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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Testing my new wheels

Took my new wheels for an easy three-mile spin today. No, I didn’t get a new car only a new pair of running shoes.

I’ve needed a new pair for quite a while. Think I put well over 700 miles on my previous pair. I'm sure that's not a good thing, especially at my age. Kept thinking I would buy new ones after the first of the year, but since I run outside it didn’t make sense to trash a perfectly good pair in the snow and slush.

Finally got motivated yesterday to buy after I’ve been researching for a while. I’m not much of a shopper, but when I finally decide to buy, I’m pretty definite about my buying decisions. Since I’ve been running a bunch, I made the decision to spend more than my usual $50.

Ended up with a pair of Asics GT-2100 GELs. Sounds like a snazzy sports car, and the prices reflect that. Though I spent $89.99 I could have spent $50 more! I like running, but not enough to spend $140 on a pair of shoes.

My son wanted me to go for the Nike Shocks. I tried them on, but those shock absorbers under the heels felt bizarre on my feet, not at all natural. I’ve been a fan of New Balance running shoes but on a whim decided to try the Asics. After all, if the editors of Runner’s World deemed them “Choice," they were good enough for me.

I’ve got these scrawny ankles that fan out into a wider foot, making fitting shoes often difficult. Though I typically wear size 7, I bought a 7-1/2 to keep from damaging my toes (though that may be a lost cause). I liked how the Asics grabbed hold of my ankles and made them feel as if a rolling an ankle would be impossible. So I kicked the tires, or the tips of the toes on the ground, did a few deep-knee bends to feel how they cushion and jogged a bit in place. “Sold!” I told the young salesman. In and out in 30 minutes.

This morning I opened the box and unwrapped them from the tissue to really put them to the test. I snipped off the tag—or shall I say TAGS….

There are five tags attached to my shoes. Five! What I’m paying for is no less than the miracle of modern science. One tag simply gave instructions on the care of my new shoes. Another told me about the durable outsole technology that offers “weight reduction, flexibility, traction and durability.” Well, all right. Sounds good to me.

It seems the GEL in the name refers to the cushioning system. “The ASICS GEL Cushioning System has the ability to absorb shock by dissipating vertical impact and dispersing it into a horizontal plane.” Huh. I visualize the impact of feet hitting the pavement sending shockwaves out the sides of my feet. Watch out for my wake.

3M Scotchlite is the reflective material found on my shoes. The tag even has a diagram demonstrating how the reflection bounces from a car’s headlights back into a driver’s eyes. I don’t normally run in the dark so that wasn’t a compelling buying decision.

And finally, there’s Speva, which is made from special polymers used in the midsole to give me “bounce back” properties. Very cool. If I was at all hesitant, there’s a tiny little sticker on the box that reads, “Accepted American Podiatric Medical Association.” Well now, even the docs think this is a good shoe. Given the tattered condition of my feet, I feel so much better knowing the foot docs approve.

My test drive was a success. The new kicks work well, nice heel-to-toe cushioning. Could’ve run for five miles today, but I’ve got too much work to finish this morning. Of course maybe it’s not the shoes that inspired my distance this morning, but the new Nike athletic bra. There’s nothing like the feeling of binding anything that moves to make you feel as if you’re a gazelle in spiffy new shoes.

1 comment:

Steve FitzGerald said...

New kicks... for joy! New Balance and Nike were my all-time favorite shoes in a previous life of regular running. Wendy, I gotta give you credit for having discipline enough to keep running. I still have shoes -- all-black Nike BRS 1000s -- that look like something Spider Man would wear. (Probably why they were on the clearance table, reeeeal cheap!) Alas, I've become a classic computer potato... sigh.

Wendy, I hope your new kicks bring you miles and miles of reflections, clarity and blog entries!

All the Best,
Steve FitzGerald