I admit that part of what sparked my desire to buy new running shoes was seeing all the wonderful, bright colored Nikes in the gym and on my BFFs Instagram photos. But, in all honesty, I’ve had the same pair since 2008, the summer before I left for college [side bar: I should also confess that before buying that pair of Nike Zooms I hadn’t bought any athletic shoes since 2004…I’m not an athlete, and after I took P.E. my first year of HS, I didn’t have to do that many athletic things], and my beau told me that it’s bad that I have been using the same shoes for five years. I didn’t think it was a big deal. I only wear the shoes to the gym, where I use the ellipticals and towing machines. There were those two summers I vowed to run outdoors when I couldn’t afford gym memberships, but if I am being honest, I only actually ran outdoors maybe 15 times total.
I figured that my Nikes have approximate a full years worth of wear and tear compared to a serious running type. But, I never imagined that when I embarked on this search to buy new running shoes, I would be overwhelmed and clueless. I wanted to get a feel for some styles, colors, brands before I show my face in a shoe store, but I literally do not know what I am looking at. The names tell me nothing about what might make it a good elliptical/rowing machine shoe for me and the photos only dissuade me because so many look like those Sketcher’s shape-up shoes that got popular a few years ago. I googled “advice for buying running shoes” the results didn’t even make sense to me because I am not a serious enough athlete.
Then I thought, I want this to be an ethical purchase, in light of the fact that my 365-day challenge to not buy new clothes is partially done out of protest the garment industry’s exploiting labor overseas. But, it turns out, nearly all athletic shoes are made abroad, and despite New Balance’s claim to be the last American company making their shoes here, only 25% (like 8 total running shoe models) of the products are made here, and they are military themed (at least the women’s shoes are), and they are ugly. I share in the same woes as this blogger on her search a year ago.
I am not rushing this process because I do want to get new running shoes that are good looking (I have a fashionable reputation to uphold) and also shoes that are going to be good for my feet/body given the types of working out I actually do, and I would like to buy more ethically responsible shoes (if it’s at all possible these days). I also have some time before I actually start collecting real paychecks again.
But, in the meantime, any advice anyone can offer me about buying running shoes, I would be very grateful.