My first pair of running shoes
By Lora Erickson aka “Blonde Runner”
I remember my first pair of what I thought was a “good” pair of running shoes. I was a freshman in high school and the coach noticed my shoes and encouraged me to buy some good shoes for running so my Mom took me to the local department store to purchase my first pair of “running” shoes. The selection of athletic shoes was slim at best. As I looked through the few athletic shoes they had only one that claimed “running” shoe. I remember the name of the shoes distinctly; they had the inscription “the winner” on them and were completely white – soles and all. Silently I chuckled at the name and resisting the temptation of holding up the all popular “L” finger sign on my forehead, but not being well-to-do folks, they would have to do. They seemed relatively expensive compared to the regular cheap “tennies” I had grown accustomed to wearing for most the cross-country season. So we purchased them. Although they were not your typical name brand shoes, I was still excited to have something that was new and better than what I had. Now 25 years later I have learned the importance of good running shoes.
There is a lot of hype lately about running in bare feet and I do believe that is valuable to allow your body to learn how to run efficiently with proper form. I can often be found at an outdoor track running barefoot and working on my form. I would have to admit that on a regular basis I prefer to wear shoes. Not only do they protect my feet and keep them warm in cold weather but they are comfortable. I have suffered very few injuries over my many years as a runner and I believe it is due to always having good shoes along with practicing proper stretching, resting enough, eating healthy and staying hydrated. I truly believe it is important to buy good shoes. Good is a relative term, but I am not talking about your department store “the winner” shoes, but your name brand shoes found at a specialty running shop. You see, even if the shoe you are buying has a swoosh on the side, if it’s purchased at a all-in-one type shopping establishment it is not the same quality model you will get at a specialty running shop. Simply put, shoes at running shoes stores are designed to last and are built for runners unlike the all-in-one store shoes labeled “running” shoes. A good quality shoe should last 3-500 miles.
Being the value minded person that I am, I see the value in spending a little extra money on quality running shoes and getting 3 times the use out of them. Not only will this save you money, it also saves you time. The time that it takes for you to shop and buy the three pairs that you will have to purchase in the time the quality pair has outlasted your three department store “running” shoes. My time is valuable and I don’t like to waste it. I do love to shop, but choose to shop for high quality gear. So, when you are shopping for shoes, go to a specialty running shop. Our local shops have knowledgeable staff; most being experienced runners themselves. Many shops offer a biomechanical analysis to get you in the right shoes for your pronation type. I encourage you to take advantage of this service. Without proper shoes you will likely find yourself injured frequently. So, treat your body right and get a “good” pair of running shoes from a local specialty running store.
DISCOUNTS: Several shops offer discounts to members of the South Davis Road Runners & Northern Utah Triathletes. Visit www.northernutahtriathletes.com for details.
Lora Erickson is a competitive runner and triathlete with over 25 years of experience. As one of Colorado’s top distance runners, she was heavily recruited by various colleges throughout the US. She graduated from Utah State University where she ran on scholarship and was honored as an All-Conference Runner (top ten of all western states colleges). She is the owner of Blonde Runner Health LLC in Bountiful, Utah where she currently resides with her husband and four children and has been coaching since 1996. She has a true passion for health promotion and welcomes questions and comments. Contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.blonderunner.com for more information on services available.