Monday, October 10, 2011

function over form

I am totally not a function over form person, and just titling this post that was hard for me. I usually look at something and decide if it's pretty before I decide if it would work for it's intended purpose. This is pretty much true of everything, including kitchen measuring cups, soaps, shoes, and bags. I mean, I continue purchasing Tory Burch shoes, even though they are some of the most uncomfortable things out there (I hate that it's true, but it totally is).

But, this weekend, for what might be one of the first times in my entire life, I literally ignored beauty and went for function. I needed a new pair of running shoes; once you run 400-500 miles in a pair, they're pretty dead. And shockingly, I had acquired that much mileage in my good old Nike Frees.
I loved them. They were light, flexible, and purple. When I wore them with my purple headband and purple shirt, I really looked so put together (which I often don't in my regular clothes...oops). So when it came time to say goodbye, I fully intended on buying another pair of Frees. I was actually planning on ordering them from the Nike website so that I could customize them to my color choices.

I just wanted to make sure that they were good shoes for me before I did it, though. So I took them to a running store and did a gait analysis, and she pretty much told me they were the worst shoes for me. She said that it explained my IT band pain and the pain in my hip. Apparently when I run, my feet roll inwards a bit, and these shoes were offering no support of my arch for that purpose, which was then leading to my IT band pain.

She said, "let me bring out shoes for you."
I said, "okay."

But then I never got to look at the wall of shoes, and I never got to tell her what I liked or what colors were my favorite. And I'm pretty sure she didn't care.

She brought out three boxes of shoes, and I loved the different Nike ones because they were pretty. But they felt funny. And I didn't really like the Saucony, because they weren't pretty. But they felt great.

So I took a lap around the store track, and I was sold. And I was mad. Because they weren't purple. They were white. With silver and blue. And mesh. And they were heavier and not as flexible. And really they just looked so ugly to me. But since I'm going to keep running and train for another half, I guess it's important that I have shoes that will make my legs not hurt versus shoes that will make my eyes not hurt (because apparently it doesn't matter if running shoes are pretty?).

So here they are...
And I guess they're not horrible, but they're not what I wanted. But they're what I got. And I ran 6 miles in them yesterday, and there was a world of difference when I finished. There was no hip pain or knee pain or I just stopped running pain. And it was lovely.
Oh well. I'm sure that as I continue to run in them with no pain I'll grow to love them and hate the ones I had before. But for now it's sad to me that I won't be able to match my entire workout ensemble. 

Is there anything you've recently purchased that was for function that you didn't necessarily love the way it looked? 

Am I wrong? Are they not that bad looking? Are my eyes just so set on purple?

And if you run, what shoes do you wear? And did you get them fitted for you or how did you pick?

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Lindsey @ Running Down A Dream said...

I felt the same way when I got fitted for running shoes. I wanted prettier ones, but they didn't feel as good. I was so excited when I ordered my second pair online and they had another color choice that I liked MUCH better! And they were $20 cheaper than in the store!

Honestly, I prefer your new running shoes! I would thunk they'd match more!

And I wear Brooks Ghosts... For kids :)

Katie said...

I wear Saucony too because my feet do the same thing. But I love mine-- they're grey and teal. Yours aren't bad looking!! And if they keep you from being in pain, who cares? :)

Suza said...

But they're blue, so you can match them with any blue running clothes you might have! :)

Jill said...

I feel your pain! I so wanted a pair of Nike frees but it just isn't worth it. I have narrow feet and also need a stability shoe. I have the same Sauconys in a narrow size and I love them. I haven't had knee pain since I started using them. I won't wear them out for dinner but they are perfect for running.

Jen said...

You def made the best decision and they look great! I go to the Big Peach and have them fitted for me based on my arch, how I run etc. Normally end up with asics.

chubbygf said...

Saucony makes THE BEST most comfortable running shoes. I love them.

To make up for the less-cute-factor, I have a cool pair of Nikes that I wear for daytime.

Go you for picking the best running shoes EVER.

Katie said...

Tory Burch shoes? Uncomfortable? Not the Revas, I've had 50+ pairs of flats that were much worse lol.

Meghan said...

I felt the same way, too, but once I started running in my Brooks Adrenaline, I got over it. I've been wearing Brooks since 2007 and I finally was re-fitted last month and decided to switch to the Mizuna Nirvana. So far, I love them!

Kit said...

You will def. get over it once you start running and the pain is gone. I was the same way when I got fitted for my first pair of "real" running shoes!

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

I don't think those are ugly lol. I am all about comfort though so I hear ya :)

Emily w/Amazing Grapes said...

Oh my gosh, I loved this entire post. I make sure my shoes are pretty too and even though the ones I have (new balance) are pretty, kinda sorta, they really aren't and it drives me crazy. And I'm wondering if they might not be the right shoes for me either. I've been looking at saucany for awhile now..

How did you find this running store to test your gait?? I'm fascinated by this and really want to tell my boyfriend, who runs, to get his checked for the right pair of shoes. He has issues with his IT as well!! And..does it cost anything where you are to get it done?!?

Emily w/Amazing Grapes

Rachel McPhillips said...

Running shoes are just not something you can choose pretty over function. Seriously. I am finally in shoes that don't hurt and it feels amazing. Glad you got something that offers more support- I really wanted a pair of Frees too, but it just wasn't in the cards for training for distance races.

Laura said...

I think they are cute!!

Jessica said...

This post is exactly what I needed to hear. I desperately need to head to Fit2Run and get running shoes that actually fit my horribly flat feet. I, too, insist on pretty shoes and my knee takes the brunt of that. I paid big time in my last half when I got a horrible knee tweak which lingers on still (could it be that I'm still wearing the same shoes?) Good for you for getting shoes that are right for your feet! I actually like your new ones best!!!

sarah nicole said...

Oh, I am totally the same way with most things - except for my hiking boots. Like your running shoes, they were my last choice, but amazingly comfortable. I have worn them on countless trips and have yet to get a blister. Sometimes function wins and it's okay. : )



Amber said...

Girl, I'm the exact same.. I choose what's prettier over how it'll actually work for me. I like your new running shoes though, they aren't as bad as you think! I don't run much because my shoes KILL my feet, so maybe I'd actually enjoy running if I had the proper shoes? I just know it'll be a small fortune though.. right?

e@thisnotedlife said...

i like the saucony's! I actually have a similar pair because most other sneakers hurt my feet too. They do feel a little clunky at first but once you start running pain free, you'll love them! :)

Calley said...

I have those same shoes (and I don't think they are TOO ugly) - and got them in the same way. I have a friend who ran track/cross country at UW and works at a running store that analyzes your gait and those are what he picked out for me

leigh said...

So true!
I had Nike Free-s for a couple of years & I was starting to get shin splints. I went to a running store and was fitted for a pair of Nike Lunarglides. SO much more cushion & support and such a nicer run.
I'm so mad that I didn't do it sooner!
Love, Leigh

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