Papa’s Got A Brand New Shoe

After 321.7 miles my first pair of running shoes was starting to lose some steam. My feet and knees were starting to be a little achey after running. I started a 10K training program in mid-May and my miles have been increasing so it was time to start searching for new shoes lest I hurt myself.

The Nike Air Max 180+ had done their duty as a starter pair of shoes. I’d gotten lucky walking into Foot Locker and getting an salesman who actually knew the difference between shoes. This time I thought I’d see what a real running shop could do for me.

I visited A Snail’s Pace in Laguna Hills on Spiff’s recommendation. What an awesome experience! It was night and day from Foot Locker. The sales guy watched me run for a bit outside the shop to check out my stride and foot fall. After he was done watching me we went inside and he chose a few pair to start with.

I tried on a total of 8 pairs of shoes from a variety of different brands. After putting each pair on he had me go outside and take a quick run down the sidewalk and back and then rate the shoe relative to the others. At the end of about 30 minutes of sampling I couldn’t decide between two pair… so he had me put one shoe of each brand on a foot and go compare them head to head.

I ended up with the Mizuno Wave Rider 10. They’re far lighter than the Air Max shoe I had before and way more breathable. So, three cheers for A Snail’s Pace. I’ll never buy running shoes anywhere else.

The new shoes were great but did leave me with one problem: how to attach my little Nike+ transponder. The Air Max shoes had a little hole under the liner just for the transponder. It made me afraid to take the shoes on an airplane but it was cool and convenient.

I started out using a pretty generic shoe pouch. A little velcro piece attaches it to the shoe and there’s room for money, keys and the transponder. As you can see from the pictures, though, it is gargantuan and unsightly.

I poked around a bit online and spotted the SwitchEasy RunAway and immediately ordered one. The RunAway is tiny when compared to the giant shoe pouch and really easy to take on and off – alleviating my airplane fears. I ordered two and life is now good.

I’ve already put 44 miles on my new shoes in just two weeks. (If you’re interested, watch my progress here on “Running With Steam” which has a summary of all my running stats.) At this pace I’ll be searching for another pair in ~ 16 weeks.

Bad for my wallet but good for children in Africa, I suppose.

My old shoes are headed to Darfur via Sole Responsibility. If you’ve got a pair of used shoes sitting in your closet consider sending them to someone who could use them more than you do.

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