I am just about ready to retire my running shoes, but just like an old pair of jeans or a sweatshirt that is broken in just right, they are making it hard for me to officially let them go.
I am someone who, when I find something—especially shoes—that fit me just right, I will only part with them if they physically fall apart, are taken away from me by a concerned friend or family member, or if, in their demise, they stop fitting just right.
I like for clothes and shoes to feel like a part of my body, like something I don’t even notice I’m wearing, and might even force me to glance down and ensure I got dressed that morning.
Which is perhaps why I have hoodies hanging in my closet that are so offensively thin and worn out, but I still can’t manage to get rid of them because I’ve upcycled them into “summer sweatshirts” that I can wear when the temperature dare dips below 75. And it’s definitely why, even though the recommended replacement rate of running shoes is four to six months, I am going on year two, with this blog being my biggest step towards considering to consider getting a new pair.
But I can’t help it. They’ve been through a lot with me.
They’ve been up and down and around the streets of my neighborhood, running and jogging and walking, panting and gasping and fist pumping and dancing.
They helped me train for and finish the LA Marathon.
They’ve gone from machine to machine at the gym, trying to make me look like I know what I’m doing.
They’ve hiked up dirt trails and squeaked on tile floors and dried out missteps in rainy day puddles on back porches.
They’ve been covered in wet grass, slipped in wet mud, and run through the rinse cycle more than once.
While the laces are tired, they still let me triple knot them tightly, and while the tread is fading, I still run up gravely hills without fear.
The thought of having to break in a new pair of shoes, to listen to them squeak out the fresh and take the time to wiggle in the comfortable, is enough to make me (literally) run these shoes into the ground. But then I suppose a new pair of shoes offers a new set of miles, a clean slate of adventures, and a fresh round of compliments that I haven’t heard since I got rid of my last pair of shoes.
So maybe I’m writing this to hold myself accountable. Maybe I’m writing this as a breakup letter to my shoes. Maybe I’m wearing those shoes right now. Maybe I’m going to go on one last run—or five. But I’m definitely going to get some new shoes. I definitely need to get some new shoes. And I will.