Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Heart and sole

 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,, 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.


  1. both are super cute!!! love the bright colors. I'm pretty loyal to altra now. It took me FOREVER to find a shoe I was completely loyal to. With a wide toe box, I had trouble staying in one specific shoe for long and feeling comfy. Altra's wider toe box make them a no brainer for me. I'm always tempted to stray to try other "hot new shoes" especially new minamalist ones, but I feel like you, if it works, don't mess with it

  2. Ohhh they are sooo shiny and new - oohhhhh ahhhhhhhh! Hope they bring you hours and miles of joy!

  3. I'm also a Nike girl. I love them and they just work best for me. I know what you are saying about feeling like you should wear a Brooks or Saucony...but that's just middle school Michelle talking! :)

    Enjoy the fun new shoes! I love how they come in such fun colors now. The last few years have done wonders for the availability of running clothes and running shoes (in my opinion).

  4. I am loyal to brooks, but only because they feel like "home" on my feet (not just for the name). When I was growing up, I LOVED nikes. I still remember how HAPPY I was to get my very first pair of leather nikes (with the powder blue swoosh). Bliss.

  5. Love the great colors you chose. I used to be nothing but Nike and then I decided to try a running specific brand and went with a pair of Brooks. I was truly amazed at the difference between those and my Nike's. Ironically enough I happened to pick the perfect shoe for me at the time. After I went and had my form looked at it turned out I had randomly chosen a great shoe. I have tried Saucony's (because I really want to love them, they have great colors), however I ended up hating them. I've also recently introduced some Mizuno's and I'm liking them. But I continue to gravitate back to my Brooks every time. Guess I'm just a Brooks girl at heart. And like you, why fix what's not broken?

  6. Nothing is better than new pair of running shoes..I love the smell when I open up the box. Well, it's the only chemical smell I like..hahaha I am loyal to Saucony and have been wearing them since 9th grade x-c in (gulp) 1991!