The smell. The look. The anticipation.
There's nothing like a new pair of shoes.
Except two new pairs of shoes.
Two brightly colored pairs for my two favorite workouts - BODYPUMP and running.
With a new season upon us, it was time again to replace the good ole running shoes. My Nike Zoom Structure Triax have just shy of 400 miles on them, and I can tell. I've felt a bit more achy and had some minor foot pain during runs. It's the kind of feeling when you go, "Oh, shit. I hope I'm not injured," only to look at your training log and realize you haven't bought new shoes since you trashed them in the December HUFF relay.
While I flirt with the idea of going minimal (and regularly salivate over the Nike Frees), the Structures have served me well and I have no desire to mess with something good. I haven't suffered any kind of pain or trouble while wearing them, and I have been able to do a variety of training with them. They offer a stable ride, decent cushioning and a low profile without being overly heavy.
I prefer to get my shoes from the local running store but I also try to keep an eye on sales when I new shoes will be needed imminently. And an online sale I found. I found the fantastically bright Structures - something I haven't seen - on Zappos for about $15 off. Factoring in they have free shipping, I snapped them up so quickly I looked like Shalane Flanagan.
I haven't worn them yet as I am saving them for June 1 to make it easier, logging wise, but I'm dying. Dying, I tell you, to lace them up.
While my running shoe need wasn't urgent, the necessity of a cross training shoe was. I've been wearing my Vibram Five Fingers to BODYPUMP because they offer more flexibility than my typical trainers (aka retired running shoes). Though the VFF allow me more stability in lunges (because I can flex my foot), they offer no cushion when executing BODYPUMP 81's famous propulsion lunge. At times, my feet felt bruised after class because of the impact.
I did some searching for a good cross training shoe but many of them are for more casual exercisers or generic activities. I was about to get real frustrated but I can across a forum where a reviewer mentioned the Nike Free trainers and using them for Zumba. The shoe offered flexibility, important in Zumba, and support.
I turned to my best friend, Nike.com, and began looking at the options. They have several training shoes under the Free line but an email about a clearance pair + a discount code had me sold on the Nike Free TR Fit 2. A $90 pair of shoes for $45? Yes. NOW. Especially when they are offensively bright.
I wore the shoes for PUMP on Saturday (had to skip last night because my upper body is crazy sore from gardening), and I was very happy with the shoes. The uppers are soft and flexible, and it felt like I was slipping on a pillow. The shoes were comfortable but flexible, and I had not a single issue performing the propulsion lunge.
Well, with the exception of my own balance and stability. Details, details.
What are your favorite workout shoes? Are you loyal to a specific brand? As you can tell I like Nike. I sometimes feel like I need to wear Brooks or Saucony to be like the cool kids but the truth is, I love Nike. Maybe it's because they were the epitome of cool growing up and we couldn't afford them or it could be because they make great functional, stylish shoes.