A Running Search

Exercise produces endorphines. Endorphines make you happy! And happy people just don’t kill their husbands.
-Elle Woods, Legally Blonde

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that on occasion I like to go for a quick run in the morning. Sometimes I go in the afternoon when I get home from work, if it is still light out, but the point is, running is my chosen method of self-inflicted torture exercise. It’s calming, mind-clearing, relaxing, endorphine-inducing, and generally makes me feel more awake, alive, and all of the above.

However. As I casually mentioned to Judy a few weeks ago, I have been wearing the same pair of (by now) ratty old Adidas running shoes since I was in high school. A testament to Adidas footwear, to be sure, but Judy was rightfully appalled that I was subjecting my knees and back to such ruin as could only come from using 10 year old sneakers. John — if you don’t buy a new pair of running shoes in the next month I’m going to buy them for you! That was Judy, reacting to my said casual mention of outdated and overworn shoes.

So I went in search of the perfect replacement for my beloved Adidas. I loved them because they a) fit very well b) were subtly colored and not flashy — the last thing I want is to attract attention when I’m dripping sweat thru my Hanes undershirt and athletic shorts. So I wanted something similar.

I hit a few places and tried on several pair, to no avail. First stop (obviously) was Bloomingdale’s, the SoHo location (it was a post-brunch wandering affair, this). The sales guy was very cute and was excited about the pair of Nikes I asked about, but he seemed to only know about them because he owned them, and all he could really tell me was that they were comfortable and they came in a couple of other colors. I love the idea of sportswear as fashion, but I was really looking for a product that would support my knees and ankles, and fit my feet well, so style advice was, while much appreciated, not so helpful.

After a few more stops up Broadway into David’s and Miz Mooz, I wandered around the corner to REI. There I found a wide selection of clearly-marked running shoes, and a salesperson who was able to give some sound, constructive advice given the parameters of my search. And so I decided on these Asics. The GT-2170 Model. Comfortable, not too flashy — I noticed a difference in my morning run immediately.

A little more praise for REI, on Houston and Lafayette in SoHo: if you become a member for $20, you get an annual return of about 10% on each purchase, can return purchases at anytime no questions asked, and — as they keep your purchases electronically on file — there is never any need to keep the receipt. Also the salespeople actually know about the various equipment they have in stock, which is very helpful and much better than someone saying Those, very comfortable, you like them, yes? Very comfortable, I can ring them up right now, and pushing you to just to make a sale.

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