I have some serious questions about running fashion.

It’s been a busy week around these parts! The whippersnappers at school are in the midst of essays and midterms, so work has been high-intensity, plus I had to get back to my running schedule. That was lower mileage this week, partly because I’m easing back in and partly because I have a race coming up tomorrow so I’m tapering. It’s kind of laughable to call it that after I had to take two weeks off, though; I mean what am I tapering from, exactly?

So tomorrow I’ll be running 13.1 miles through the streets of Montgomery, where despite the fact that it is October the predicted high will be in the 80s. This will feel blissfully cool, though, I assure you. I have my new shoes, which have been working out well so far although I have only put about 15 miles on them, and a new pair of tights that are meant to provide extra support but serve mainly, so far as I can tell after a brief pre-race road test, to make me look and feel like a badass superhero.

[270/365] Trying Again

Not My Actual Butt

In the description of the tights on the package, it claims that they “act as an exoskeleton” to support your knees, hips, core, quads, and hamstrings while running. An exoskeleton. EXOSKELETON. Oh, I’m sorry, it’s just me and my exoskeleton here. Please clear the roads! It’s the arthropod runner and her chitinous exoskeleton coming through! Don’t crunch me!

Look, I don’t think I will ever tire of thinking about my exoskeleton, but can we talk shoes for a minute? Tell me just one thing, friends of the internet: why do they insist on making running shoes so hideous? Why all the metallic silver? Why the layers of seemingly only decorative mesh? On this pair, there is a piece of striped material cut into the shape of the Mizuno wave detailing on the side of the shoe, layered over with a hologram-like-effect-inducing* piece of clear textured plastic. WHY? As Tim Gunn would say, this concerns me.

(*If the shoes weren’t so effing busy I wouldn’t have to string together such a long and unwieldy compound adjective!)

I was joking around with the nice (and adorable) guy from the running store about this very issue, and he agrees with me that these little pieces of flair serve basically no functional purpose. The shiny metallic things aren’t even reflective, as if for safety — they’re just ugly!

The only pair of (in my opinion) non-ugly running shoes I have ever owned have been my Nike Frees. I can only get away with wearing a shoe that minimal on short runs, though. Use them to bust my previous personal record on the 5K? Sure. Wear them for marathon training? Not a good plan.

So I am left covered with bizarre metallic silver, mesh, neon colors, and busy logos. Along with my chitinous exoskeleton, of course. At least with this flashy combo of shoes + tights, I kind of look like I am from the future. Perhaps a future where I can run at a sub 10-minute-mile pace for 13 miles? Nah, probably not. But I can always dream!

And now I am off to rest up before tomorrow. I should be grading papers but I know I won’t be able to focus (I’ve got the pre-race excitement already), so I think I shall lie around watching TV on my laptop. On the agenda for today: season one of Roswell and some of the most recent season (three?) of In Plain Sight. You all know I’m a total sucker for high school dramas, romance, the supernatural, and detectives. This should about cover all the bases.

What’s in store for you all this weekend? And will you be dressed like an arthropod superhero from planet Marathon?

5 thoughts on “I have some serious questions about running fashion.

  1. Timothy October 1, 2010 / 12:48 pm

    The rule we had when I ran XC and track in high school was that the better a runner you were the more ugly your shoes could be. As a result, I only ever owned moderately ugly shoes, but the district champ had these awful two-tone neon pink & yellow nike jobs.

  2. Kristen October 1, 2010 / 1:22 pm

    I believe I actually have your shoes in a different color, because the design is the same, but where you have yellow, I have neon pink. It is not subtle.

    But, you know, I don’t have a problem with the crazy shoes. There’s something kind of fun about watching someone with fluorescent colors on their feet run by, don’t you think?

    (For my race tonight, I have neon pink running shorts. Ain’t nobody gonna miss me, baby.

  3. Katie October 1, 2010 / 1:34 pm

    I have those same shoes! Mine are the teal blue color, though.

    GOOD LUCK with your race!!

  4. Scott October 1, 2010 / 3:31 pm

    I’m so with you on poor shoe design. Maybe it’s the designer in me, but I totally nitpick and overanalyze every little piece of fabric on running shoes…and yes, most are completely useless. They hardly ever serve a stabilizing function…it’s all dead weight! Anyways, I’ve come to appreciate 2 types of running shoes….white trainers and bright as hell racing flats.

    I’ve tried to many different colors and for some reason, catching sight of white shoes flicking underneath my peripheral looks and feels so good (fast). As far as racing flats though, since they are, by necessity, made with minimal materials, the brightness of them goes a long way. My favorites have been my all neon yellow Adidas Adios. You just can’t help but feel fast in those shoes.

    Aside from all that….the excess, the holograms, gadgets and doo-dads have got to go!! I don’t know why shoe designers haven’t caught onto this yet…or maybe we’re just in the minority.

  5. Kate October 1, 2010 / 5:56 pm

    Timothy – That’s a good rule. If I were following it, it would mean that I should be finishing this half marathon in like an hour and a half! I am clearly dressing beyond my abilities. Heh.

    Kristen – I totally tried on the pink ones first! They are super bright. Once I picked the shoe make and model I found out they came in yellow too, so I went with that instead. Oh and GOOD LUCK ON YOUR RACE! Get out there and kick butt!

    Katie – I can’t believe so many of us have these shoes — they must be good ones. I totally would have gone for teal if they’d had any in that color. Oh well!

    Scott – I’m glad I’m not the only one who hates all the doo-dads. It’s definitely the dominant style, having all this excess stuff on the shoes, but I just don’t know WHY. It doesn’t make sense! Maybe with the minimal shoe trend, that will start to change. i hope!

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