Battle-tough running shoes for the recession |

Battle-tough running shoes for the recession

Some two years ago this writer described the virtues of a line of Adidas shoes – both the trail- and road-running versions.

Those certainly were the days, when there was the option of wearing either trail or road shoes for my run, depending on what terrain I’d chosen. Owning two pairs of running shoes back then was no big deal, much like taking out a home loan if your credit score was 450.

No more.

In these days of a downtrodden economy, I’m a one-pair man. Luckily, last year I struck a love affair with my North Face Fire Road shoes. We’re going on seven months together now, well past what the pundits at Runner’s World magazine would recommend. They say you need to buy new shoes every three or four months. Running shoes tend to break down when you rack up the miles, just like anything else.

But my financial picture says deal with it. Which is what I’m doing. At least, however, I chose the right shoe to run into the ground.

I’m not about to buy new shoes – not in this day and age when I covet my job more than ever, and my 10-month-old daughter and 10-year-old son get bigger by the day.

These North Face shoes have holes on the inside, the soles are wearing down, and they serve up a stench like hand-me-downs from the Bataan Death March.

Suffice to say, they feel great and it seems their destiny was to become one with my feet. They handle asphalt and dirt with equal authority, and take a banging most every morning. Since I was 16, running has been a narcissistic and vain endeavor, that’s for sure, as I obsessed over long runs, track days, weekly mileage and 5K times.

A bit older and a lot slower, I still harbor that same compulsion, but during these first eight months of my 40s, my runs seem to have more purpose. They keep my stress at bay, my emotions in check. My best and worst ideas come during a run. And it’s no coincidence that the days I abstain from the roads or trails are the days I have as much stability as the San Andreas Fault.

But for the sake of the aging knees, ankles and feet, it’s good to take a day off every now and then. Same goes for the old shoes.

I’m just glad I found the right running partner for this recession. This is, after all, the era of doing more with less.

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