Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday Five: Running Gear I've Changed My Mind About

Linking up today with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for Friday Five 2.0. This week's theme is things you wish you'd never bought. I don't know that there's anything that I totally hate or completely regret wasting money on. But, there are definitely some items that I loved at first, and eventually got over or found a much better alternative. 

1. Altra running shoes. Though not minimalist, as I usually wear, these are still "foot shaped" and have most of the same characteristics - with the notable exception of cushioning. Instead of a very thin sole so you can feel the ground, they have as much cushioning as a normal shoe. 

I bought a pair when I had done one marathon and realized I was probably sticking with some long distance running, and was struggling with my feet hurting from the pounding. I was beginning to believe that feeling that pounding was simply inherent in running longer distances in minimalist shoes, and thus the solution was to stick with something that provided the wideness and zero drop I was used to, but with more cushioning. However, I now think I had simply ramped up the distance too quickly, without giving my feet enough time to adjust to it. The more I ran distances such as the half marathon, the less my feet hurt even in thin-soled shoes. The Altras ending up being uncomfortable and I realized the fit wasn't quite right (I think I was somehow gripping the shoe with my feet), and just not working out.

2. Reflective vest. I love the one I have now (Xinglet flash), but originally I had this cheaper, bulkier one and it was just kind of a pain. The pocket was kind of nice, but other it was too wide on the shoulders and had limited adjustability around the waist. I can't even remember now why I decided to replace it, but I'm so glad I did! 

3. Vibram Five Finger barefoot shoes. You know, the ones with the toes. I actually don't think there's anything wrong with them (i.e., they don't cause any harm) and they didn't cause any pain or anything when I wear them. They just didn't improve my form or provide any benefits that my more normal minimalist shoes do, and I felt kind of self-conscious wearing them.

4. Fleece lined pants. It wasn't the fleece lining itself, but that I prioritized that over other factors. Here I mentioned them when I had finally replaced them with a pair of full-length tights - tights that were similar, just a smidge thicker, than the capri tights that I use for the bulk of the year. They're not as warm overall as fleece would be, but the length and tight ankles (to prevent cold air moving up) really does make a difference. When it's really cold, I can layer them with shorts or capris for additional warmth.

5. Running skirts. I used to be alllll about running skirts! Especially at a higher weight, I felt self-conscious about showing my legs in something tighter. I got more comfortable wearing capris, eventually, plus enough weight loss made more traditional running shorts feasible without chafing. But even during pregnancy when some weight gain that went to my legs made such running shorts less feasible, for a time, the skirts simply didn't hold the same appeal to me anymore. 


  1. Ah, that's so sad you don't like Altras. Which ones do you have? The Altra Ones are basically racing flats, they're very thin soled. I have those and need to get a pair of trail. I love the wide toe box.

  2. I can honestly say that I loved my Altras! I loved the wide toe box and. I wore the Olympus which had much cushion. Even though I loved the shoe, it did not love me back. They were the most comfortable shoe I ever ran in but the zero drop did not work for me. I still believe those zero drops is what gave me ITBS. It's a shame though because if they weren't zero drop I'd still be wearing them!

  3. I wore my Vibrams everywhere-I never had a problem either but the stares at my hot pink and orange feet were quite annoying ;)


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