Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What to Wear?

I can never again denigrate my wife's love of shoes or chastise her for the inventory of shoes she carries. Her love for shoes affirms her fit with the female stereotype; so what's my excuse? My philosophy of show wearing has always been to get a good pair and wear 'em until there are holes in the soles. And in the case of nice leather dress shoes, take them to your friendly neighborhood cobbler and get them re-shod. A good pair of shoes never wears out. That philosophy has changed in the past few years and I owe it all to my love for the sport of running.

I have had the fortune through the years to make friends with some fine individuals, many of whom I consider good friends. I have benefited from the wise counsel of those who have suffered similar injuries and offered proven treatment plans. I have gained solace on the cold, rainy mornings knowing my running buddies are up and at it just like me. One of the more expensive passions I have developed through my association with an excellent and interesting runner who has become somewhat of a mentor to me is a love for running shoes. Lest you think me vain and shallow, let me state up front that it has been proven that most running shoes have a useful life of only 400-500 miles; more or less depending on running style and mass of the one wearing them. So, there is proven, scientific weight to my reasoning for keeping a variety of shoes in my stable. Besides, when you look a the miles a marathon or ultra-marathon runner piles up in a year, that translates to a lot of new shoes.

Of course, one approach to the dilemma of keeping fresh shoes in the face of a 2000 mile year is to purchase and wear them in a sequential fashion. Get a pair and wear them day in and out until you have fairly flattened them and worn them out and then purchase the next victim. Another approach is to keep a collection and continually rotate them. "A pair for every day of the week", my wife has been heard to say. The latter approach is the one I have chosen and in addition to the the perception that it is a vain way to go, it does have practical merit. A regimen of long miles takes its toll on shoes and the feet inside of them. I have run in a variety of weather conditions including rain and stifling humidity; both of which thoroughly soak any clothing I may be wearing, including my shoes. It is not unusual for a pair to take a day or two to dry and no one likes to put on pair of wet shoes.

So, I will continue to feed my passion with running shoes, never partial to any brand or make, always looking for a new and interesting feature. I vow to never malign my wife for her verve for a new flat or snazzy pump, as long as she can lend an understanding ear to my pleas for another pair of running shoes.

Attention all running shoe manufacturers: "I am available to do shoe reviews."

1 comment:

Drew said...

Just this morning I noted I had seven pairs of running shoes lined up in my closet. When my active pair reach about 350 miles I'll buy some new ones and wear them as walking shoes for a couple of weeks to break them in. After I retire a pair they get put through a complicated formula of challenges: walking, yard work, painting, etc. I'm never lacking for anything to wear.