I’ve been training for my first ever 5K in September–Color Me Rad–which is pretty out of character for me since I hate running. I kind of figured it’s something I should try sometime in my life, and I thought it would be fun to actually invest in some workout gear and try out some new technology. Plus, doesn’t this look fun?
For the next few days, I’ll post some of what I’ve found, starting today with arguably the most important running gear–shoes.
I don’t really have a good reason for liking Nike, but I do (even though I know they have a record of having some sketchy labor practices, which from what I could tell has been somewhat worked out… I hope). I went on their website to browse for shoes and they had a custom shoe builder. I’m a sucker for these kinds of features on websites (I could spend all day designing cars on car websites). When looking for a running shoe, I had a few requirements:
1. Good support for flat feet
I have the flattest feet ever. Every part of them touches the ground when I walk. I was not blessed with an arch. Doing ballet sucked. Running puts a lot of stress on my feet but I can’t wear normal arched athletic shoes because my feet will hurt for days–and not that good, strengthening ache, but a serious pain. I like to avoid that when possible.
If I plan to train and then run a race in them, they needed to last longer than the cheap pairs I had been buying from Target for the past few years.
I figure if I’m going to invest in good athletic shoes, they should probably be cute enough to wear to work or out and about. My last workout shoes were pretty funky looking (in a bad way), and I like my gear to be multifunctional.
I also really wanted shoes that look like Faith’s from Mirror’s Edge. It’s my favorite video game which happens to be about running. The shoes I designed are loosely inspired by that. I actually really want a whole running outfit based on hers in the game since it’s pretty badass.
(There are actual running shoes that are much closer to what she wears in the game, meant for freerunners or parkour enthusiasts. I wanted pretty normal shoes so I stuck with my choice.)
I used the Nike Free Run iD Running Shoe creator to make my shoes. I picked the Free 5.0 for both the upper and midsole. I also added the word “Runner” in bright green (Runners are the group of messengers in Mirror’s Edge) for a bit of geeky inspiration.
I love these shoes. I want to wear them all the time. I never realized how helpful having a great pair of athletic shoes can be. That’s no surprise for experienced runners but it’s something I never really thought much about until recently. I like how light they are and how cool they keep my feet while working out. I can feel my soles strengthening quite a bit–they ache a little after running, which I think is inevitable, but they feel like they are toughening up. I like how much give the midsoles provide–when I land, it’s much more of an ease into the ground, springing me into the next step, rather than just letting my feet stomp. Plus, they are made with durable materials and withstand dirt/water/grass well, so that’s nice.
The design has some nice detail, but these shoes feel great and have helped make running an activity I actually look forward to now. Investing in good, customized gear really does go a long way.