Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Dozen Pairs of the Same Shoe

Miles/Status from left to right: 379, 367, 342, 256, 417, 402, Current, Current, New, New, New, New

I know at first glance, mostly to non-runners, this looks crazy.  Why on earth would I have 12 pairs of running shoes?! Well the truth is I actually have 5 more that are not in this picture. I left them out because they are not Ghost 3s. This is one of those crazy things that just happens once you get a bit more serious into running. Normally, I don't have so many in my possession at once because I either toss them out, or donate them if they are still in good condition but have too many miles. I just hadn't gotten around to doing that with these, and then I ended up ordering 4 more pairs, and then I decided they would make a good picture.

I got my first pair of Ghost 3s about a year and a half ago at the Princeton Running Co. I like to go there when I'm switching to a new shoe because I trust them and they all look like real runners and the 4 models of shoes they have recommended to me so far have all worked out great. I made the mistake once of going to Road Runner Sports to try out the whole Shoe Dog thing where they take a video of you running on a treadmill while barefoot and then with shoes on to analyze your gait.  Then an employee who may not be much of a runner, but who is trained in the art of Shoe Dog analysis, tells you you need stability shoes for $150 (Saucony ProGrid Paramount 2) plus $20 inserts! At the time I went there, I was still new to the whole running thing so I figure I'd try out the shoes, but I skipped the inserts.  I tried them out for a couple weeks and I did not like them at all.  They were heavier than other ones I had before and I wasn't sure what the heck I was paying $150 for. So I returned them and went to the Princeton Running Co. where Abby (Oldest daughter who had just started cross country) and I both, independently ended up with Brooks Ghost 3s for $100. We were both very happy with our choice and after a few weeks of running, they were working out great.

A sweet shot of my shoes
After my first pair, I bought a few more online in the $80 range.  The last 4 pairs, I got for $65 directly from Brooks because I think they will soon be retired :(  I'm at the point where I'm never sure how many miles I can put on a pair before retiring them. You hear things like 300 - 500 miles although there are plenty of folks who do way more.  I get the feeling though that those folks are much lighter than me and are not heel strikers. I do the whole two pairs at a time, alternating days to hopefully make them last longer although I have no idea if that really does anything. I've averaged retiring them in the mid 300 mile range although my last two were both over 400 miles, because I figured I was running more treadmill and trail miles recently.  Who knows.  I know I don't want to get shin splints like I did when I first started running so I guess I am being overly cautious.  Perhaps I'll try to get into the 450 range with my current 2 pairs.

The point I'm trying to make, is I don't feel like I'm being especially wasteful.  This is just what happens when you start running more miles. I guess I could try to change my stride and start looking into minimalist shoes, but that's a whole other discussion. I'm sure there are folks out there who have gone through more than 10 times as many shoes as me. But who has a picture of more pairs of Ghost 3s than I do? Until I see proof of more than 12, I'm declaring that I have this record.


  1. That is a really awesome picture! I like the shot from the side the best. You should send this to Brooks. Maybe they'll send you a free pair of shoes for being such a good customer :) I wanted to take a pic like that when I had 8 or 9 pairs of New Balance sneakers (before I switched to Brooks myself). I never did it and am regretting it because I started wearing my old shoes to mud runs like Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, RunAMuck, etc. After those events you donate your shoes to the mud pile. So, I guess what I'm saying is you have lots of mud runs in your future :)

  2. Thanks for reading and commenting, Frank! After my order of the 4 new pairs came in, I couldn't resist taking a picture of all of them. That's a good idea about sending it to Brooks, just to let them know I'm a big fan of their shoes :)