These Shoes Were Made For Walking

S. J. Pajonas May 4, 2017
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About a year ago, I purchased my second pair of Mizuno sneakers and decided that walking was going to be “my thing.” I loved yoga but I fell out of the practice of it pretty easily. I go to the gym but it takes up a lot of time to be there more than once per week. Hula hooping is fun but not for longer than a twenty minute stretch. But walking? Walking I could do, especially if I included time spent on my treadmill desk. Combine it with podcasts and audiobooks? I could walk for hours with no difficulty at all.

My shoes have seen a lot of ground. They’ve been to South Carolina, through New York City, and then, the coup de grâce of all trips, Japan. They’ve been on my treadmill and outside, to the gym and grocery shopping. They’ve walked a ton of miles. How many? Let’s go to Runkeeper!

In the past year, I’ve walked almost 1000 miles (which is actually my goal for 2017) and I’m going to say that 90% of those miles were in my purple Mizunos. So it’s just over 800 miles! Wow! And these shoes have seen all four seasons too. I walked when it was 95ºF. I walked when it was snowing. I crunched the fall leaves and dodged the geese poop. Lol.

But like all things that get a lot of wear, these shoes are at their end. The inside of the heels are worn through and the soles are thinning out. I’ve noticed they don’t have that bouncy step anymore, and my hips are sore after a walk instead of loose.

It’s hard to let them go, though! I think about walking the streets of Tokyo, through Asakusa to the giant lantern at Sensō-ji. Or up the mountainside to Ginkaku-ji, through the back alleys of Kyoto, and on the floor near the door of my hotel room in Nishi-Shinjuku. I don’t want to get rid of them. The sentimentality is strong with these shoes.

They’ve even been with me through several books now. Since I often walk at my treadmill desk and dictate at the same time, these shoes have seen a few cozy mysteries and the start of a new series for me. They’ve kept me healthy and sane so I can write and be present with my family and friends.

I know it’s strange to write a whole blog post about a pair of shoes, but I felt these walking shoes deserved their time in the spotlight. Tomorrow, a new pair of Mizunos arrives (my third pair!) and they’ll get their journey with lots of trips and miles ahead.

Purple Mizunos, thanks for all the great memories. You’ve been awesome.

Discussion Question: Where have you been in your shoes the last year? Do you have any walking goals for 2017?

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Category: Personal
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  • I think it’s fun you wrote a whole post about your shoes. And interesting to think of how much those shoes have seen and where they’ve been.

    I know how some items get strong sentimental value. I have that with some things as well, especially my current keyboard. I can’t even read some of the keys anymore and the space bar and the e are stuck in a downward position (they still work though, just took some getting used to). And at the same time I can’t say goodbye to it yet. I’ve had this keyboard for years now and it’s been with me through so many things it’s hard to imagine getting a new one. Although I know at some point I probably will have to.

    I hope your new shoes will be great too! Which color will they be? Also purple? Or a different color?

    • They just arrived a few hours ago! They’re white again, like these but with some blue accents. I’ll take a photo and post it with the Sunday Update. 🙂

      I always feel weird about upgrading computers for the same reason. I love my keyboard and computer and it’s hard to let them go.

  • Germaine

    Your shoes sound a lot like mine 🙂 LOL. I’m hard on shoes, and socks, and I’m usually getting a new pair of shoes every year if not a little more often – it drives my husband nuts. Mine most often see the gravel path that runs around the retention pond of my subdivision, since I walk the dog four times a day. The current pair have also seen three capitals – Oklahoma City, Austin, and Little Rock. They’ve survived three Relay for Life events and countless shows for my business. I’m not entirely getting rid of them – they’ll still serve as yard shoes for another year or so. I can’t just let them go for some reason, that’s how it always is…but I’m looking forward to whatever adventures I’ll get into with the next pair!

    • I’m definitely keeping these shoes for muddy or garden work. I’m hard on my shoes, but only because I walk so much!

  • Tina B

    I haven’t gone far, but did make it to Epcot this year. 🙂
    I don’t have actual goals for waking this year. Just to get as healthy as possible. And continue training in self defense.

    • But if you go to Epcot, then you technically travel the world!! That’s the best part of Epcot. 🙂 Are you learning a martial art for self defense?

      • Tina B

        Epcot was so much fun!
        Yes. I was taking Aiki Jui Jitsu, but our dojo has been closed. So now, a few of my fellow martial artists and I are training at my home 1-2 times per week, but mainly focusing on self defense rather than our style. We have a Sensei (just got his black belt last year), but he isn’t comfortable teaching the style yet.
        I will be checking into Jeet Kun Do once I am feeling a bit better. Our choices are limited where I live. 🙂

  • Jackie Yamato

    You can upcycle these babies for another life as slippers: Trim away the back of the uppers (leaving the white toe part & as much side as comfortable) and finish all the raw edges with your favorite needle craft. If you’re not crafty, just cover with a nice ribbon using fabric glue. I’d put in a new cushy insole (you can find memory foam insoles nowadays – so pillowy!)
    Similarly, I recently upcycled an old sweater (fulled it into felt) & sewed it onto zorii to make custom-fit mukluks for a friend with cold feet. She LOVES the memory foam insoles. FUN!
    Clearly, I don’t think it’s strange writing about your favorite shoes. I often think about my Mizuno baseball shoes. Loved my softball league; but I had to move for work & haven’t found a new squad. (What kind of town doesn’t have a city league? Un-American, IMO)
    Anyway, I like your post a lot. Hope you have a great relationship with your next pair. GL
    re: your discussion point — I don’t drive, so I’ve been walking to do most stuff: shop etc, but it’s kind of dangerous here: a lot of streets don’t have sidewalks or lights. I’m thinking about a bike or scooter, but that might be even more dangerous riding in the streets at night. There are supposed to be excellent hiking trails at the far side of town, so that’s on my agenda.