Monday, July 26, 2010

Shoe Shopping

I hate shoe shopping. Maybe this makes me the anti-woman....aren't we supposed to loooove shoes? I have nothing against shoes. I think there are many very pretty ones that I wouldn't mind having. The problem is that they never come in my size. Ever. I have big feet. For high school sports I often shopped from the men's racks because I knew they would carry my size in stock. And while I was looking for the perfect heels to go with my prom dress, the sales girl actually laughed when I told her what size to bring out. She laughed! It scarred me for life. As a result I have a measly shoe collection which really doesn't bother me a bit. I pretty much live in five dollar flip flops and for some reason or other they always come in size gargantuan. 

I've been active pretty much all my life. I played basketball and volleyball in high school, intramurals in college and have done my share of training competitions and races. Women's athletic shoes have come a long way since I was younger and now it's not so hard to find a pretty pair of running shoes. But previous experiences keep me from the store and as a result I over-wear my shoes. The average pair of running shoes should give the wearer 300 to 500 miles before they wear out enough to cause problems like foot and knee pain. The pair I am currently slogging away in have many more than that.  My knees and hips hurt all the time and my feet will not push past that sixth mile.

 Looking a little rough...

Plus, I am in the process of training for a sixty mile (yes that's six-zero) charity walk in November. The Susan G. Komen 3 Day For The Cure is a cause near and dear to my heart. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor and my sweet friend Marilyn, who introduced my husband and I, is also a survivor. I am doing this walk for them. If they can go through chemo and radiation and do with a smile on their face, the least I can do to show support is raise a ton of money and wear out my body by walking 60 miles over the course of three days. But to do this, I'm gonna need some new shoes....

I have little sentimental attachment to my current shoes. I love them. I'm reluctant to let them go because:

1) They are one of my most favorite shades of blue and they are the most feminine athletic shoes I've ever owned.

2) I ran my very first 5K in them. 

 Me and my shoes crossing the finish line 
(I'm the one in the magenta shorts)

I hate to think of my shoes in a dumpster somewhere, clogging up some landfill and not being loved. I know they're just shoes, but we've put in a lot of miles together. They're a little too ratty to donate so, I've decided that instead of throwing them away, I will recycle them. Nike has a program called Reuse a Shoe. You can either drop off or mail your used athletic shoes to their processing plant and they will grind up your shoes to make athletic and playground surfaces. I will have to mail them as there is no drop off within a reasonable distance. But just think, someday my kids could be running on top of my old shoes! Neat-o, huh?


  1. My shoes look much much worse, but do not have the miles on them. I dream of running but am convinced I don't have the right build or it. My running shoes (bought on an optimistic day) are now my housework shoes, when I know I'll be on my feet all day!
    Hooray for you, signing on to do such an ambitious and worthy project! Love the idea of recycling shoes that way, too! Your dialogue with my mom about cricket poop cracked me up.

  2. First of all, I HATE shopping except for shoe and stationary shopping.
    There is nothing like anew pair of sppportive running shoes. I love that there is somewhere to send the old ones. I have about 5 pairs of "garden/yardwork" running shoes. Really funny, since I don't garden or do yard work. I do love my candy apple red stilettos, though. Good read.....

  3. Stephanie G: Please email me your snail mail address to
    I wrote you a letter today!!


  4. i find shoe shopping fun wherein i can try lots of different shoes..the hardest part for me was when i have to choose just one.

  5. You and Mike read the book "Born to Run". It will change your outlook on whether we humans were really meant to run in, or even wear, shoes. After all is said and done, we weren't born with shoes on our feet, so do we really need an 1 1/2 inches of gel/air cushioning and plastic devices trying to control whether we pronate or not? People think I'm crazy when I say it, but read the book. It's partially about the Tarahumara AKA Raramuri tribe from northern Mexico. Great nutritional content too. Talk about going green!