The Shoes Make The Lady

While I’m a typical girl who definitely appreciates a fine pair of shoes, I’ve never been one to spend the big buck$ on them. No Manolos. No Jimmy Choos. Not even a pair of Louboutins.

Do I wish I owned even one pair of those? Hell. Yes. But the reality is I’ve never had a need for nor been able to justify more than double digit cost for a pair of shoes in my life. In fact, I think the most expensive single pair of shoes I’ve ever owned were my custom English field boots back when I competed on horseback as a teen, and those broke the bank at $350. I still remember the sticker shock – that was almost a month’s feed & board for my horse! 😬 There’s no way I could justify that kind of cash on shoes I *might* wear twice a year. I’m just not in a career that requires heels (I practically wear pajamas to work… Nursing rocks! 🏥💉💊), and my friends and I went to dance clubs more than bars when we were young and single (even met my hubby at a dance club). I’d have broken my neck along with my ankle! 😂

I’ve realized now that the only shoes worth spending a little extra on (for me anyway) are the functional ones; not the pretty ones. These beauties (and another colorful pair I wear daily for work) are not only funky and/or colorful – prerequisites for anything I put on my feet these days – but they all serve very specific functions for my favorite physical activities. From top clockwise:

1) My newest pair of Altra Running Torin 2.0s for #running . My first pair were so comfy I wear them daily for work, so I needed some dedicated running shoes again. Yay for clearance on my fave color! $88 @altrarunning in IG

2) My sweet new Inov-8 #fastlift335 weightlifting shoes, recommended to me by fellow #girlswhopowerlift – thanks for the tip, ladies! 👍🏻 $95 (different colors and sizes cost different amounts on Amazon FYI) @inov8eliteperformance on IG

3) My custom Converse All-Star low tops I had made a few years ago to match with the hubby, and we both wear ours for the #deadlift. $75 @converse on IG

It’s really no wonder my previous attempts at running and regular fitness failed before 2014 – I never bothered to buy quality shoes. I remember doing my one and only mud run 5K in 2010 with my hubby and was ready to amputate my feet by the time it was done – my blisters had blisters!! We were encouraged to donate our shoes after the run, and I threw them into the pile like I was throwing a plague doll away! lol Years later when I started getting serious about fitness, though, my Camp Gladiator instructor at the time suggested Luke’s Locker to me for a custom fitting. That’s how I ended up with my first pair of proper running shoes: some sweet New Balance ones (that’s them on the top left corner of the header pic) that carried me from couch-to-half-marathon in six months!! I was so spoiled by that experience I went straight back to Luke’s after my orthopedist cleared me to start running again 12/2015. I had them refit me because I knew my right foot was still wonky from the break, and that’s how I found the #altrarunning shoes. Better? My ortho doc even recommends them! While Luke’s is strictly a Texas thing, I cannot stress enough how beneficial I found having my gait analyzed and multiple shoes tested before buying. Get fitted somewhere local if you can!!

On that note, however, I was sooooo nervous about buying the #inov8fastlift335 shoes online without trying them on. Once again, though, some of the awesome #ladieswholift helped me more accurately guesstimate the sizing before I committed. My feet have always been funky (short, wide, low arches), so I wear everything from a 7.5 up to a 9 depending on the shoe. Now I wear 8.5s in the Altras, 9s in the FastLifts, and a men’s 6 in the Converse. Like I said… funky!

I’m so thrilled to have the right gear for the right job, and I’m counting down the hot, humid days until the weather in TX cools enough for me to start running again. For now, though, I’m loving #powerlifting and all the trial, error, and growth that comes with it. I noticed an immediate difference in my stability when I changed from squats in my Altras to my Converse and now to my FastLifts, and I’m looking forward to continued steady progression now that my shoes all fit their respective duties. Will I eventually upgrade from the Converse to proper powerlifting shoes/boots? Probably one day, but since I see truly elite powerlifters of both genders and all weight classes deadlifting in their Chucks at competitions, I figure I can’t be in too poor of company. 😜

And just because I had fun taking photos of my shoes the other day (and before I realized I should throw in my Converse since those are part of my fitness repertoire) here’s another artsy fartsy image that shows my size 9 Altra Torin 2.0s, the ones that helped me rehab my busted foot and are now my daily shoes. So. Comfortable. 👍🏻


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