Those are not wedding appropriate

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.

Brooks Launch:

(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.


43 responses to “Those are not wedding appropriate

  1. Basic black slip on’s. But don’t take my word for it, I own 3 pairs of shoes: Work flats, sketchers for casual and nikes for the gym.

    With your shoes, maybe take them to the local homeless shelter? They might not be good for running, but if they are wearable they can be used.

    • I’m think the recycling program will pass them on to someone who needs them if they’re usable, but I’ll definitely double check! Thanks!

  2. I agree with Jess. Definitely bring them to a shelter or donate them somewhere.

    I keep reading that wedges are in this summer. I think they’re butt ugly though.

  3. i’m wear-testing the brooks ghost 4s right now! i am a fan so far although my asics are near and dear to my heart . . .

  4. ha, and i LOVE wedges 🙂 LOVE LOVE LOVE love. i love that ugly/pretty thing they have going on, too (so i get what melissa is saying).

    go to anthro for the dresses! that is my favorite part about getting any wedding invite . . .

  5. I’ll have to try to Ghosts next time I need shoes. I’m a huge Brooks Glycerin fan, and I also haaaate squishy shoes.

  6. Wow, that’s a lot of shoes! I went summer wedding shoe shopping yesterday and ended up coming home empty handed. I have no clue what to get to look cool. I need to drag one of my stylish friends along.

    Good luck!

  7. I need to know what the dress looks like to suggest shoes. As far as dresses go, I love, love, LOVE (did I mention LOVE) shopping at Their dresses are really designed for athletic body types. And I agree with Sarah about Anthro….. I love the vintage look! And yeah, wedges are in, so flex those awesome calf muscles while you walk up to the bar girlfriend!!

  8. wow! You make me want to try out some different shoes (even though i love my adrenalines too!)

    And, I am in the same boat as you. I own exactly one pair of heels and I don’t think they’re gonna fly for a fancypants wedding in LA. My go-to is usually J.Crew for inspiration…I’m thinking an open-toed variety? But I would much rather buy new running shoes… 🙂

  9. The laces on my ST3 racers came untied in three separate races. I don’t get it.

    Um…shoes. I always abide by the “find something for 10 bucks or less at DSW” rule.

  10. Ooh, I love shoe shopping! Is there a DSW near you? That is my go-to place for shoe shopping, there are a million choices. I’ve bought running shoes there as well since they carry discontinued styles.

    I love those orange Brooks shoes, I’ve seen a few people wearing them. Even though I’m a slowpoke, they sure would make me look fast!

  11. The Brooks Racers are beeeeautiful! I love the color. I say wear those!

    I’m going to a wedding in a couple weeks and I’m thrilled there will no overlap from the last wedding so I can wear the same dress. I usually go for dressy-ish flip flops or something else flat in case (no, BECAUSE) I get drunk and dance.

  12. There’s a cute little dress boutique in raleigh – Fedora. It’s in the Harris Teeter plaza on edwardsmill road. Everything is cute and usually between 40-60max for dresses.

  13. For an outdoor wedding, wedges are a MUST. If you try to wear heels, you will sink into the grass. If you are wearing a neutral colored dress, go with a fun colored shoe and vice versa. Since you won’t be wearing them all that much, go cheap like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, or DSW.

  14. And I thought my 4 pairs of running shoes were bad… 🙂 Good job on getting them cleaned out though! (I’m assumig your recycle box at work goes to some sort of shoe recycle and/or re-use program.)

    As for outdoor wedding, I honestly tend to stick with ballet flats. I don’t really own any wedges, but those would also be a good option. Whatever you do, DON’T get a kitten heel. They are tippy and deadly, plus they will sink right into the grass. I would give you some online suggestions, but I always need to try on dress shoes because the sizes and fit can vary so much. You’ll have to show us what you end up getting!

  15. I love alllllll of the wedges that Target has, and I’m pretty cheap, so the price tag is lovely too! I find wedges are perfect for summer weddings – in fact I just bought a new pair (from Target, of course) that I’m wearing in a couple weeks!

  16. this post made me drool. I love running shoes so much. mmm.

  17. Fancy shoes aside, you’ve just turned me on (twss) to the Brooks Launch. I need to run with more heelstrike and I do best in a super-cushy shoe. I’m curious!

    For other shoes, definitely check out Ross/TJ Maxx/Marshalls type stores and Target, of course.

  18. I’m going to FOUR weddings this year (well, three more, one’s done) and I am having the same freakout. I plan on wearing dressy sandals to all of them which I think is totally appropriate. Luckily, I’m in the next one so I don’t have to worry about buying a dress. The next two I’m kind of screwed…can I wear my dressy workout clothes? Please?

  19. I’m w/ the other commenters about donating to a shelter. Maybe a women’s shelter?

    I also tried on the Mizuno Wave 14’s and that that heel box was insane. Ew. I don’t need chaffage on my ankle. pass.

    I think dressy sandals are nice; but don’t take my word for it. I’m exceptionally unfashionable.

  20. I typically wear one of three or four pairs of heels I own for every fancy occasion. Standard black satin, or suede, and a pair of nude leather pumps.

  21. I have one pair of dressy sandals that I pretty much wear to every wedding that I have been to in the last several years (including one this past Saturday). I am in trouble when they eventually wear out, which is probably bound to happen soon, because I can never find fancy shoes that I actually like.

  22. I just bought new Mizunos the other day – love them! Hubby asked last night how many pairs of runners I have now – only 3 and one needs to be moved to the ‘wear around the yard’ pile, the others are my lazy day take the kid for a walk shoes and the new pair are my runners. I don’t ask how many blue polo shirts he has 🙂 He doesn’t know about the two pair of Steve Madden sandals that should be arriving this week 😉

  23. I could suggest fancy shoes if you showed the dress….

  24. Do you only test shoes for Brooks, or the clothes too?
    I completely understand not being able to pick out clothes for weddings, I am horrible at it.

    • They’ve only ever sent me shoes. I think the program covers apparel too though. I certainly wouldn’t turn it down! HEY BROOKS…OVER HERE!

  25. I love how many running shoes you have!!!

    I used to have tons of cute shoes…sexy heels, cute kitten heels, sandals, boots…Now I just wear athletic shoes. LOL

  26. I’m a big fan of the Wave Rider 14’s. I agree with you though about the ankle poppin’ collar. It felt weird at first, but it didn’t bug me after the first time. I usually hate that feeling though.

    As for the non-running shoes, I default to Target for shoes. Almost all my “dressy” shoes are from there or DSW. I’m too poor to pay over $40 for shoes I wear to work that simply cover my feet and I don’t walk around in. DSW is good because there is one metric ton of shoes on display so you can have your pick. I usually cruise straight back to the clearance rack!

  27. I need stability shoes. Thanks to your mini-recommendation, I checked out the Brooks Adrenaline 11 and couldn’t stop myself from buying them. I love purple; teal is my second favorite color.

    I’ve been using Mizunos Wave Inspire for most of my short running career. I think I’m over my current pair. You’re right the high collar sucks. I didn’t realize it until my ankles were cut up and bleeding during the rainy LA Marathon. The current pair hasn’t been the same since the marathon.

  28. Oh, I have a bunch of cute dressy shoes I got from DSW when there was one within walking distance of work. I rarely wear them. I love the sorta casual/but still dressy look of espadrilles and wedges. I don’t know if those would go with the dress you have in mind.

  29. Two words: Swedish Hasbeens. They’re pricey, yes, but so cute and so practical for everyday (non-dressy) wear. I hate buying dress shoes because I don’t like wearing them! My goal is always to find a shoe that’s 1) dressy (enough); 2) cute (not orthopedic-looking); and 3) distinctive. Swedish Hasbeens meet all three criteria!

  30. I second SHU! Wedges are especially great if you don’t tend to love heels. Aside from my running shoes, I rarely buy shoes for comfort… it’s all fashion here. But I just picked up some insanely comfortable wedges to go with summer dresses and such. I normally hate brands like Clarks b/c they’re not usually cute, so I was surprised to find some really cute wedges there. This is the first time I’ve had cute AND comfy. score. Here’s the ones I picked up (on sale for $40 off at the Clarks outlet): . These ones are also adorable:

  31. I hate the mizuno wave rider 14s, which is sad, b/c I love love love the 13s. 😥 Wah. #runnergirlproblems

    I always (meaning once) get my cute shoes from Charlotte Russe. They usually have a sweet buy one get one 1/2 off deal going.

  32. Wear shit-kicker steel-toes to the weddings. With a dress.

    It’d be both hot and awesome.

  33. So I’m new to your blog but I love it. And lucky for you, I’m also a little bit of a shoe-addict. Sooo my professional (note: I am in no way shape or form a shoe professional) opinion would be a pair of black platform shoes because they’re dressy & go with everything, but the platform makes them way more comfortable, despite looking otherwise. Definitely check out TJ Maxx or Marshalls- they always have a bunch of cute staple-type shoes (and cute dresses two. 2 birds, one TJ Maxx.) Good luck 🙂

  34. Post a picture of the dress and have readers submit shoe suggestions! My go-to places for shoes are DSW or Piperlime. 🙂

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