I remember my first pair of what I thought was a “good” pair of running shoes. I was a freshman in high school and the coach noticed my shoes and encouraged me to buy some good shoes for running so my Mom took me to the local department store to purchase my first pair of “running” shoes. The selection of athletic shoes was slim at best. As I looked through the few athletic shoes they had only one that claimed “running” shoe.
I remember the name of the shoes distinctly; they had the inscription “the winner” on them and were completely white – soles and all. Silently I chuckled at the name and resisting the temptation of holding up the all popular “L” finger sign on my forehead, but not being well-to-do folks, they would have to do. They seemed relatively expensive compared to the regular cheap “tennies” I had grown accustomed to wearing for most the cross-country season. So we purchased them. Although they were not your typical name brand shoes, I was still excited to have something that was new and better than what I had. Now 25 years later I have learned the importance of good running shoes.
There is a lot of hype lately about running in bare feet and I do believe that is valuable to allow your body to learn how to run efficiently with proper form. I can often be found at an outdoor track running barefoot and working on my form. I would have to admit that on a regular basis I prefer to wear shoes. Not only do they protect my feet and keep them warm in cold weather but they are comfortable. I have suffered very few injuries over my many years as a runner and I believe it is due to always having good shoes along with practicing proper stretching, resting enough, eating healthy and staying hydrated. I truly believe it is important to buy good shoes. Good is a relative term, but I am not talking about your department store “the winner” shoes, but your name brand shoes found at a specialty running shop.