This is a happy tale of a small dream come true. If you’re a loyal reader of this blog, you know that 1) I am a fervent Nike fan girl and 2) the Practical Fashionista in me delights at finding clothes, accessories, and even artwork that are both stylish and sensible. But sometimes, you can’t have it all.
When it comes to running shoes, I’ve always longed to wear Nike. Duh. Unfortunately, since none of their stability models ever fit my overpronating feet just right, I was forced to choose function over form. So up until about a year ago, my go-to running shoes were the Brooks Adrenaline GTS. In 2006, I ran my first race, the Quantico Half-Marathon (the venue has since moved to Fredericksburg), in them. I also wore them for a bunch of ten-milers and my first full marathon in 2010. While they protected my tootsies, the Adrenalines weren’t exactly the most appealing eye candy:
I admit that I had to swallow my fashionista pride every time I went out in them. They looked and felt like bulky contraptions. What was with all those diagonal lines criss-crossing the sides? Were they supposed to make them look cool and futuristic? Ugh! Instead, their design reminded me of the Transformers:
Brooks then tweaked the Adrenaline model and added stitching to its sock liner which rubbed my foot so much that I developed a huge blood blister after thirty minutes. I had to ditch them and find something else–fast. My local running store fitted me with the Asics GT-2170:
These felt more streamlined than the Brooks, and I liked the bright green accents.
The overall look-and-feel, though, was still a bit chunky and heavy—like this Kawasaki motorcycle:
I mean, if I were forced to ride a two-wheeled motor vehicle, the Vespa would be more my speed. At any rate, I had to abandon the Asics after discovering that the toe box was a tad too narrow for my wide, flat feet. I soon developed a large, uncomfortable callous on the side of my big toe. (My two other beefs with the Asics: the shoelaces were ridiculously too short, and it was a monumental pain to get your foot in and out of the shoe.)
Well, as luck would have it, Nike recently launched their LunarGlide+ 4. It’s a lightweight shoe that offers stability. Could this be The One? Could my dream of wearing Nike running shoes finally be realized? I hightailed it over to that same running store and sat nervously as the salesgirl emerged from the stockroom with a bright orange shoebox. My Cinderella moment would have to be delayed, though. The store only had a size 8. But I tried them on anyway. They were springy and light with a glove-like fit, wide-enough toe box, and minimal seams. I went straight home, logged onto nike.com and ordered a size 8.5:
Aah, hooray for simplicity:
It reminds me of artist Lisa Rodden’s amazing paper creations:
In the end, my little dream did come true. And when anyone asks why I smile so much when running, I say, “It’s the shoes.”