Buying waterproof trail shoes for the first time
Ah, the sweet smell of my local running store in the morning. Yesterday, I had no plans. And as that turns out, it led me to my local running store, where my boyfriend watched me try on shoes and I basked in the glory of new running products, as one does. The best part of the whole thing? I made a huge, first-ever purchase for myself. I bought winter running shoes!
For a normal runner, that might sound like just another day investing in themselves and staying up-to-date on gear. For me, it’s a big deal. For one, I’ve always been too scared to run regularly outside in the cold. Investing in winter running gear is my first step toward *actually* committing myself to the cause.
Second, I come from a long history of NOT buying myself important running gear ever.
I like that as long as you live near a decent running area, you can just throw on your shoes, get outside, and go. There’s no fitness facility you need, there’s no fancy equipment required. While running partners help, they’re never 100% necessary. It’s just you and the actual act of running. Zero bullshit.
I also began running the summer before high school began, when I joined my cross country team. Back then, I was a powerhouse of 14-year-old spunk. In other words, I needed nothing to roll out of bed and run an amazing practice or race. I just threw on a t-shirt and ran. It didn’t matter what I ate beforehand, how much I stretched, whether I was hydrated. Being a teenager is basically like being a superhero.
I fought those requirements for a while, wishing I could go back to my unfazed younger self, but really I just hurt myself in the process. I made it harder than it needed to be, which ended up taking away from the simplicity of running because I was occasionally distracted by my lack of preparation. Before I purchased a small running pack to hold a protein bar in, I found myself feeling weak far into long runs. When I ran outside this week after the snow mostly melted, I still struggled to make a sharp turn on the sidewalk, because even a little bit of ice leftover from a snowstorm made me lose any traction.
As I get more serious about the sport and what it does for my mental health, I’ve stopped looking at these investments as frivolous, and started looking at them as REAL investments in myself and my lifestyle. Sure, I’m never going to be one to go for the flashy gear that I can get by fine without. You won’t see me with AirPods anytime soon. Yet investing in durable, waterproof shoes that will be the difference between successful and miserable winter training seems like a step toward taking myself seriously.
It’s so silly, because anyone who runs IS a runner, just as anyone who writes IS a writer. But don’t we all seem to get so caught up on titles? When will imposter syndrome end? It always feels like there’s a group of invisible writers/runners/creators/badasses over in a corner, and then there’s me, who’s still not making the cut. I used to think “when I run a half marathon, I’ll be a real runner.” Then it became a full marathon. Now, my brain has honestly had the thought that only an ultra-marathon could make me a “real” runner. The past couple years, I’ve started to identify myself as a runner, but I always feel like I need to add a caveat: “Oh yes, I’m a runner, but a casual one,” “Oh yes, I’m a runner, but not like, a serious runner.”
I’m calling BS. No more questioning it. Whether you run 2 miles or 200, if you’re out there putting work in, then you’ve already passed the test. Welcome to the club. I AM a runner, no asterisk, no caveats. And I’m a runner who just bought some sweet winter shoes.
I would SWEAR by my local running store, who has advised me on numerous purchases over the years. The woman helping me find a pair had me try on some top brands, and I quickly settled on this shoe. My feet felt warm, protected, and like I could kick straight through a tree trunk without feeling a thing. There’s also a bunch of bonus options to add even more traction to the shoe, in case you want to get even more badass about things. I’ll do a more thorough review of them once I’ve used them on a real run! If you wanna check them out, here’s a link.
I feel this goes without saying, since about three people will read this, but clearly I am not paid to recommend anything! I simply want to share my own experience with you.