Like budder....

Last week my legs really started to whinge and then openly scream their objections regarding my cheapness and failure to provide them with new running shoes at the recommended 400 mile mark which seems to be one thing that you cannot seem to get away with fudging on and being cheap about. Your legs, they KNOW when your shoes are running on borrowed time, and they don't care whether or not your bank account is running on borrowed money (on account of it all being stolen for cigarettes and such). They want new shoes and they want them NOW or somebody(part) is going to get hurt man! There is no negotiating with the legs when they get like that.

It had been close to a year and many thudding miles since I got my last pair, and since the legs had made it so very clear that I was risking major injury by not giving in to their demands, we decided to make the pilgrimage to the awesome running store with all the smart wirey looking people who tell the dumb wannabes what to do in order not to kill or maim themselves in their athletic efforts. Said store is far, far away (because we like to live in places which are far, far away from anything cool) so we generally make a family outing of it and go out for a high calorie meal after getting all geared up for running.

Aaron and the kids remained in the car as I "dashed" in with the intention of just grabbing the same pair as I had been running in (as they rock, when they are not millions of miles old). I made eye contact with a wiry but compassionate looking young fellow named Ryan (actually he is probably quite a bit older then me and saying "young fellow" makes you seem very geriatric doesn't it? ) who rushed over to assist me. No doubt having visions of hefty commissions dancing in his head as he saw me reaching out involuntarily to touch all the pr-etty, preeeeteeeeee shiny running clothes. (I think I have previously established here that I am compelled to touch all fabrics in all Well I am. I'm like, 2 years old that way)

Incidentally, why is it that technical running clothing (which is generally quite ugly) is so insanely expensive? I saw something that actually made me recoil at its hideousness, for like $85, and it was a t-shirt. I did not see wings or a turbo pack sewn into it anywhere either.

Anyway, back to Ryan. So Ryan was happy at that moment I am sure. He whipped off my worn down running shoes and started checking out my arches and finding out how fast (not terribly) and far (reasonably) I run, and finding me the appropriate shoe.

So I was laced into various shoes, and running through the store, out on the sidewalk, happily waving to the family in the car, as Ryan's eyes got increasingly glazed over, and he realized that he was losing the sales of an entire track team, while I deliberated in an OCD like manner over two different pairs of mid-priced shoes. Of course in the end, I found that the most deliciously comfortable and cushy shoe was.... the exact shoe I had been running in prior to this outing. Which also happened to be the one Ryan himself runs in. It may be psychological, but I ran a faster 5K then I have run in a while today in those little orange cushy pretties, and legs sent messages of their appeasement too.

Since this is a question I am asked a lot (as if I am the world authority on running shoes), if you are in the market for a shoe and like me, have a pretty normal foot, stable arch and do not pronate, you may want to check out this one.

The one that came in a close second was this one.

But now onto even more important business. I have found the holy grail of running socks! Wirey Ryan was quite emotionally invested in how these socks had changed his life, and I'm all like, "whatever, Ryan,'s a sock, you need to get out more, fella" (Ok really, I was all big eyed and rapid nodding the way you do when you are in the presence of people who know way more about stuff that interests you then you do). But still, I was sceptical that these socks are going to be the religious experience that Wirey Ryan claims they would be, until I slipped them on...and my soles achieved nirvana. Duuuuuuuuuuuuude. I never, never wanted to take off those socks. In fact I am craving wearing them right now just thinking about them, (but alas they are sweaty and unwashed). They feel like silk, soo smooth and soft and just plain yummy (hence the "like budder" title). Sadly, like many good running socks, they are around $10 a pop so my instinct to grab as many pairs as it would take to wrap my entire body in and just roll around in ecstasy, was thwarted. I should have at least bought two pair, because now I guess I am going to be compelled to wash this pair daily as my feet can never go back to the horror I was subjecting them to before in, you know, $8 a pop running socks. Shameful and abusive I am to my poor feet really. Bless their soles (Speaking of shameful and abusive, I hearby apologise and promise that this is the last time I will ever use that very pathetic pun).

I was even more delighted by my new discovery (with the assistance of Wirey Ryan) when I saw that they are made in South Africa. Which explains everything. I expect to have no more issues with the huge blisters at the end of each of my toes and the threat of lost toenails whenever I run more then 5 miles.

These socks are edging out my steam mop for most favourite inanimate object. Well ok I get carried away, maybe not. (At least not until the muddy season is over) but they are neck on neck and creeping up quite close behind the light box and they may even outdo the shoes themselves.

So without further ado, I give you... Belega socks.
Do not let their humble appearance fool you.

So I guess all that is left to say is, Just do it and balega* baby! Happy trails.

*Balega is a Zulu word and literally translates as " TO MOVE WITH SPEED ."

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nyn said...

I am having some major shoe envy. It is that time for me to buy some new shoes as well. I am really grateful for your suggestions. I am taking them with me to the store!! I love good socks too, I might have to bite the bullet and get some of those. I figure if I am going broke buying good shoes may as well throw in the socks too.

Amz said...

Such a great post Kirsty! You had me laughing so hard....I guess because I've been there and can envision it all so well. Your shoes look great...I'll have to remember them, when I hit my mark. As far as the are like the 3rd person who has went to the moon and back over those. Guess I'll have to check 'em out now!

Samantha said...

Sorry that I'm only getting around to leave this comment now... I've had the page marked for ages. I just wanted to say that I am a big proponent of getting new running shoes at regular, frequent intervals, whatever the cost. I injured myself when I was first starting to run regularly because my shoes were old, and ended up taking months off of running* (and even so my feet didn't feel right for a couple of years). The shoes *looked* fine, but they weren't. These days, I sometimes start to feel twinges even at ~250 miles... I certainly can't go the full 400 miles. Something that does seem to help, if you run back-to-back days, is having two simultaneous pairs to alternate between. No extra money in the end, since you only use them half as much, and it gives the shoes a better chance at de-squishing (or otherwise recovering from whatever it is that makes them go "bad").
*I may blog about this some day soon--my new belief is that taking time off running/exercise to recover from aches and pains leads to all sorts of other trouble... funny, since I used to really believe in taking plenty of time off.