There is something about opening a package that makes you feel like a kid.
And there is something about opening a box of new running shoes that makes you feel like it is Christmas.
Even before I joined a Facebook page to make myself run every day, I ordered new running shoes online from Roadrunner Sports. I have worn Nike shoes, for better or worse, since I was 16 years old. The Nike East Coast shoe development team, called Blue Ribbon Sports back in the mid 1970s, actually made my home town of Exeter, NH, their home base. Although I was never close to the group there, I did know some of the local runners who became part of the crew there. I did make at least one visit to the old house that I assume they rented, across the street from what I remember as an old factory where they actually made and tested shoes. I remember them pointing to a couch in the house and telling me the names of various athletes who had spent the night sleeping there.
So Nike is, in a sense, my hometown brand.
For a time back in the early 1980s, when I used to run a lot, I was a shoe tester for Nike. They would send me free shoes, and I would run in them, recording my mileage. Then I would send the shoes back a month or so later. I also remember that I was running in the Nike Tailwind in the early 1980s, an early air chamber shoe. I have always been hard on shoes, and I literally blew out the air sole of the Tailwind. I took it to the Nike shoe guys in Exeter and they oohhed and aahhed over it.
I have high arches, and I think I have some kind of subtle ankle motion when I run. It causes a dynamic pronation—not a classic one—which breaks down shoes. The new motion control shoes work much better for me than the shoes I wore in the old days.
For a long time—at least ten years–I have used the same model Nike shoes: Structure Triax. Now they are called Zoom Structure Triax. The current model is Zoom Structure Triax 15, which I assume means the basic model is in its 15th year? It has always seemed problematic to me the way shoe companies seem to phase out one model of shoe, which requires you to find another one that you like. So I have been lucky that this basic Structure Triax shoe has been around, presumably with some modifications, for a long time.
I figured out a few years ago that if I looked for an older model of the shoe once the newer model came out, I could often find good deals on the older model. So I bought my model 14s for $60, when the model 15 shoe sells for more than $100. It was such a good deal that I bought two pair.
I should have had the new shoes for January 1 when I started my new running streak. They sat in the Fed Ex facility in LaGrange, IL, from December 27 until January 9. I had them delivered to Saint Ignatius, and Fed Ex held onto any package going to a Chicago school until the Chicago Public Schools reopened after the Christmas holiday, assuming that all schools were locked up. Ignatius was open for various kinds of business throughout the holiday, but I couldn’t get them to deliver the package.
They arrived yesterday, and so I wore my new shoes for the first time today. Ten days of running, and counting, by the way–and nine days of blogging.