When I first started running I didn't realize that running shoes should be treated like car tires. That is, that they get natural wear and tear that will make them less effective and they need to be replaced on a pretty regular basis. The rule of thumb is 300-500 miles. While that's a pretty wide range, other factors come into play like if you run on road versus trail versus treadmill. Even your weight is going to effect the condition of your shoes.
I'm actually pretty bad about sticking to any sort of rule like that. I ran in my first pair of proper running shoes for close to a year before my friend Staci mentioned I was probably due for a replacement pair. After that I bought a pair of New Balance Ionix 3090 and have been running in those for the past six months.
They are a minimalist shoe and to be honest I am not even sure I could give you the entire run down of the difference between minimalist and traditional. The two big things are a low (for the Ionix its 4mm) heel to toe drop and they are usually made with lighter material.
To say I love them is a bit of an understatement. The fit is perfect, I love the flat sole, and they are so light it's easy to forget I'm wearing them. Minimalist running shoes are seen as a transition from traidtional to barefoot running and while I don't think I'll go barefoot anytime soon I definitely prefer a lighter shoe. I have a pair of traditional running shoes that I wear for spinning class but every Monday night when I put them on they just feel weird. Heavy. Clunky. And it's strange to walk on that higher heel to toe drop. They get the job done for that class but I'm always itching to put my Ionix on.
I'm 2 1/2 weeks into my half-marathon training and on some runs I've noticed a slight...twinge in my left ankle. Bad sign, peeps. Sign that it's time for a replacement pair. So on Sunday I headed over to the New Balance store at Crocker Park.
(Of course, I sort of forgot that it was Sunday and that most of the stores opened later than usual so in an attempt to kill time I may have wandered into the Barnes & Noble and then it's possible I walked into Ann Taylor empty-handed and walked out with a new dress. Possibly. Maybe. Very likely. But it was their Semi-Annual Sale and the dress is so very Joan Holloway with a key hole back that was made for my 100 pound reward tattoo. So, really, it would have been a crime against the goddesses of weight loss to not buy it.)
After that small spontaneous shopping trip I walked into New Balance and told them I needed the Ionix 3090 in a 7 1/2.
Need me to measure your foot?
Want to try them on?
I wonder if all runners are like that when they go shoe shopping. That is, if they have a brand and style they know they love if they just go in and let the store know exactly what they want in their size.
(Interesting note about sizes: when I bought my very first pair of proper running shoes a year and a half ago they were a 9. Today I wear a 7 1/2. True story.)
Yesterday morning was my first run in the new pair and as soon as I laced them up I could feel the difference between these and the pair I had been running in. I was definitely well overdue. The support my older pair had been lacking from use is back and the ankle twinge is gone.
I did the math and even with all the training runs between now and October 6th I'll still have plenty of mileage left on the shoes even after the Rock 'n' Roll Cleveland Half Marathon! I'm going to try and keep better track of mileage as waiting until it hurts is probably not a good idea. Plus since I know how much I love these shoes, I can always stock up in advance if I ever happen to catch them on sale.
Love from the ashes,