This piece today will be my last for a week. I am about to go on a vacation for all of next week, my wife and I will be celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary, and we wanted to go on a trip just the two of us, and even bloggers and podcasters deserve a vacation. I'm super stoked because it is just us, we have a short flight, and we will be swimming in the ocean and hanging out on the beach for 6 days. It is going to rule. But, I do want to write about one thing today so I don't leave you high and dry for over a week.
As you all know, if you read and listen to the pod, I am a runner. I also love to hike and play basketball. But running is where it is at for me. It is free, it is easy and I now know what people used to talk about when they said "a runners high". But what makes running so special for me, all you need is the will and a pair of shoes. It can be 100 degrees outside, or freezing. It can be sunny, rainy or snowy. It can be humid or breezy. It doesn't matter as long as you want to do it, and you have proper shoes. And shoes are what I want to touch on today.
I have written before about Nike being king of the shoe world, and I still fully believe that to be true. I still will only wear Nike for basketball. They make the absolute best basketball shoe money can buy. But, outside of basketball, I have been on the hunt for the best running shoe, and I think I may have found through the help of a very good friend. At first, when I was a novice runner, I wore Asics. Those were fine, but I wore them more because they looked cool. I had some kick ass glow in the dark low top Asics that I loved. But, I tore through those in about 2 or 3 months. I then tried Nike. While Nike has cornered a good portion of the shoe world, I found their running shoes to rip up much faster than I expected, given they started out as solely a running shoe company. The light weight fit was great, but with my big feet, and even bigger toes, I would absolutely shred the front of the shoe in just a little over a month. I then talked to some people I knew that were runners, and they recommended Brooks.
Brooks are tremendous. For the majority of the beginning of my race running, Brooks were the only shoe I would wear. They had nice thick soles. The comfort was exceptional and they felt like the perfect running shoe. They also lasted longer. I thought I found the perfect running shoe.
Another close friend of mine told me to try out Hoka. I hadn't heard of that brand, but I was told that they were thicker and more comfortable than Brooks. I needed to try it for myself. I bought a pair, and I was blown away at how correct my friend was. I was sold on Hoka's. I wore them all the time. These weren't just my running shoes, they were my everything shoes. I would not leave the house without my Hoka's on my feet. But, after running a half marathon, a couple of trail races and a good amount of 5 and 10k's, I noticed that the sides were starting to fray. I went for a run one day, and I had a complete blowout. It was so bad I am shocked I didn't hurt myself. I was on the hunt again.
This is where my good friend, and running buddy told me about Altra running shoes. I had never heard of the brand, and like a great salesman, he sold me on, at the very least, trying Altra's out. I went to my local running shoe store, talked to their trail running expert, and they seconded what my friend had told me about Altra's. What sets this shoe apart from every other running shoe is the toe width. They are designed with extra space in the toe so that when your feet expand fro running, it is a real thing people, you don't feel it because of all the room. That was the first indication that I found that made me think I would love these shoes. They also have a thing called zero drop, where when you go down a hill, or a curve, it doesn't wreck your knees or feet. The shoes are designed to stabilize your legs and feet. They also have a built in sole that pretty much forces you to run in an upright position. If you have the wrong running posture, Altra's will get you to run right. And it has totally paid off. I don't have back or knee pain anymore because I am running correctly.
I now love Altra shoes so much, I bought a pair of their casual shoe as my everyday shoe. It has that same toe width and excellent traction i found in their trail running shoe. I think I have finally found the best running shoe that the US has to offer. Altra shoes are as close to perfect as it gets. I have my buddy mostly to thank for this too. Without his knowledge and recommendation, I don't know if I would have stumbled upon this tremendous shoe.
If you are a runner, and you haven't yet found the right shoe for you, I highly recommend trying out Altra. They rule. Okay people, I will talk to you all in about 10 days. I just wanted to leave you with a piece about a great running shoe company. See you all soon.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is wrong about needing shoes to run. The head editor ran the last half of a college cross country race in bare feet because his shoes failed him in the first half. The head editor came in dead last.
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