Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New kicks

I think that the experts advise replacing your sneakers after about 500 miles. Once upon a time, that meant I was going through 3-4 pair per year. Until this weekend, the pair I'd been wearing had been around for more than a year. I don't know how many miles they had on them, but I think they were ready to be retired.

Choosing new footwear is never easy. For many years, I made my decision based on two factors -- do they come in a cute color, and do they come in my size? (It isn't polite to ask a lady her shoe size, but let's just say that if I ever find myself without a home, I could probably live quite comfortably in one of my shoe boxes). While I'm sure my feet looked great, this method is not really the best for providing the best foot support.

A few years ago I went to JackRabbit Sports (a great running store in NYC) for a proper shoe fitting. The staff at Jack Rabbit is fantastic. They know their stuff and they really want to put you in the right shoe. They videotape you (well, your feet!) on a treadmill to analyze your gait and find the shoes you need to stay comfy and injury-free.

Hey, that's a snazzy color combo...

On that visit they put me in the Adidas Supernova, which was perfect. I probably wouldn't have tried it on my own, but it was a great fit. I replaced my original pair a few times, but at this point there are several new Supernova generations and I'm having a hard time finding the model I originally wore. Newer generations did not fit the same way, so I decided to move on.

Unfortunately, I haven't had time to get to JackRabbit this month, and the next few weeks aren't looking too good either. It is a lame excuse, but it just isn't going to happen. This is a big city, and there just isn't a location in my travels. JackRabbit has expanded (there's one near my old apartment on the UWS!)...maybe a Brooklyn Heights location is next?

So without a proper fitting, I relied on Zappos and their free shipping and generous return policy. I put a couple of pair in my cart that I thought would work (I know I'm a slight overpronater, and I stuck with brands that I have worn and liked before), and I crossed my fingers.

And, success! I ended up with these Asics:
Asics Gel-1150 ($75)
I took them for a test drive yesterday and they feel great (and I was pleasantly surprised that they are both attractive and super reasonably priced)! I noticed a little hot spot where one dug in a bit at the back of my ankle near the end of my run (seriously, WHY can't they put more cushioning back there??), but I'll make sure to put some moleskin there while I'm breaking them in. They felt great during my workout, and I think they're going to come in handy while I'm running around in Disney this week.

Welcome to my feet, new sneaks! I look forward to spending the next 500 miles or so with you.

So, how do you find your preferred footwear? Do you have a particular shoe you stick with, or do you favor a certain brand? And do you wear one pair until they're completely worn out, or do you rotate a few pair at the same time?


  1. So cute for such a great price!! I am a Mizuno girl myself...and I agree -specialty running stores are the best!

  2. Yes, I was thrilled that they were affordable. I think they're last year's model? They were super comfy today, and I like seeing my shoes looking all sparkly and clean :) I'm sure that will last about a week...

    Hmm, Mizuno is one brand I've actually never tried. I'll look for them the next time I'm shopping! If they are tough enough for a half-marathon, they must be pretty good shoes!