I can remember when I was a little kid thinking that no one was cooler than Michael Jordan. I can also remember when I was a little kid, thinking that nothing was cooler than having the newest, and freshest pair of Air Jordan basketball sneakers.
I can remember pleading my case every single basketball season to my parents. “They are the best sneakers,” I would say. “They will make me jump higher!” My parents would always respond, “That’s what you said last season, and you haven’t even gotten your old Air Jordan’s dirty yet.”
Although my parents were completely in the right, and bought me my fair share of Air Jordan’s over the years; I could never shake my addiction to having a fresh and perfectly fitting pair of sneakers.
While my days of wanting the coolest basketball sneakers has passed, my days of wanting the lightest, brightest, and most high-tech running sneakers has only just begun. I’m a down to earth guy who is easy to please, but when it comes to running shoes, I’m a real snob. I only buy Nike’s, the brighter the better. For some strange reason all of my running shoes are neon green.
Anyways, ever since I was a little kid, I had always felt a tad-guilty about having new sneakers. I mean, I didn’t exactly need them for performance; I was just a little kid who loved to play basketball at the park. Along with not exactly needing the shoes, I was one of the more fortunate kids in my group of friends growing up, while I had a new pair of Air Jordan's, I could see their toes ripping through the material of their sneakers, with this my sneaker guilt only got worse.
As the years past, my guilt for wanting, and often times attaining unnecessary new sneakers followed me. It followed me through high-school, and even more so into college; where as a football players at Southern Methodist University, we were given free Nike athletic gear from head to toe (including the most expensive football cleats and training shoes).
Even though my days of black-top basketball glory, and days spent on a college football field have passed, I continued to buy expensive sneakers, for recreation leagues and touch football games. Even though my sneakers are purchased with my own money, and at my own discretion, I still felt guilty; I can't help but feel, I just don't need these sneakers.
I never thought I'd find the cure, but about 3 weeks ago, I shook my personal battle with sneaker guilt. I had been having tremendous foot, and ankle pain following my runs. I took my Nike running shoes to a specialty running store, and asked if they had any suggestions. The salesman who has run more than 25 marathons, asked me how long I had had my sneakers. He also asked me how many miles I had put on them. I told him about 3 months, and about 300 miles. He looked at me and casually said, “Well there’s your pain.” It turns out that my shoes were worn out, and no longer could provide the support I needed. He suggested I get a new pair, and I continue to do so every 250 miles. Long story short, I no longer feel guilty about purchasing a new pair of sneakers, as long as I’ve run 250 miles in them.