Don’t buy running shoes at the grocery store

Samantha Durnford's new blog "Fashionably Fit" chronicles her search for pink running shoes, and how it helped her get through the "10K wall."

August 19th, 2011 by | Posted in Uncategorized |

I figured being a runner was just as simple as putting on running shoes (normal ones, not those cool Pumas I wore in high school) and jogging with my iPod.

With a new goal to run a half-marathon this fall, I set out to get some shoes.

I’ve currently never owned a pair of running shoes except old basketball shoes from my glory days and cheerleading sneakers from when I was 17.

I knew that I wanted something that looked cool. Trading in flip-flops for running shoes didn’t mean I would have to give up my sense of fashion. So I had in mind color: pink, obviously. And, I had decided that I wasn’t buying a brand I had never heard of, because that’s never cool.

The task seemed easy enough. As my mom and I browsed Costco for bulk chicken breasts and a cheap box of kitty litter, I looked up to see a $30 pair of running shoes beaming down at me. They were pink, had a brand I knew and trusted, and were in my price range, which was whatever cash I had at the bottom of my purse.

Perfect!

I scooped them up, paid for them, and took them straight home to try them out. I walked around the house and they felt like walking on a cloud. This is probably because years of ballet flats and flip-flops make any kind of shoe with laces feel like a pillow. But, I felt good about my shoes.

Later that night, I set out on my first run which I had planned for about 10K. It went well and I wasn’t out of breath, but my feet and legs felt like rubber.

The next day, again, I ran about 10K and I turned around. My feet felt heavy and my knees didn’t seem to want to work any more. It was as if I had to talk them into taking another step.

I didn’t really think much of the fatigue. My shoes felt comfy, my lungs felt fine, my muscles just must have been out of practice.

But, the next week, when I continued to hit my 10k wall without even being out of breath or tired, I started wondering if something was up, or if I was just doomed.

That weekend, I went to a party and met a girl that had just ran a half-marathon.

I asked her, “Is it normal for my legs and feet to feel like I was walking around the mall all day when I run?”
She asked me what shoes I was wearing and that’s when it hit me. My shoes were buying me $30 worth of run time, if run time could be bought.

The next Monday, I headed to the nearest sport store and dropped some reasonable money for a decent pair of shoes (Asics Gel-Pulse). My old pair might have felt like a walking on a cloud, but compared to these new kicks, they feel like bricks.

I love my new shoes even though they may not be as cool as a new pair of red pumps. I learned that running isn’t about looking good—it’s about feeling good.

Oh, and I’m happy to say that since then I’ve waved goodbye to my 10K wall.

Categories: Uncategorized