There have always been running shoes I’ve preferred, ones that fit well, ones that I continued to buy out of habit. I recently came to understand, however, the difference between good enough and does this shoe have a fan club I could become vice president of? A few months ago, the kind folks at Saucony sent me a pair of their newly released Kinvara 4s. While I’ve liked other shoes, the Kinvaras feel like they were made for me. And everyone else who is obsessed with them. I can’t tell you how many people have stopped me to ask, “Are those the 4s?” Yes, my friends. Yes.
Past injuries (namely from the time I switched shoes halfway through training for the ING NYC Marathon and finished the race with a fractured foot and overworked tear ducts) have made me reluctant to break from my standbys, whether they’re shoes, or other routines like pace and routes. I occurred to me recently that over the past year or so, I had fallen into a running rut. And a big one at that.
I had forgotten that running is supposed to be enjoyable, something I want to be doing. I’ve been running less, registering for fewer races, and logging measly miles on the road. Sure, I’ve been CrossFitting (still not sure if that’s a word) more, but running and CrossFit do different things for my brain and body. There are times when I need to be out, on my own, soaking up the city, putting distance between me and whatever’s on my mind. Running away from things, running toward other things. There are times when I want to be tested, and times when I want to take it slow. I love CrossFit because I am the mercy of the clock, the weights, my teammates, my coaches. I love running because I am at no one’s mercy. I’m in the driver’s seat (except for when the MBTA bus drivers are in the driver’s seat and nearly run me over, but… whatever).
I was talking to our friend Billy at the South Boston Running Emporium a while back, after picking up a pair of my usual kicks. He mentioned something about getting me into a pair of Kinvaras after the next race. I didn’t pay much attention, knowing old habits die hard, but I wish I had. Here’s what I love about the recently updated Saucony Kinvara:
- PowerGrid in heel area for smooth transitions (an upgrade from the 3’s)
- Super lightweight and flexible uppers
- Roomy (but not too roomy) toe box
- And my usual test: perfectly comfortable without socks (just a personal preference… this lady hates socks)
But what I love the most? These shoes make me want to run. I see them in my closet and I want to be outside, dodging pedestrians on city sidewalks and feeling the wind in my side ponytail. Are these the right brand and model for everyone? No. Our feet and running needs are all different (in a good way). But I would highly recommend not settling for a pair that simply does the trick, especially if you’ve got access to a good running store nearby with associates who can properly fit you for the best shoe. Get out of your rut; get out and run.
As a FitFluential Ambassador, I received these kicks at no cost. I was not compensated for this post; my opinions and thoughts are my own. Obvi (I hope).
Also On Tap for Today:
- “Gwen” at CrossFit Southie
- Perusing these healthy Independence Day recipes
- Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! And Happy 1st Birthday, little niece!
How do you break out of a rut (running or otherwise)?