April 5, 2011

Let's Revisit, Why Three Pairs of Shoes?

Okay, since someone noticed a previous blog post with three shoe boxes and asked "why do you need three pairs of shoes," I figured I'd give the people what they want and actually answer. I admit I don't need three pairs of shoes, but there are good reasons to want three pairs of shoes.

First, they're at least not all the exact same model. Two are ASICS GT-2160 road shoes, but the third is the GT-2160 Trail. The trail shoes have deeper traction for running off-road and the uppers are more durable to take a beating over all types of terrain. I get bored running on asphalt trails every day, so I picked these up to run off-road on some weekends, and I'm thinking of entering a few trail or adventure races this summer.

Top to Bottom: ASICS GT-2160 Trail; GT-2160 road shoe in my standard blue;
GT-2160 road shoe in red and black...eh, they looked fast.

Okay, but the question still remains, why do I want two pairs of GT-2160 road shoes?

Economies of Scale: Digging into my ECON 101 bag, yes, even running shoes get cheaper as you buy more. To start, there was a good sale (isn't there always). More enticing, the store also offered me a slight discount on my second pair of shoes and agreed to give me the same discount the third as well.

Technology & Durability: The gel, memory foam, and other fancy technology in today's running shoes can take some time to decompress and dry out between runs. The guidance and support systems in the shoe work better if they're fully decompressed, and the shoes will also last longer if they're allowed to fully bounce back between beatings...so the thinking goes.

Business Travel: There's nothing worse than putting a pair of shoes in my carry-on for a Sunday flight after a grueling 15+ mile run on a summer morning. And my dryer's fancy shoe rack and shoe setting isn't great for the shoes. Having a back-up pair lets me carry a pair on the road that has had adequate time to air out from Saturday's run.

Convenience: Sometimes it's fun to run in the snow or the rain without having to worry about damp shoes the next day. There's also the potential for a NASCAR pit stop in particularly nasty races...the National Half Marathon missed rain storms by a day, but as I planned for that race, I realized it would be fantastic to have a member of my cheering section with a dry pair of shoes at the halfway point, just in case.

The evolution of the shoe (Left to Right):
ASICS GT-2130 (2008)
ASICS GT-2140 (2009)
ASICS GT-2160 (2011)

Side note, a shoe designer must only work a few days a year (see image above). Change a few logos, adjust a seam, and BAM!...a new model.