Friday, August 20, 2010

Shoe Phobia

Like most runners I'm like a little kid on Christmas morning when I get new shoes. I see that box leaning up against my front door when I get home and do a little dance in my head. I've treated myself twice in the past couple of weeks. I ordered a pair of this year's Adidas AdiZero Manas to replace my current ones, and I took a flyer on some Saucony ProGrid Kinvaras I've read a lot about lately.

Perhaps I'll review each of these shoes at a later date, but for now I wanted to pose this question to other runners. Are you reluctant to use your new shoes? Because I am. My new Manas have been sitting in their box for over a week, and I'm in no hurry to pull out the Kinvaras. Why?

Adidas AdiZero Manas
First, the Manas. I've gone through two pairs now and I absolutely love them. The new pair I purchased are blue though, whereas my old ones are orange. No, I don't care about the color, but I wonder what else has changed. Have they tweaked the design, or am I getting the same shoe as before? I'm paranoid about this because once upon a time I loved the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 7s. Then they came out with the 8s. I wore those too, but they weren't quite the same. Then I tried the 9s, and they felt like even more of a departure from what I started out with. When they came out with the 10s I finally decided to look for something different. They didn't cause me injury that I'm aware of, but I grew tired of the small differences from generation to generation.

Saucony ProGrid Kinvaras
Speaking of injury, that's the second reason I'm reluctant to step into new shoes. Right now I'm healthy. Why should I take a chance on something completely new, like the Kinvaras? I did wear them around the house on carpet for a couple of hours and found them to be significantly different than the Manas. Even though they're both minimalist shoes, the arch support on the Kinvaras is much more pronounced. Is this something I just need to get used to, or is it a feature that could induce injury?

Finally, the dumbest reason for not wanting to run in my new shoes. They're pretty. It's not that I care if my shoes get dirty, because eventually they all do. But right now the brutally hot and humid Alabama summer makes me sweat an obscene amount. I can literally wring out my clothes at the end of a run and my shoes, well, they could be used to sink a mobster. They would end up looking like old dish rags after just a few miles. This reason is low on the list, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit it's a consideration.

So, do you intentionally hold out on running in new shoes? If so, what quirky reasons do you come up with?


  1. I'm not at all reluctant to use new shoes - in fact, I usually want to go right out and run immediately. For some reason, my shoes stay clean for a long time; the Brooks Ghosts I'm trying to sell have 36 miles and look brand new, and even my Mizuno's at 238 miles show very little wear. It's been a strange summer up here - not once have I had to run in the rain (and I haven't made any effort to avoid doing so). I usually keep a slightly older pair around to use if the conditions are bad, so I guess I'm a little vain about shoes.

  2. I don't hesitate to use my new shoes, in fact, just the opposite. I can't wait!!!! I AM, though, always nervous that they'll have changed them from the previous model. What if they are different, and what if the difference is enough to cause injury?

    I don't think you're vain, you just take pride in your shoes. Nothing wrong with that!!! :-)

  3. I have the same nerves about changing shoes (After wearing them for the past 6 years, I just switched from the asics 2100 series because I didn't like the changes for the 2150s). As for running in the new shoes - I'll keep them off the trails and out of the mud until I *have* to wear them (when my old shoes are completely flat).