Since I’d put over 300 miles on my pair of New Balance shoes it was time for a new pair. I drove over to Playmakers and went into the store and was greeted by two salesmen. I held up my well-worn New Balance Minimus shoes and said, “I want something with more cushioning than these.”
They both chuckled. One said just about everything has more cushioning than those.
I talked with one of the salesmen for a bit about my running, any issues/injuries I had. I told him about the tendinitis I had in the Fall and how my heel was starting to feel tight at times. He told me he wasn’t going to call it the dreaded “plantar fasciitis,” but he gave me a few ideas for dealing with the tightness. He examined my Minimus shoes and asked me how I liked them. I told him I was agnostic about minimalism. He looked at my feet, had me balance on each foot, measured my feet, and then brought out several different pairs of shoes.
After trying on a few pairs, including some Asics, I chose the Saucony Kinvara 3s. They felt the best. I’ve done several runs in them and they feel great. My feet feel more comfortable.
I think the Minimus were good for me to help me to start and stick with Good Form Running. But I felt more discomfort in my feet as my runs got longer. I’m not someone who ran cross country or track in high school. So I’ve learned how to run as an adult. I find this to be a big difference when it comes to seeking advice on running. Most runners take it up as an adult as a way to improve their health (like me) or to cross a Marathon off their Bucket List. But if you did it in high school, then you already know about form, choosing shoes, the types of workouts you need to do, and how to deal with injuries, etc.
About two weeks ago (the weekend before the Lansing Marathon), I wore my Kinvaras when I ran the Race for the Place 5K. The race raises money for a very important local organization: MSU Safe Place, “a program that addresses relationship violence and stalking.”
This was only my second race. It was cold, around 35 degrees Fahrenheit. While I was standing with the other runners, waiting to start the race, snow was falling. A couple of us looked up and wondered aloud what the hell we were thinking. One guy remarked that I was wearing shorts. I told him it was Spring dammit.
Then we took off.
I had a great run, setting a PR. Woo-hoo! 21:51.
More importantly, my eight-year-old son ran his first race ever: the Kids Mile. He had a blast. I was so happy for him. In the weeks before he went on a short runs, one with me and one with my wife. He really got into the idea of training for the race.
My sister was in-town with her family for that weekend. They cheered on both Henry and me. She’s been running much longer than me. Shortly after I bought the Kinvara 3s, I saw that they were on sale pretty much everywhere. I asked her what I should do. She said to buy an extra pair, that she often buys an extra pair of her favorite running shoes. The day after the race that’s what I did.
From left to right: old pair of Minimus, new pair of Kinvara 3s from Playmakers, extra pair of Kinvara 3s from Zappos.
When I showed my wife the pair I bought from Zappos she asked, “Can you change the laces?”
“Yeah. But I’m not going to. I like them.”
“O-kay. They’re your shoes….”
One thing about running is that it’s a bit like golf in the fashion department; your shoes are a license to be ridiculous. Besides, when you’re running through the neighborhood, day or especially night, there is no value in not being seen.