech clothes for the gym. I do spend a lot on pants and they last forever. Shorts – I just buy the shortest ones I can find ;). I love workout clothes but not the traditional kind. Just anything that looks good! Have fun :).

  2. what? I need special clothes? psh okay, not happening ;). I do have some experience with the shoes, amazingly. When you first encouraged me to run I did not own tennis shoes. When I was leaving Sweden I just didn’t have the space for them in my luggage, and figured that I probably wouldn’t need them in California anyway since all you really need is a good pair of flip flops! So I went to Kohl’s (do you have those where you are at?) and got a $20 pair of running shoes (New Balance). I figured even if I didn’t run I would still use them! They have been working great, six weeks of running (although just c25k and not going very far) past and they’re still in great shape! I don’t think I would ever buy $100 shoes, might as well go for the cheapies in the running section at Kohl’s!

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