There are two things in life that I never ‘got’. The first, one I still don’t really get, is pubs. Maybe it’s just a Newcastle thing, but the concept of going out and not getting drunk enough to think it’s acceptable to proclaim the person you met in the toilet your best mate and give homeless people regrettably large sums of money before waking up on your friend’s sofa with sick in your hair is…weird. To this day, whenever someone suggests ‘just going for one or two’ I make a face like I’ve opened a packet of salmon that’s gone off. The second thing I never used to get is running.
Until a couple of years ago, I was like one of those supporting characters in rom-coms who ends up lagging behind a quiet, but actually super fit, mate (probably played by Hugh Grant or, since it’s no longer 1998, maybe Ryan Reynolds) who proceeds to chat up some other curiously in-shape misfit while I fall into an artificial lake in the background because my legs have gone numb. Then, last year, I ran a 10k ‘survival race’ with 10 obstacles in just over an hour. I realised, actually, I was not bad at running; I just used to be really lazy. During this survival race, people literally stood and clapped as I ran past. Clapped! Turns out that applause for putting one foot in front of the other was exactly what my ego needed to realise that running isn’t so bad after all.
But it wasn’t until today that I realised how much impact a decent pair of running shoes can have. I recently managed to pick up the shoes pictured above (the Nike Lunarglide+ 4 if you want to give it its fancy name) for the quietly knocked down price of £66. Since then, they’ve gone back up to £90. This is either due to the fact that I’ve told everyone I know about these shoes (I literally rang my estranged uncle to tell him about them) and Nike whacked the price back up, or they’ve sold out of the epilepsy inducing colourway that I purchased. I usually find myself with a bit of ankle and foot pain after a long run (which I probably should have taken as a warning sign, but I assumed it was just my useless body falling apart prematurely), but after a 5k run in these babies? Nothing. Nada. I could honestly go outside and run another 5k. If you too get sore feet after a long run I can’t recommend these shoes, or something similarly ‘specialised’, enough.
Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘This is all a bit first world problem-y, isn’t it?!’ Well actually, smartass, it’s not. It’s also a huge, and much more serious, third world problem. In fact, 300 million children worldwide don’t have an adequate pair of shoes. Meanwhile, 790,000 pairs of shoes end up in landfills every year. To draw attention to this issue, my friend and fellow fashy blogger Madison Hughes is doing a project called Febshoeary which involves her wearing just one stacked pair of heels for a whole month. To work, to the gym, to go shopping…to do everything. She’s getting a lot of funny looks and, despite what this picture would suggest…
…she’s actually doing pretty well. I encourage you all to donate, offer her support and/or chuck a Compeed blister patch at her if you see her in the street. Good luck, Madz, only 15 days to go.
Finally, to end this shoe mega post, I came across this great video by ESPN to celebrate Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday. It probably comes as no surprise that I’m a big fan of the Jordan brand, and this vid neatly summarises a lot of the reasons why. I present to you, ‘It’s Gotta Be The Shoes’ -