A good pair of work out shoes, at least a good pair of mine, get the life beaten out of them before they get replaced. This was my last pair of running shoes before the ones that I used in the dash. I got them from Nordstrom Rack a while back (over a year ago?) and they were $45. I thought I scored a great deal on them! At that point, I had never shopped at Nordstrom Rack, but I *had* paid a prettier penny for similar shoes at other stores.
It’s hard not to get swept up in the glitz and the glamour of big-box-retailers–especially when you live within walking distance of Dick’s Sporting Goods:
You walk in and suddenly you’re engulfed in the Willy Wonka-style world of sports – indoor and out, with everything you can possibly think of needing for your sporting pleasure. Of course, they have prices to go with it. Of course, they have a coupon and a rewards program that makes it very reasonable, too, so–there’s that. But, I digress. We moved out of that neighborhood and now live a comfortable 5-10 minute drive from anywhere we might want or need to spend a bunch of money. Our latest sporting purchase came from a new sporting goods store that you also might have in your area: Sports Authority. Now, the name of this store doesn’t make me giggle as much, but their store principals must be very very similar. We walked into the doors and–you know how some stores, you walk in and you’re greeted with the smell of stale air conditioning?–we were greeted with the smell of SPORTS! – Iron, cotton, latex, and whatever gumption smells like, this store had it.. just long enough to give the impression that they would be fully competent in supplying our sporting good needs.
The cool thing about this store is that I can actually come across gift cards for it rather easily through a rewards program at work. I do things that are above and beyond, my co-workers recognize that and nominate me to receive a gift card of my choosing–I select Sports Authority, and bada-bing! New equipment for “free.” Now, of course, I work my tail off to get things done around there, and I certainly can’t expect such awards on a recurring basis, but I was able to save up points and get enough for a new pair of shoes for both Jeff and I this time around. 🙂
We found ourselves separated and enveloped in a shoe wonderland of our own for about 20 minutes or so. The selection of women’s shoes as pretty impressive, but their selection (in my size) of training shoes left something to be desired. For the first time since high school, I was looking specifically for a cross-trainer that could be used for cardio but still provide ample support for my strength training sessions. I only had enough on my gift card for two pair of shoes and one of those was for Jeff so mine had to do double duty.
I found another great pair of Asics that I think will meet my needs. They’ve got ‘gel-cushioning’ and mid-sole support for mild pronation. I did a few lunges and squats in the store, but you can hardly tell if they’ll stand up to the type of beating that I give my shoes. They were marked as trainers, but there’s also a part of me that’s a little worried that these are still considered running shoes.. Mostly because of the ratio of mesh to leather:
Jeff started his search in Men’s running shoes and was looking for trainers but only found ones marked as “Athletic.” We asked a clerk if men’s “athletic” shoes were considered cross-trainers. She rambled on ad nauseum about how things changed and wandered her way to telling us about the rewards program that they have and “Just let them know that I helped you, up at the front.” Somehow I think this rewards thing goes both ways.. But that’s neither here nor there–it saved us 5% on our purchase and we’re already on our way to saving more this quarter. Anyway, after her presentation got snuck in, we were pointed to a different aisle that had a scant selection of shoes marked as trainers for Men.
Jeff was a good sport and tried on a few, but, truth be told, he had already fallen in love with an “athletic” shoe. Since he’s still in the beginning stage of working out, he’s not yet doing much in the way of lateral movements or high impact moves, so I think his shoes (also Asics) will work out just fine. Come to think of it.. they look like a black-and-orange manlier version of mine:
We also got a new Camelbak Groove and technical shirt for him, so we’re all geared up for round two of personal training with Emily. I have lost 2″ on my waist and Jeff has lost close to 10lbs, I’d wager. We’re excited to keep going 🙂
In other super happy fun time news – yesterday was day 1 that I went entirely without any confections, desserts, or chocolate. It’s another of my attempts to quit cold-turkey. The next sweet I eat will be wedding cake 😀