New running shoes! One of the best things in the world when I was a little kid. I loved getting new running shoes! We’d take a trip to Kiddie Kobbler in Bayview Village, I’d place my foot into the big metal contraption that measured length and width and then slip on my new pair of sneakers!
Suddenly I was a SUPER HERO! I could jump higher, walk softer and of course, the best power of all, run faster. I never let my mom box my new shoes up. I had to wear them out of the store, and spend the next 10 minutes running up and down any open space I could find.
And the next day at school! Oh boy! Walking down the hall with my new shinny running shoes! Purposely dragging my feet just a bit so I could hear the new rubber sole squeak along the floor! Waiting for recess was agonizing! When that bell rung, I was out like a shot ready to take on all who dared to chase me in a game of tag! It didn’t matter what your poison was, Freeze Tag, Jail, Kissing Tag, or Team Tag, when I had my new running shoes on, I was uncatchable!
As I got older, my belief in the super power of new shoes slowly faded. I guess I lost my innocence of youth as I made my way into the semi-rebellious teens. Foot wear became a statement, not a means to protect and comfort feet. There were the steel toed Kodiak Grebs, the many coloured Chuck Taylor high top Converse (I think I had about 5 pairs and mixed and matched colours daily), the Nike high tops with tongue hanging out and laces loose, and of course, the staple in any 80’s head bangers closet, the cowboy boot! I can honestly say I didn’t tie a shoelace for at least four years! The worst part was I no longer had any idea what size shoe I wore. I had foot wear ranging in size from 8 to 11. If I liked the shoe but it was too tight, I’d just keep going up in size until they didn’t hurt!
I’ve left my semi-rebellious teen years long ago, and now try to be a semi-respectable adult!
I no longer wear shoes as a statement against the “Man”, now I have several pairs that I wear based on the occasion and activity. (and what my wife tells me looks good).
I no longer need my mom to tell me when to get new runners, my knees and back tell me that. (and sometimes my wife)
I no longer need to get my foot measured for proper size, I finally figured out I’m a size 9. (well, my wife helped me with that as well)
I no longer wear my shoes out of the store; they stay in the box until it is time to christen them on the pavement. (that I do all on my own)
But, now, when I slip my feet into a new pair of running shoes and step out onto the road…
I can jump higher!
I can walk softer!
I CAN RUN FASTER!
And my knees stop hurting.
And my back stops aching.
And I’m usually out about 180 bucks.
The joys of growing up!