Staring at my half of our closet today, it occurred to me that I have not purchased any non-athletic footwear since…um, 2009?
I have two weddings to go to this summer and I’m already slightly dreading the attire selection process. I have one nice dress that I bought about a year and a half ago, but at this point I think I’ve worn it to one too many weddings. People are starting to recognize it, I’m sure. It’s the same group of friends in attendance, for the most part.
So I’ve pretty much decided I’m going to get an (inexpensive) new dress for this next one. I even have my eye on one.
But shoes? I just have no idea. What are the kids wearing these days? Halp.
In the spirit of getting rid of the old to make room for the new, I decided to tackle this disaster tonight:
Oy. No one needs twenty-plus pairs of running shoes. Although many are freebies obtained through running-store employment, and from being a wear tester for Brooks, it’s still rather ridiculous. So I combed through the pile and chucked several old pairs in a bag to take to the recycle bin at work.
And then I thought it would be fun to share a few of the newer additions with you guys! (Running shoe nerd alert.)
Mizuno Wave Rider 14:
(M 10.6 oz, W 8.7 oz, retail $100)
I want to love this shoe so badly. I love that it’s relatively lightweight. I love that it’s not squishy. I love that the ride is a little stiffer, but still flexible enough to feel the ground below. I love the no-nonsense design.
But…it’s just a little too narrow for my foot. And the high collar gets all up in my ankle bone’s business. (I mean, seriously? Even though we are in the heart of boat-shoe country here, I’m not about to let my husband wear popped collars, and I don’t like my running shoes to sport ’em either.) I hope they lower the profile of the upper a little next time they update this shoe. A lot of people have complained about this, so I have to think they will.
Overall, though, I think it’s a great shoe and will continue to use it for shorter distances. My foot is just a little too fat to put up with the narrower cut over longer stuff, though.
(M 9.3 oz, W 7.5 oz, retail $90)
I actually picked these up at the Chicago Marathon expo last year.
But I haven’t worn them very much.
Because I don’t really care for them. I’d hoped they’d be a good lightweight trainer for tempo runs and racing shoe for longer races, but they’re just too damn squishy. I am not a squishy-cushion person and the Launch just feels too much like a pair of bedroom slippers. I’ve relegated them to a recovery-day shoe and they work fine for that purpose, but…meh. It’s not like I need an entire shoe dedicated to three-mile shakeout slogs.
Compared to my regular trainers, the Ghosts, the Launch weighs in almost two ounces lighter but they honestly don’t feel like they do. I want a lightweight trainer to give me a little feeling of the road beneath me and keep me up on my forefoot. The Launch does the opposite, with its thick cushioning, especially in the heel.
Marshmallows. Good for S’Mores. Bad (for me) for running shoes.
Brooks ST5 Racer:
(M 8.6 oz, these are unisex so there’s no standard W weight, but they’re light. Probably 6.X. Retail $90.)
Crisco-coated blue shoelaces of death! Yep, that’s the sucker that came untied – in spite of the fact that it was triple knotted – during my race on Saturday.
That issue aside, I adore this shoe. I had the ST5’s predecessor, the ST4, and literally wore them until the bottoms were smooth. It feels like a true racing flat (and it is!) but I don’t grow weary of it as quickly as I would a waffle flat. I have worn this shoe (the older model) in distances from a 5K up to a half marathon and it’s been great all the way.
I love that the updated model is this sweet orange color, too. If I’m not going to run fast, as least I can look like I should be running fast.
And if I have to swap out the laces so they’ll stay tied, that’s no biggie.
New Balance 890:
(M 9.7 oz, W 7.6 oz, retail $100)
New Balance has been hyping this brand-new addition to their line for months. And it looks like the sort of thing that would coast by on its good looks. I admit, I was skeptical.
And I’ve only run in them a couple of times so far, but…I’m going to tentatively say that I actually really like this shoe.
They’re not as light as I thought they’d be. I was thinking they’d be Kinvara-like, but they’re more substantial than that. The collar is nice and low around the ankle, the upper is utilitarian in spite of its stylish look, and they’ve got just enough cushion to give a little bounce, but still allow you to connect with the ground. I could see making these an everyday-rotation trainer…ooh, Ghost, might be time to get a little scared!
Shoes that are recycle-bin-bound:
- Two worn-down pairs of Brooks Ghost 3
- One worn-down pair of prototype Brooks Ghost 4 (cannot wait for this shoe to come out!)
- Two well-loved pairs of Brooks Adrenaline 11 (even though I don’t really need the stability, I still think this is an awesome shoe and love it almost as much as I love my Ghosts!)
- My old Brooks ST4 Racers (RIP, you guys did me good)
- A pair of Adidas Ride Something-or-others that was a freebie that I never really got in to
- A pair of Nike Span 6 from like three years ago (I don’t know why I still had these)
So that shoe bin is now only slightly overflowing. I think I’ve done well.
And I totally think I deserve to buy a new pair of fun, non-running shoes for this summer. Right?
Um, seriously…any suggestions on that? I feel like I am so out of the loop on this stuff. Slightly dressy sandals for a pair of outdoor summer weddings? That don’t have ankle straps or loops, because my legs don’t need any help looking stumpy?
And are we sure that my sweet orange ST5 racers won’t go well with a cocktail dress? Sigh. Because they really are awesome. And they’d make trips to and from the open bar much more efficient.