I went to our running store with the intent on trying on cushion-y, soft shoes. None of the minimalist stuff for me. I've read that as one ages (and I hate to admit that I'm paying attention to these things instead of instantly dismissing them because I'm not aging)(but apparently my feet are), the padding in your feet decreases. Which could be why I was "feeling" the ground under my shoes so much. I wanted to try on the Hoka One One shoes, which look ridiculous...in fact, the first time I saw Mike, one of the co-owners of the running store, wearing a pair, I may have cracked a nerd joke (or two) at his expense. But he swore up and down that they were insanely comfortable, and over the last few months, I've seen more and more people wearing them. At this point I wanted a pair of running shoes that felt like marshmallows on my feet, so I didn't care what they looked like.
I tried on several pairs of the Hokas, and while they certainly felt soft, I just wasn't sure about them. I also tried on the new Brooks Transcends, which I was curious about, but not feeling super-enthusiastic toward considering my old shoes were the Brooks Glycerins that had caused me so much trouble. But, from the moment I put on the Transcends, my feet felt good. I went back and forth with retrying on the Hokas vs the Transcends, but there really was no contest...and I was surprised, because I was pretty sure going in that I'd end up with a pair of Hokas.
I wasn't able to take the Transcends out for my first run until Saturday - earlier in the week it was raining (and while I'll run in the rain, I won't wear a brand-new pair of shoes in it), and then of course we had the sleet/snow situation. So on Saturday we started out on our run and I have to say, I was shocked at how much of an improvement I felt, right from the start. These shoes felt GOOD to run in. My feet felt great. I was pretty surprised at how comfortable I was; my feet have been hurting so much and so often during a run that I forgot what it was like to run without irritation and pain. What a novelty!
My bright new shoes!
I've gone on one more short run in them and am still feeling the love. I know there was a lot of research and technology that went into these shoes - I've seen the hype about them for months - but honestly, I really didn't believe that it would make that much of a difference. I'm starting to think they may be onto something. At any rate, my feet are much, much happier, which is exactly what I wanted.
Side note: It is with some jealousy that I admit I wish I was part of the lucky blogger contingent who receives free shoes and clothing from Brooks. I got our standard discount (10%) from our local running store, and I had a couple of small gift cards that helped, but holy moly, these shoes are expensive...it's a good thing I haven't bought a regular pair of shoes in a couple of years because all my shoe money is spent on running shoes!