Some weird people have a shoe fetish. My obsession/pet peeve goes even further. Shoe LACES. Yes… he said shoe laces… I mean… I’m not like… creepy, obsessed with them or anything. I’m just really, REALLY… picky.
It all comes from a strong belief in having the right equipment. My dad taught me that and I really believe it. From hammers, to baseball gloves, to athletic shoes. I have always believed in having the right gear for the job and getting the GOOD stuff, even if it means waiting until I can afford it. And I rarely go back on that (and regret it every time I do).
The most recent example of this was when I started running and started looking seriously at shoes. Let’s face it, shoes are the only real piece of equipment you need. Getting good ones that last and fit right is critical.
So then why do shoe companies put REALLY crappy shoe laces on $125 shoes? Do they know how much it pisses me of when shoes don’t stay tied even when I double knot them? Do they know how hard it is for my fat butt to bend over to re-tie my shoes 8 miles into a run?
So over the last two years of serious running I’ve gotten lots of opportunities to come up with solutions. Asics shoes? Just replace the laces. They are crap. Nike? Fuggedaboudit. Saucony? …yuck. The only really good stock laces I have found are on high end New Balance shoes. They look like crinkle cut fries (sorry, it was the best example I could think of). When you tie them the crinkles keep them taught and they don’t loosen up. They just work. I have had 4 pairs now and haven’t had to re-tie my shoes once.
However, once I learned about Yankz and tried them out, I became big fan. They are an elastic, bungy like lacing system that essentially turns your shoes into slip ons. They are a pain in the butt to install, but worth it. They also take a bit to get adjusted so they don’t constrict too much, but once you get them adjusted they are awesome. They are made for triathlons so you can slip your shoes on easier in transition, but if you want to eliminate all the hassle of laces, you can’t beat them.
So I took my new shoes, with Yankz firmly attached, on a 10 mile run today. A spectacular fall day! Temps in the 60’s, light wind, painfully blue skies and turning leaves. It was special. The trail was full. People, dogs (including one unbelievably cute 3 month old Bassett Hound pup), bikes, walkers, runners. It’s so rare that I run 10 miles anymore, but I just couldn’t let this day go. And as I discovered, 10 miles is still a long damn way. I think it’s further than it used to be… I’m sore and very tired. But it was worth it.