Friday, December 27, 2013

Battered Shoes

For the first time ever that I can remember, I've done a really good job with my latest New Balance shoes in reserving them for "formal" walks and runs - where I go out to do specific miles rather than just taking a walk.  I used my older and worn pair of New Balance shoes for the latter.  I got the newer shoes in late June, and used them to finish my training for the Crawlin' Crab Half Marathon.  I carefully kept track of the miles on them in a spreadsheet.  And since the half marathon, I have pretty slack about "formal" walks.  I still do plenty of walking, mostly on breaks at work and short walks around my neighborhood, and for all of those, I used my older and increasingly battered shoes.

Until recently, that is!  About a month after the race, I realized that the old shoes were actually hurting my feet, they were so worn out.  So I stopped wearing the old shoes and I stopped keeping track of the miles on the new ones at the 211 mile point.  To show you how worn the old ones were, the newer ones with over 200 miles on them felt brand new by comparison!  But now, they have many more miles on them from all of the incidental walking, and I will have to replace them soon.

Buying shoes is a major purchase, costing about $150 with inserts.  It is money I don't want to spend right now.  But I also know that I need to walk more, not less, than I have recently.  For the next five weeks, I am back on 8 hour days at work, which means I will have a hour for lunch.  In the cooler weather, that is a perfect time to get in a 3 or 4 mile walk right in the middle of the day.

So I guess my strategy is something like this: buy a new pair of New Balance shoes as soon as I set $150 aside.  Wear them only for walks where I go out for a predetermined distance.  Use my current shoes for all incidental walking, including walks at lunch.  They will wear out quickly with all of that use.  At that point, I will look for a less expensive pair of just walking shoes, and try them without inserts.  I'll use those shoes for any incidental walking, of which I do a lot.  In a given day, I probably average 8,000 - 10,000 steps a day between the time I get up and come home from work, and more than that if I have an hour for lunch and it is not really hot or pouring rain.

I have been walking about 5 million steps a year, which translates to over 2,000 miles in a year.  That is a lot for anyone who is working full time (which is how I can afford shoes).  But it also means that I wear out shoes.  A good pair of walking / running shoes should last about 400 miles, but I wear mine longer.

So that is my latest shoe saga.  For any serious runner or walker, there is always something going on with shoes.  And it usually involves money!


Happyone said...

I used to wear New Balance but the last shoes I bought were Under Armor. They were on sale so I bought 4 pair. Figured that should last awhile. I'm on number 2 now. I love these shoes.

Racn4acure said...

As many miles as you walk, you need some spares. Of course you are much lighter than I am and your shoes will thus last longer.