The kind of gal I am

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 Permalink

I promised myself that, at the end of the first round of this weight loss program on which I’ve embarked (in case you’ve been living under a log, or rock, or other large object and missed my blitherings) that a present to myself would be… a new pair of sneakers. Da-dum! Drum roll etc etc. It’s true. It doesn’t sound THAT exciting given I busted my gut for 12 weeks to lose 18.7kg, but still…. I’m rarely one to hold back on the ‘treats’, am single and live alone… so really buy what the hell I want, when I want it, with only myself to answer to. So – all in all – the sneakers weren’t THAT big of a deal, nonetheless they were something I identified as a non-food-related treat. Plus, the pair of sandshoes (sorry, Australian-speak for sneakers, trainers or runners) I have are over one year old and are embarrassingly smelly. Plus, they’re old and a bit passe. I’M READY FOR A CHANGE!

But – me being me – about six weeks has now passed since the first round of this weight loss program finished and I am yet to procure the new sneakers. I have many excuses. I’ve been busy: house shopping and selling; and I’ve been away visiting my family (in my small hometown with minimal (ie. no) sandshoe-buying options. Plus… well, plus I hate shopping. WITH A PASSION!

But, the time has come. I’ve returned to the State capital city in which I live, which is literally teeming with sports stores. And such. And, I have the rest of the week off. So I cannot delay any longer. Of course I had great plans to go and get fitted for some shoes. Here in Oz, a chain of stores (Foot Locker) actually has some sort of tread-type test to see how you walk, and then they recommend the best shoe for you. Several years ago when I was still gymming (so it must have been over six years ago) I suffered from plantar fasciitis so visited such a store to get properly-fitted shoes. The assistant (appropriately qualified, I am sure) recommended Asics. Although I’d gone to the store because they having a big sale, naturally the shoes recommended to me weren’t on sale. It was a big call for me… but I caved into peer group (or salesperson, as the case may be) pressure and bought them. But… with SOME resistance.

NIKE does AbleYou see, up until then I hadn’t been an Asics girl. No sirree. I’ve always thought of myself as a Nike girl. Or, rather I had been (devotedly so) since my University days. I still remember buying my first pair of Nike Air sneakers – sometime back in the late 1980s. And they came after my Nike boots I’d been wearing for basketball for a number of years. As it was then the early to mid 1980s the boots were stiff leather. White – naturally – with a navy stripe. I think I only had one pair. My brother – who was quite the basketball star, had a number of pairs which (at $200/pair) must have been  a struggle for my parents.

But in some weird twist of fate, I must confess (but only here) that the Nikes actually came AFTER Asics. Although in those days we called them ‘Tigers’. I still remember my first pair which we’d buy from the basketball sales rep who would travel from town to town coinciding with championships. Obviously he had a store in the capital city (where I now live) but for us then, we relied on his visiting station wagon, when we’d excitedly buy long tube socks, basketball briefs (well, that was me, not my brother) and – occasionally – shoes. In those days (possibly late 1970s) we also bought ‘Tiger bags’. Back then indoor stadium floors were sacrosanct and  one had to wear other shoes TO the stadium and change into your good shoes there. All card-carrying basketballers had a Tiger bag back then. They were bloody tiny and really only fit a pair of sandshoes and socks in them. Nothing like the backpacks we lug around nowadays… although that was also when one wore sneakers for sport, rather than high-tops which came later.

Asics Tiger logoBut… despite my early love for my Tigers (aka Asics) I became a Nike girl. For basketball initially and then for everything. In fact, even now for some obscure reason, I really only buy Nike t-shirts. And, if I fitted into them, I’d probably buy Nike pants as well. My favourite sweatshirt – which is now about 8 years old – is a huge red Nike hooded sweater I bought on sale. It’s faded and a bit stained. But I love it and people who know me will attest to my devotion to that bloody ‘jumper’ (as we Aussies call them).

So, back to my dilemma. After the properly-fitted Asic cross-trainers bit the dust, I bought another pair of Asics. Not because I loved them to death, but rather because I figured the salesperson had intimated that they were the right shoe for me and because, well, because they were on sale. And yet now they are smelly and rather-worn. Of course a wash wouldn’t go astray although I’m the sort of person who buys new things rather than wash or clean the old thing. However in this case I don’t feel frivolous, having decided some time ago I was due for new shoes.

Addidas logoOf course I SHOULD go and get fitted given the recurring shin splints, hip problems and once-regular plantar fasciitis; but already I’m procrastinating about that concept which would require me to venture into a large shopping centre or into the city while I’m on holidays. And, well frankly… bleh! On the other hand, there is an outlet store relatively close by which I could pop into rather easily. I know the 15yr old sales rep is hardly likely to be able to recommend an appropriate shoe for a supinator however, surely I can’t go TOO wrong if I get a decent brand… which FINALLY brings me back to my dilemma. Once upon a time Nike was ‘it’. THE shoe. The company sponsored everyone who was anyone. And others. And I love the Nike Women advertisements even now. But now there are SO many decent brands offering all sorts of benefits. Should I turn?

I must admit I’m a bit worried I’ll go for whatever is on sale, or whatever is kinda ‘pretty’ in a non-girly way. I’ve never succumbed to Brooks or Reebok or even Addidas. But perhaps I should rather than sticking to Nike or Asics. Perhaps I should share the love a little. Or not.

Hmmm… only time will tell.

What kind of guy or gal are you? Do you stick to a specific ‘make’ of sports attire or shoes, or do you share the love around as well? And how do you decide?
  • J.
    September 20, 2011

    i’m mostly disloyal and a complete 80/20’er. I look for what the hot brands are and their features and their price tag and immediately say nope not those. Then I find something that’s on sale, but not total crap, last year’s or the year before’s top of the line shoe. That’s for the gym – where I want something decent (and I have planar thingy too or something similiar) on the feet. for runabouts, I buy the cheapest thing I can find.

  • Emmy Lou (@EmmyLou12wbt)
    September 20, 2011

    I consider myself a nike girl…I am obsessed by anything Nike to the point where my boyfriend will make sure we avoid any sports stores at our local shopping centre because he knows I’ll spent a good deal of time ogling at all the nike shoes on display. That being said, the last pair of shoes I bought were Brooks. I had to get fitted due to shin splints, calf pain etc etc, turns out my feet are very strange and about 2% of the population has whatever-mumbo-jumbo pronation something or rather. Best thing I ever did. I haven’t had an iota of shin pain and my calves have held up better than ever.
    But I’m still a nike girl at heart, and I’m currently scoping out my next purchase of air max 90s!

  • nikkimaloo
    September 20, 2011

    I usually went straight for Adidas or Saucony before, and got re-fitted at the beginning of R2 and was recommened a pair of New Balance – which I wasn’t keen on but they were, as it happened, on sale for $50 less than the normal RRP. So I gave them a go and I have really actually grown to like them a lot. I was also offered a pair of Brooks, which I would have preferred brandwise, but they were a little bit TOO ugly!

  • Liz@LastChanceTraining
    September 20, 2011

    Hey Deb,
    You could take a trip to “All Podiatry” at Indooroopilly – they assess your feet and recommend a brand of shoe that is right for you. I’ve had a big mixture – Asics, Nike, Brooks – I have a “neutral” foot so finding a shoe isn’t as tough as it is for other people.
    Let us know how you get on!
    PS – you do get what you pay for with shoes as well – so be prepared to pay a bit more for shoes that will last!

  • Diet Schmiet (@Schmiet)
    September 21, 2011

    Thanks all for your advice. Sadly I was too lazy to go and get fitted, but did wander about the store in a myriad of shoes. The salesperson was a bit negative about Nike (not as good as they used to be etc). I ended up with a pair of Asics crosstrainers (for gym classes: Zumba, Body Jam, Pump etc which I think I will leave at work) and then a pair of Addidas running shoes (for running / walking – mostly!). One pair was on sale, but got both for only about AUD260, so that was okay.

    Am size 10 men’s (size 11 women’s) so options can also be a bit limited….


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