My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
— the prophet trent reznor
I ran 4 miles in the altra olympus a gogo shoes today. They are perfect. And I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or not.
The Olympus is the Hokey Pokey without the problems. My Mafate 2’s were never quite right. The left shoe rubbed on my achilles, they allowed my feet to supinate, they were a little snug up front, they totally did away with the feel for the ground. And, yes, they made me look like a rodeo clown.
So how are the Olympi different? For starters, they’re Altras. So if you like Altras, you’ll get that same let’s have a party in the toe box feel you already love. The cushion is what I wanted the Hokeys to be, like a pillow, but not like the inflatable bouncy house at a 4-year-old’s party. It’s a nudge lower to the ground, which seems to make my ITB happy. And a subtle charcoal gray in color, which bulls have no interest in charging.
In short, they’re perfect. Which makes me wonder.
Is it better to run in a shoe that takes the environment out of the equation? Isn’t that the soul of running?
I remember reading a guy’s review of satellite radio once. He was riding in a massive lightning storm listening to the radio and enjoying the pristine signal. But then he realized what was missing. That crackle boom, crackle boom that comes through the air waves on the radio. He realized how disconnected from his environment he was. He tuned in the AM and reveled in the distortion.
I wonder if the same thing goes for shoes. I normally run trails in the beloved 110s. A sole and a rock plate and not much more. You can feel every rock. It’s like going barefoot except you get a cool tan line. There’s something to be said for feeling the trail, I think. Isn’t that the point of it? Otherwise, we could just stay on the sidewalk.
As I ran along, my knees were happy. My ITB was happy. My body loves them. But my head isn’t sure. And my heart doesn’t like it a bit.
The prophet Karl King said, “Science can be useful, or it can just get in the way.” I’m not sure which one is true for these shoes.
Why do we run? I guess that’s the question. I want to feel. An hour to sweat and suffer and revel and curse and thank the running gods for one more day of living. And if a few aches and pains are part of that, I’m OK.
I found the perfect shoes.
And I sort of wish I hadn’t …