Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Shoes?

Is it time for new shoes?  Run after run, the shoes feel just fact, great!  Then, the very next run they feel awful; they feel "flat" and "sloppy."   Maybe it was just me, having a bad day.  But on my run this morning, it was the same thing.  Just how many miles do I have on these shoes?

When I got home I checked my on-line run log, which has a nifty "shoe list" feature.  Here I was able to see how many miles I had on my current two pairs of shoes.   Two pairs of shoes??  With only two feet, why two pairs?   I buy my running shoes two pairs at a time and alternate them on my run days to give each pair a chance to dry out and the various cushioning compounds and upper materials to "recover."   I learned to do this early in my running career after suffering through "wet sock" runs on days following a rainy run.  Here in Gulf Coast Texas this was quite frequent (except for this year, with our record-breaking drought). 

The tread in the center is worn
completely smooth.
I find that running shoes are like tires:  Different models have a different "tread life."  The particular shoes I'm wearing apparently have a softer compound used for the soles, since I can't seem to get the same mileage out of these as I did out of this shoe model's predecessor. 

So, a check of the mileage and then a visual check of the soles this morning confirmed it.  Yep!  If these were tires, even the wear bars would be worn smooth! 

These shoes have just a little over 200 miles on them; same for the other pair of shoes that get alternated with these.  The gradual change in the "ride" is hardly noticeable until suddenly one day they just don't feel right.  These changes are even more evident when a new pair of shoes are added to the rotation and then: Wow! 

"No, Mommy!  My shoes!! 

But it's time to retire these two pair, and break out two new pair.  I'll donate these to one of the many charities that regularly schedule pick-ups in our neighborhood.  They're clean, only 6 months old and still have lots of life left in them for casual wear.

I love pulling a new pair of running shoes out of the box,  putting them on and working the laces to mold the shoes to my feet.  Those first few runs in new shoes are sweet!  They don't need breaking in so much as they need "molding in."  That is, the uppers shaped to my foot from repeated wearings. Adjusting the laces until the shoe takes on that wonderful "hug" and custom fit around my foot.

It's just a little more than a month away from the Women's Half Marathon in St. Petersburg...plenty of time to get them properly "molded in."

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