Last weekend I got three shoes. Yes, three!
One was made of cake, to celebrate my birthday. (Footwear fans among you will note that it’s a right shoe and that the brand logo seems original.) The outside of the shoe and the running track were icing, what our American friends call frosting. Inside the shoe – the foot, as it were – was a filling of chocolate and biscuit. It was all delicious and a complete surprise.
The other two shoes were a pair; not edible but no less welcome for that. I got myself a new pair of running shoes.
This wasn’t just a birthday treat for myself – I had run two marathons in the 12 months of my current pair, so ahead of serious training for the Dublin Marathon I wanted to break in a new pair.
To be honest, even though my current runners – Asics GT-2160 – got me around two of my three fastest-ever marathons, I was never entirely happy with them. I got them after doing gait analysis in a sports shop, where the assistant overcame the queasy feeling in her stomach to tell me I needed overpronator soles.
But the shoes felt very clunky at first, and even 12 months of wearing down the undercarriage hasn’t lessened the feeling that I’m running with tennis rackets as snowshoes on my feet.
Also, this pair of Asics seems to have come apart very easily compared to previous Reebok runners I owned. The outside seam is splitting and my toe can poke up through a hole in the mesh.
Even if I’ve been heel-striking, I never caused such holes in previous shoes. I don’t think I’ll be buying Asics again.
The new pair are Brooks Vapor 10. I haven’t run in Brooks before, though I’m aware that plenty of serious runners are big fans of their range.
Anyway, these shoes feel stable without being too clunky, and they fit nicely while still leaving space for my feet to expand in the heat of battle. (A size above your normal shoe size, remember.)
It takes time to break in new shoes, and to avoid blisters I’m not going to take them out running while they’re fresh from the box. So, for the next couple of weeks I’ll wear them around the house and when I’ve to pop out to the shop.
That’ll take me up to the start of July, when I’ll begin my serious training for the Dublin Marathon with new shoes primed for another marathon adventure.