Back To Running Shoe Happiness

Single, in a relationship, engaged, married, it’s complicated, in an open relationship, separated, divorced.

My relationship status with running shoes for the past 9 years would best be considered as “complicated.”

It didn’t start out that way.

As running became a bigger and bigger part of my life, I settled on what seemed like the perfect shoe. About a month later a scorching pain up my Achilles tendon and this relationship fizzled.

Unconvinced of my frailty, I gambled on a pair of Brooks Adrenaline. My newfound relief helped my weekly mileage soar to new levels. My commitment grew stronger as I purchased pair after pair, and added the Adrenaline ASR and the Goretex versions — for trail, gravel road and winter running — to my rotation.

Luckily, I even found a pair of neutral minimalist shoes — the Brooks Green Silence — as my perfect racing shoe.

Each year, companies make tweaks and changes to most of their shoe models. The Adrenaline wasn’t immune so sometimes I scoured the internet for a previous year’s model. The tweaks and changes were minor irritations, and Brooks seemed to always correct the Adrenaline and I’d return to the shoe that carried me through training for marathon after marathon.

For most of my running life, I considered myself practically engaged to Brooks shoes. But the temptation to experiment with different models proved too tempting. And each experiment left me sidelined with injuries and searching for answers before returning to the trusty Adrenaline.

Yes, my history with shoes has been complicated, mostly by my own doing — and  failing to follow my advice to other ailing runners: find a shoe that works for you and stick with it.

But this running shoe bliss wouldn’t last forever.

Along the way, Brooks canceled its Green Silence model, prompting me to go into panic mode last year and scour the internet for three pair reserved only for marathons. To make it even more complicated, the company’s changes to the Adrenaline became cause for a separation since I simply couldn’t run without finding my feet blistered and sore.

This spring I found myself back on the market for new shoes and inside See Dick Run, the warm and friendly independent running store in Grand Forks, to openly shop for a new pair. After trying on different makes and models, I found a pair of pillows for my feet — the New Balance 860. Soon a second pair joined my shoe rotation and I’m back to running happy.