Best Running Shoes
in Workout Wear
I grew up running. I ran after school in elementary school, joined a track and field club by the age of 9, and spent most of my middle and high school years competing in the 400 and 800 meter sprints. I ended up quitting competitive racing, in grade 11, because of the pain and persistent injury and all-consuming all-outness of the sport, but it’s still what I fall back on. Nothing soothes me like a long, meandering run through sun-slanted forest leaves, past neat rows of houses and up leaf-covered trails. It’s just motivating myself to do it: while I’m immersed in it there’s no better feeling.
Running, for me, is the ultimate workout: if done everyday, you’re guaranteed to have lean legs, ripped arms, and a muscled stomach. And, the non-physical benefits are many: it’s free, and when you’re running hard there’s no room for worry, angst, or defeat. It’s just you, your beating heart, and the elements. And, of course, your running shoes.
When I ran competitive track, there was seemingly only one choice in running shoes: Nike Airs. Everyone on my team had them: they were thick, and loud, and painstakingly white and I donned them with glee.
But duuuude, they’re ugly. I don’t know what’s up with the white mesh and all the embellishments, but I now hate the way these shoes look. They’re semi-comfortable, but in adulthood I never felt my groove with them, and I started looking for alternatives.
RYKA makes athletic shoes geared for women: they claim to be narrower in the heel and wider in the forefoot to aid in your performance. I was given a pair to test-drive a year and a half ago and I have to say: they were way better than my Nike Airs. They disintegrated after a multitude of muddy trail runs, but I remember them with affection – and a little dismay for the mesh. Why all the white mesh, athletic shoe companies?
I went on the hunt for some semi-stylish shoes that could still perform – black ones maybe? I am 6 feet tall with size ten feet and the white just soaks up mud and makes my feet look like planks. How about these?
I bought these for just over a hundred bucks at the local Nike store – they’re men’s shoes, but the Very Smart Salesperson assured me my feet were big enough to be worn by them with pride. How excellent! A purpose for my gigantor feet! And I liked the green! It wouldn’t clash with my grey Lululemons and they felt kind of…sprockety.
But by my third run, they chafed on my ankles and gave me blood blisters. Not cool.
And so I went shoe shopping and found these:
New Balance running shoes have kind of a cult following among serious runners and for good reason: I soar on these things, and they look as good as they feel. Wearing these, a long tank top, a comfy hoodie, and extra tall lululemons — I am set to jet. I am pretty sure I’ll buy this brand of running shoes for as long as my limbs can flail.
What are your favorite running shoes?