Sep 24, 2014

Daily thoughts - Finding my unlikely "sole" mate

When I was in College, the official shoes sponsored by our university for our varsity team was Asics. Back then, Asics was not that popular yet, it was Nike and Adidas that was the all time favorite. For our track team however, Asics was the cheaper yet more reliable bet. 

After graduating from College I still continued running but not as regularly as I used to. I've always been loyal to Asics though because I have never had any issues with it. Occasionally, Id get Nike if it was on sale and also Adidas. In Medical school I still ran every week and switched brands from Asics, Nike and Adidas. I dont mean to diss Nike but everytime I got a pair of their running shoes, the sole just comes off. It looks great but does not deliver, not to my standards that is.

When I quit Medical School and moved to Singapore, I ran almost everyday. Running is pretty popular there but I didnt really join a lot of races. I mostly ran because I enjoy it. The shoes in Sg are a bit expensive and Asics was no execption. When it was on sale, i got myself the first Asics DS Trainers and then later on the GT 2140. I had to replace them eventually when I moved to the Philippines after my 3 years stint. 

Asics ceased being affordable once the running bug hit the Philippines. The running fever has caught on quickly that even couch potatoes I knew back in college are ardently pursuing running. For whatever reason they have, because of trend or health, its still not a bad idea. Fitness is something that I believe will never go out of style. However as is the case with anything that's considered hip, the demand for the outfit or gear necessary for the trendy activity consequently gets a hefty price tag. Nike has always been expensive and i never really cared too much for it. But I was disappointed when Asics in the Philippines followed suit. I never purchased another Asics in the Philippines because the prices are a rip off. The last brand I got was a Mizuno Wave precision 11 which was 3 years ago. I thought it was an excellent pair of shoes and was reasonably priced as well.  

Fortunately here in the US, you will always find an array of amazing and affordable running shoes. the only drawback is that since there are so many choices and great reviews, it is'nt easy to pick out the right one. Finding a perfect pair, which is not really impossible is trial error. Its almost like looking for a good husband. Lol. You truly have to try on a few to know which one works for you (the shoes I meant). 

I bought an adidas and two Asics when I first got here. I paid almost 500 usd just for running shoes. Im not into heels or other fancy shoes so i invest in sneakers. The Asics Nimbus was the last pair I bought. It was awesome and although I hated the color (shocking pink), I thought it served me well. It was light, almost had the perfect snug and didnt chafe my ankles. But it was a little tight on the toebox and it left me with semi dead pinky toe nails. Also it was not cheap.

asics nimbus 14
It was time to look for a new pair because my old ones had to retire. The basic requirements I look for in a pair of running shoes are the following:

1) roomy toebox -snug but allows you to wiggle your toes. 
2) lightweight - but doesnt have thin soles you can almost feel the ground
3) affordable- of course. whats the point of getting awesome shoes when the price is not equally great. i want to run, but i also want to be able to eat well and pay my bills. 

After thoughtful consideration and exasperating experience on reading shoe reviews, I decided to just go out of the box and try any shoe at the specialty store that felt "right". I didnt want to restrict myself to any particular brand that i have been accustomed to.  After my shift from work last March, I went to Jack Rabbit to try out their shoes. The lady who assisted me asked me a couple of questions to help me find the kind of shoe I needed. I told her I ran every week and I prefer something that wasnt too bulky but provided enough support. I unsure whether i was an under or overpronator so she asked me to run on the treadmill. (she said I am an overpronator). She didnt ask me if i had any brand preference and neither did she suggest any either. I thought it was cool because I didnt feel like i had to choose from the usual.

She brought out a couple of shoes for me to try on. I tried a pair of saucony, asics, mizuno, adidas and lastly brooks. I chose the brooks ghost 6. It was the only pair with the roomy toebox. I have these weird flat feet and urban dictionary has a term for it. Its called the duckbill platypus feet. One of the reasons I always have trouble finding the right pair of shoes is because of this. I was so glad I finally found a pair of running shoes that has that wide wiggle room for my not so dainty toes. And it was inexpensive too.

7 months later Im still so in love with this pair that if i could id even sleep in it. some people suggest that you use your running shoes only when running and alot other kind of shoes for other activities. But these shoes are so amazing that I feel like im not wearing anything when I run or walk in it. I want to use it forever but ive abused it to death that my last long run was so uncomfortable I had to accept the sad reality its over for my favorite pair of running shoes. 

The good news is, I now know what kind of shoes are perfect for me. After 21 years of running its a little strange I never figured it out that I had platypus feet and I needed something with a bigger forefoot space. The Brooks Ghost 6 is the best pair of running shoes I have ever had. It had the lightness of the Asics DS trainer, the stability of the Adidas Glide and still manages to look fashionable (although the last one is the least important quality to me).  I am seriously considering on replacing these shoes..not with the newer model but the same one but a new pair! yeah it may sound stupid to some but im close to running my long overdue race and im not taking chances by getting a different pair of shoes that may not even hold up that well. Another perk of getting the same model is that since its successor has recently come out, i can get a new pair of the old model for 60 dollars less. 

Search is over. I may switch to another model in the future but the Brooks Ghost 6 is by far the shoe that was meant for me. It would've been great if it came in orange though. 

Brooks Ghost 6

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