I bought a new pair of running shoes last week, which means it’s time to retire my old pair.
Usually, I replace my running shoes on a roughly yearly basis, but I held on to these for more than two years. When the one-year mark came around, they were still holding up well, and it seemed a shame to get rid of them unnecessarily. And then I was pregnant and not running as often or as far, and so it seemed silly to spend money a brand-new pair of shoes that wasn’t going to get much use. And then I was a new parent with barely any time for running, much less shoe shopping, so I stuck with my trusty blue shoes.
When I first bought these, I was a bit concerned about their in-your-face blueness, but I quickly grew to like it. There’s no way to say this without sounding a bit ridiculous, but they made my feet feel, well, special. It was oddly motivating, catching bright flashes of blue as I ran. My new shoes are a more sedate white, better for long-term use as everyday sneakers down the line but not quite as exciting different as the blue ones.
One of the things I’ve always liked about running is the relatively low barrier to entry. You can’t play ice hockey without skates, or baseball without a bat and ball, but you can head right out the door and start running without any equipment at all. There’s an argument to be made that a good pair of running shoes helps prevent injury (and indeed, it was the increasing twinges in my shins and knees that told me it was time to buy a new pair), but I didn’t buy proper running shoes until I’d been an active participant in the sport for several years. I think my next “official” running gear after that was a fancy set of gloves, designed to keep my Raynaud’s-afflicted hands from going completely numb on cold days.
Nowadays, I’m the proud owner of two moisture-wicking T-shirts, one pregnancy-tested sports bra, and an expensive-but-oh-so-very-worth-it running stroller. Plus — and this was particularly helpful in the pre-stroller days — a husband willing to wear a hydration belt on our long runs. Oh, and a stopwatch from Target.
So tell me folks, what would you do with a pair of old running shoes?