In the ongoing war between running shop patrons and the mid-20s ex-college runner-boys who condescend to serve them, Elissa Guerrero offers a rejoinder to Dylan Ledgard
These Had Better Come in Pink
Mustaches went out of style in the 70s, and other things you should know about selling me running shoes
by Elissa Guerrero
1. Snake oil and “gait analysis”
So you can size up my footwear needs from my four half-effort strides across the store? Where’d you study biomechanics, your Neo-Classical Creative Poetic Fiction Workshop (junior year) at Liberal Arts State College? We both know you’re making this up as you go.
Come on, man, not everything you wear has to have swooshes, stripes, or whatever the hell Reebok’s logo is supposed to be (an interstate?). You’re the running world’s version of an Ed Hardy groupie. At least I didn’t wear my New Balance 801s to my brother’s wedding.
3. It’s good to have options
Can you bring out one more pair similar to these so I can decide which to buy online?
4. Do work
I’m sorry I took you away from your anonymous message board discussions on who would win a cross country race between some guy from the 1970s and Ryan Hall with both hamstrings (“checking inventory,” I’m sure). I watched the Olympics. And still don’t care.
5. Turn down the volume
You run 120 miles a week? I don’t even drive that far. Because I have a life.
6. I am a triathlete
Therefore I not only ride a bike worth more than your car, but through my meticulous and neurotic research, I am certain I also know more about these shoes than you do. AND YOU KNOW IT.
7. Stop calling them racing flats
They are still just running shoes. Dork.
8. Yeah, I did qualify for Boston. Do you have any shoes that will match my jacket?
They could make that jacket out of endangered baby rhino pelts and I would still drop two bills on one and wear it every chance I get. No opinion is going to change that, not even your seething hatred over discussion on the fabled “BQ.” God bless the Boston Marathon.
9. I saw Dean Karnazes at _______ race and he told me ________.
Despite whatever training knowledge you have, and whatever nominal understanding of shoe technology you possess, it will always be trumped by Dean’s golden-tanned words of wisdom.
10. Two eyes, ten toes
I checked out a while ago when you started monotoning on how “the improved last enhances the midfoot strike resulting in a snugger toebox design to provide a better ‘feel of the road.’” Minimalist, maximalist, or averagealist, it doesn’t grab my attention like those sweet toe shoes.
11. I want to talk to you less than you want to talk to me
And no, I don’t need any more damn Gu.
Elissa Guererro ran a PR 2:54:54 at the 2011 California International Marathon. She lives in San Francisco.