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The Running Shoe Generation Gap

Women Running Shoes

Women Running Shoes

Your feet take the brunt of the punishment during running, each one pounds the ground some 600 times per km. Running shoes are therefore, the most important equipment needed to absorb shock and to remain injury free..

For me purchasing new running shoes is purely a necessity purchase, not something that I look forward to with pleasure or relish. Apart from having to fork out well over a 100€ [Euros] a shot, you have to give up the comfort you have grown used to with your current pair, you are faced with the terror of new shoes. You know that you must not procrastinate the purchase, as it is vital to change shoes to avoid injury. But each new pair represents the risk of blisters, chaffing, hot spots from new insoles, metatarsal or foot pain across the top of the foot. Not-to-mention tripping up on your brand new thick treads.

I admit that I am from the generation where running shoes were just one step up from canvas tennis shoes. I have always found running shoes to be pretty hideous; and especially unfeminine. I certainly never imagined they might become fashion accessories. I have lived through all the marketing gimmicks such as torsion bars, air pads and every wild colour combination under the sun. Conservative me has stuck to the same brand name and model for at least a decade. My 100-km+ running weeks ensure that I have to change my running shoes at least 4 times a year.

I have become accustomed to the shock-surprise of going into the store and asking for my model shoe and discovering that each time it has been completely refurbished in a new colour scheme and sometimes with various new plastic shiny reflectors or extensions. On more than one occasion, I have been so turned off by the colours that I almost changed brands. But I have learnt the lesson, that with running shoes, comfort before looks is important. Let’s face it, at the price they come, you can’t afford to waste a pair of shoes through a bad choice. After a few trail runs in the mud they all look the same anyway.

Shoe Gap GenerationSo, I thought I had seen it all by now, however I have to say that my latest trip to the running store made me feel like I had been a sleeping beauty and that I had stopped running for the last 15 years at least. I had to pinch myself that it was just three months ago that I was in the very same store. All the shoes seemed to look like cyber models out of a Lara Croft computer game, not like sports shoes for serious runners. Ok, so I have to admit they do look cool and less bulky, but when presented with my fetish shoe in the “new look” sans laces, I felt immediately sceptical. What is more, I could not manage to slip them onto my foot without a shoehorn, is this supposed to be progress? Then they have this neoprene flap thing that goes over the top of the foot which sort of hooks onto the other side, a bit like a garter, and I couldn’t help wondering if this contraption is secure? After bouncing up and down in them in the store and a little test run outdoors, it didn’t seem that I had much of a choice. Even though I felt very conspicuous, I found them to be most comfortable walking home in them, they felt like I was wearing some sort of diving sock, not a running shoe at all.

Day one, I did a test run in them for 1hour and 30 minutes. Weird. It felt like I had a stretch bandage over my foot, but there are no blisters or other side effects to report, so I guess this is something to get used to, along with keeping the shoe horn out of baby’s reach.

The question is, how long is this trend here for, is this yet another gimmick, or will the art of tying shoelaces be a thing of the past?

Further Articles by Cassandra under the Women’s section covering :

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