Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Because it's all about the Shoes, 'bout the Shoes

Seriously, I do not have a shoe problem. But I do have a color fetish, and the need to be surrounded by it.

I get asked (frequently) about my constant obsession with enhancing my pricey running shoes. "Aren't you afraid of ruining those expensive shoes?" (No, the extra color makes them more valuable, in my opinion) "Why not just leave 'well enough' alone?" (Because 'well enough' for you is 'boring' to me) "Is all that extra color really necessary?" (Umm, yes!)

I recently acquired a new pair of running shoes, Mizuno Wave Inspire 11's. Yes, they were already very stylish and pretty. But, Hello! They came with boring laces that kind of just blended in. And, although I like the silver Mizuno logo, it really didn't stand out much against the light teal green background. What's a color-obsessed gal to do? I snagged some fun orange laces in a store, and grabbed a matching Sharpie marker and colored in some of the sole (and added some shimmer to the silver trim). Problem solved.

Rest assured, this was not the first time I have taken it upon myself to fix a similar problem. I envy fellow runners who seem to have an endless selection of festive shoes in a (bright) rainbow of color options. It seems like the shoes that fit me best just do not have the color options I desire. And actually OK with that. I kind of like the challenge of making each pair of shoes MINE and mine alone.

Here's a sampling of what the art geek in me has done to other pairs of running shoes...

Nike Moto 7's.....this is where it all started. These came with (boring) white laces. Seriously, what is UP with that? I swapped out the white laces for purple, and instantly my spirits were lifted (as was my stride).

Transformation #2 happened with the Nike Structure 14's. I  can't remember now, but these either came with white or grey laces ((yawn)), so a color overhaul was in order. I used a turquoise Sharpie to snazz up the soles (which have faded considerably from numerous miles trodden) and switched out the laces.

Onward to the Nike Structure 15's.  I really loved the magenta accents on these.....but that's where the color stopped.  I Sharpied up the soles with lime green (which has also dramatically faded), colored in the swoosh and did my patented "lace swap" on these as well.

These are Nike Tailwind 4's...and they also came with grey laces...can you see a pattern here? These shoes have had lime green laces and pink laces, and are currently sporting yellow laces. I got these for a steal-of-a-price at an outlet store, and use them only for short runs (nothing further than 3 miles). They did land me a PR last summer, though, on the 4th of July, and we brought home the 2nd place AG medal.
Ah, my first pair of Mizunos, the Wave Inspire 8's. The black laces just weren't doing it for me, so I found some lime green ones (that matched the logo). Much better. These babies have some serious (and some fun) miles on them....we're talking numerous half marathons (not sure exactly how many...10?), two full marathons, and thousands of training miles in the mix.

 Nikeys will always hold a special place in my heart. These Structure 17's came with black laces, though. Ugh. I swapped them out for hot pink, but eventually settled on these rainbow delights.

My first pair of Sauconys, these are Triumph 11's. As much as I love the color scheme (after I replaced the "original" light blue laces with the vibrant red ones), these shoes and I did not get along very well. The sales person was convinced I need a neutral shoe (despite my 9+ years in a stability shoe), so I buckled. Heck, I'm always willing to try something new because I know over time all of our needs change and we need to be open-minded....yadda yadda yadda. This was one of those times when I should have just listened to (and obeyed) what my gut instinct was telling me. I'm glad I gave these a whirl (and I will still use them periodically for short runs), but my feet belong in stability shoes. I have several months of  "neutral shoe tyranny" to undo, but all is well. You have to make mistakes in order to learn from them, right?  (Besides, Saucony probably makes a stability shoe, so I may check them out for a future purchase)

What do you think?  Am I crazy? or just CrEaTiVe?

Have you ever "enhanced" a pair of shoes? Do bright shoes make you happy? Or are you a "neutral" color person?


  1. So creative! I've never jazzed up my shoes. I buy the same model all the time, and I don't care about the color. I buy the ones on sale. But I've been running in black and pink, and I have to say that I do like that!

  2. What GREAT ideas!! I love love love colorful shoes. They make us faster, right?

  3. I have been known to switch out laces too :) What a creative gal you are!, Love it!!