Shoe Retirement Time Again

That time has come again … time to retire a pair of shoes.

So, I went through the shoe drama I had after I retired the last good pair of shoes – in summary, I’d worn Beasts for years, decided to try something different, I wound up getting injured, went back to Beasts, but by then had gotten lazy and fat, and I’ll never wear anything other than Beasts for running again.

I bought this particular pair of Beasts – a 2014 model that I ordered online – last May, right after we moved to Florida.  Up until about three months ago the running was hit-and-miss, up to a few weeks at a time but then with breaks.  They wound up getting used as walking-around-shoes occasionally, and then I was wearing them when I started Crossfit.  And it turns out that Beasts are AWFUL Crossfit shoes.  They don’t provide stability for weightlifting, the aggressive heel-toe drop puts you up on your toes with heavy weights, and as good as they are front-to-back, they’re awful laterally.  I was trying to use them for something they were never designed to do.  Plus, I wasn’t able to calculate “miles” on them.  The final straw was when a small part of the sole started to come apart – it was time to do some shoe investing.

This morning I did my first run in my new pair of 2014 Beasts, and last week I started wearing Nike Metcons for my Crossfit workouts – and they are much better for that.  The retiring shoes only had 236.32 miles on them in just over a year, plus a whole bunch of Crossfit.  They were good shoes, and my last few rounds with shoes have convinced me that they are worth the investment – you need the right shoes for the right job, and sometimes saving a few dollars makes it harder to do that job.

As I have in the past, I’m going to post a poem that was originally posted on the Brooks Blog about retiring shoes.  They are only shoes, but for a runner, they are the single most important and personal piece of equipment we’ve got.  They deserve a bit of a ceremony, and so…

The following poem can be found in the original blog post here.

Retiring Shoes

By: Stephanie Schultz

The Shoe Retiring Ceremony is held for runners
once every five-hundred miles,
on a Saturday afternoon after a final race
in an old casket factory on the Northeast end of town.

The ceremony begins with the shoes—
bald, wrinkled and tired—
and their moment to say thanks
for the ability to do the job they were made to do,
the miles they were meant to run.

The runner then gets to remember
her ten minute improvement in the half marathon,
crossing the finish line of her first full marathon,
kicking up red dust in the Arches of Utah,
taking an unexpected dip in the Mississippi River.

These memories are then inscribed onto the box
in which the shoes came
and in which they will finally rest—
a box to be displayed on a mantel or bedside table
like a photo of a loved one or a gold trophy

where they can whisper to a new pair of shoes:
Take these feet, these legs
to further distances, to new places.
They are ready for you.

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