Walk of Shame

I never thought it would happen to me. I thought I was better than that. I mean, it only happens to “other people”, right? To people in movies. Or college. I just never saw it coming. Maybe that was the problem. It must have looked pretty pathetic, too, considering I wasn’t even wearing a shirt and carrying my shoes in my hand. Just trashy. Hmm, maybe now would be a good time to back things up a bit.

Now that I’m full-on smitten with triathlons, I’ve gotten a little crazy getting myself fully immersed in every way possible. Just ask Ev if she’s tired of me “working on my training plan” yet. I’ve purchased new clothes, researched potential races, and bought a few books on the subject. To round things out as a runner-turned-triathlete, I recently ordered some triathlon-specific* running shoes. To some this may be ho-hum news, but to a runner it’s a big deal. I’ve grown very attached to my Brooks Adrenalines (now currently on my 6th pair and 12th pair of Brooks shoes overall). It feels like I’m cheating on my old shoes with a newer, sexier model.

Well those newer, sexier shoes arrived over the weekend and I took them out this morning for what I thought would be the beginning of a long and meaningful relationship. Apparently these shoes had something less romantic in mind, happy to take me out for a

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quick spin and leave me damaged on the side of the road. I slid my sockless feet into these bad boys and headed out the door for a 4 or 5 mile loop. A full 2 ounces lighter, but still a “support” shoe, I was excited to see how they’d compare to the burlier Adrenalines I’ve grown to know and love.

The first two miles were great. It took a little getting used to the no-sock feel, but I forgot about it relatively quickly. As I rounded the halfway corner however, things got out of hand foot pretty quickly. At first it felt like a small stick or rock got inside the shoe (though I’d later find nothing there). Very shortly after the initial rub it felt like the phantom small rock morphed into a cluster of razor blades. I was looking to fill my soul; they were looking to eat my sole.

I noticed my form starting to suffer as I tried to avoid pressing down on the blister on the inside of my right foot and all I could think was “this is how people get injured”. So I checked my watch and figured I could make it to 3.5 miles and then walk the rest. Once across the final intersection I took off my shoes and walked home barefoot. And of course, this is the one day I see someone I know and have to stop. I tried to play it cool, but we both knew what was going in.

I’m not sure if it was just because a) I hadn’t run without socks; b) I was wearing brand new shoes; c) the 80+ degree humid morning; or d) all of the above, but I’m hoping once my foot toughens up a bit I’ll be betterfasterstronger. Despite the searing pain from the blister and shameful walk back, you have to admit that these shoes look awesome. I present to you the Zoot Ultra Ovwa, from the side:

And from above:

For now I’ll give these shoes their space, and hope they call soon. If not I’ll be forced to confront them for another spin around the block, desperate for better results.


p>*Part of what makes them “triathlon-specific” is the no-tie laces and the no-need-for-socks insides. I can save time in transition fiddling with socks and laces altogether.

9 thoughts on “Walk of Shame

  1. Colin says:

    I think that might have been a case of too many new things at once. 5 miles for a very different style of shoes, barefoot, is a little aggressive. Trying running in them with socks and see if that helps before you give up on them.

    • Mike says:

      I’ll give ’em another shot once this hole in my foot heals. For now it’ll be swimming and hopefully some biking. Socks would probably be a good middle-ground for now.

  2. Amy says:

    Try rubbing some vaseline on the inside of your shoes. Not too much, but just a little bit should help prevent blisters. Awesome kicks!

    • Mike says:

      Thanks Amy! I assume only put the vaseline at the hotspots, and not just layer the entire inside of the shoe, right?

  3. Tony says:

    You’re right in that it was a combination of the multiple factors. I ran in Zoots for a while a couple of years ago for tempo and interval work. Give them a couple of runs (10-15 miles total) to break in a bit and yeah, give it a shot with thin socks to see if that helps. Call me crazy but I don’t wait for blisters to heal – just keep running and it’ll callous over…

    • Mike says:

      That’s usually my approach too, but I can barely walk on this bad boy. I’ll try some thin socks and see how it goes. For now, to the pool!

  4. Kate says:

    Love my Zoots but still don’t like running w/out socks – add the socks and I’ll bet you’ll like them better. Now I have a hard time going back to my Asics for longer runs – they feel too heavy 🙁

    • Mike says:

      Thanks Kate! I’m excited for this blister to heal so I can give them another try. Socks might just be the answer, at least until I get comfortable in the new shoes.

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