Healthy Hunter: With Shoes, It’s All About Comfort, Performance

A couple of weeks ago while shopping for some new jogging shoes I opted for the Brooks Pure Connect3 and also picked up a pair of Asics GT-2000.

Brooks Pure Connect3

Brooks Pure Connect3

I say opted because while I respect the Brooks line of shoes, I’ve been pounding asphalt in some inexpensive Brooks Ravena and older Asics GT models. Both have proven to be fine for what I need – walking, light jogging, the occasional 5K or 10K – and that’s all I need. As much as I’d love to spend $160 or so on some Asics Gel Kensei 5 or Gel Nimbus 16, that would be like buying a $3,000 rifle and $2,000 scope to hunt deer here in Alabama. I just don’t need it.

The Brooks Pure Connect3 are nice, although I have developed hotspots on the top of my big toes. So tjey’ll probably be just casual walkarounds from now on and I’ll switch back to the Ravena or Asics GT models. Haven’t had any problems with them.

A couple of years ago after a severe bout with foot problems, my specialist said that I needed to go up one shoe size and make sure the toebox is wide. The toebox, at the front of the foot, needs to be wide so your toes can adequately move around, stretch and expand when you walk, and not be cramped. Cramped toes eventually jack up, turn into hammer toes, have ingrown nails and other mess. Don’t be the guy at camp with stinkin’ ugly feet because you think your Size 12 shoes you wore as a senior linebacker are what you still need to wear 34 years later. They’re not.

Muck Woody Max boots have a pretty sizeable toebox that gives you plenty of room.

Muck Woody Max boots have a pretty sizeable toebox that gives you plenty of room.

Buy your shoes, boots or whatnot later in the day after your feet have expanded. Get measured, don’t discount the person helping you, and go up at least a size. In winter, you also don’t want socks crammed into the end of the boot cutting off circulation and such. Be smart.

The Pure Connect3 shoes are nice but I should have done a little homework instead of making an impulse buy. Won’t make that mistake again.

Two takeaways:

First, if you’re still “thinking about doing something” to improve your fitness, quit thinking about it and go do it. Buying a new pair of shoes is a good start. Go to a shoe store and get fitted for what you need, not what you think looks cool or the $42 specials at the Mart. Those suck, your feet and legs will hurt, and you’ll eventually quit doing whatever walking or jogging you do. Get some decent shoes and ask for advice.

Second, like with good hunting boots, once you get a good pair of shoes (or boots) you may consider buying a second or third pair. Why? Because companies change styles. They tweak things, from boot laces and tongues to jogging shoe midsoles and fabric styles. What you liked a year or two ago may not even be made anymore.

Get out and do something. Get busy. Get active. Get some new shoes and get going.

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