When you run over 10 miles each day, like I do, you tend to have issues like sore knees, non-stop hunger, cracking ankles and worn out footwear. In fact, it seems like over the years I’ve probably burnt through thousands of pairs of shoes.
Although the act of running is free, purchasing new shoes every month began to get expensive for me. It seemed like it would take almost a week to fully break a new pair in and then I’d get a few good weeks before I’d find myself at the shoe store once again, walking down the aisles in search of my next pair.
Finally, while shopping one afternoon, I decided to try on a pair of men’s shoes instead of my typical ones. Much to my surprise and delight, this pair not only fit my foot better, but also seemed to have more cushion on the bottom and sides.
I talked to the salesman at the store and he told me that because I run so many miles trying a pair of men’s shoes might be a good idea, as they have enough cushion to support the weight of a man. He told me that since I weigh much less, these shoes would probably last me a lot longer than my women’s shoes.
Since the shoes didn’t cost any more money than my usual ones, I agreed to try them and conduct my own personal experiment—hoping the change wouldn’t end up hurting my legs or feet.
My first run in the shoes felt amazing. Not only did they provide more cushion, but also seemed to fit my feet so much better, wrapping around them with padding. I went 15 miles that day on my treadmill and for the first time in weeks upon completion of my distance, my knees felt great. I was so delighted, but phase two of the experiment was now on the table: Would they last longer?
I’m proud to report that the men’s running shoes did last almost twice as long as my usual pair. As always, I knew when they had started to wear down, as my knees began to ache after each run. Normally my shoes would last me between four and five weeks and I continued to use these for nine weeks.
I bought my first pair of men’s running shoes several years ago and have not went back. Each pair has provided me extra time, saving me hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
The only issue with purchasing men’s footwear instead of women’s is the colors. I used to love getting a new pair of shoes and would always pick out a bright new color. In fact my closet is still full of my old running shoes in every color of the rainbow.
Men’s running shoes usually come in black, white or grey. At first I hated spending the money on something that wasn’t attractive, but I’ve come to the conclusion that if my feet and legs feel good, and I get double the use out of each pair, the color is not important to me. I now usually purchase them in black, a nice slimming color that can be paired with bright shirts or shorts to liven up the look on race days.
So, any lady runners out there looking to try a new take on footwear, I suggest at least trying on a pair of men’s shoes. They made a huge difference in my running and will hopefully be a positive decision for others too.
Author: Jill Carr
Editor: Travis May