Noisy Shoe Rant

This rant was originally published in Westender magazine in Vancouver. It reminds me of Mark’s comment on a previous post where he mentions that right-wingers could go off on anyone at any time for any reason:

Worst Foot Forward
Another extremely annoying thing happening nowadays besides loose lips flappin’ on cellphones is women’s noisy shoes. Have you noticed? Both are noise intrusions, noise pollution, and a lack of respect and courtesy to other people’s quiet space. These cheap, trashy shoes are even heard in hospital corridors. We live in a society that lacks good style and good common sense. I’m ready to take these noisy shoes off these starving-for-attention females and beat them over the head.
– Peter, Rantline caller

Could Peter’s last name be McCain?

I recently ran into a noisy shoe issue, but the offender was a DUDE! He was a VIP flyer on United who – rather than kick back in a lounge chair like everyone else – paced around the lounge while scuffing his rubber soled moccasins with every step. He was not a particularly proficient pacer.

Unlike Peter, I laughed at the absurdity of the situation and smirked at the “Peters” who clearly were close to beating the business traveler over the head with his moccasins.

Payless Shoes Takes a Beating from Adidas

Don’t even think about creating shoes with Adidas style stripes on the sides. Payless Shoe Stores learned that the hard way, as U of MN law professor, William McGeveran, explains on the “Info/Law” blog:

The Oregonian reports that Adidas won an astronomical $305 million trademark infringement verdict against discount retailer Payless Shoes this morning. Trademark blogger Marty Schwimmer can’t think of another infringement verdict even close to this size, and neither can I. Most trademark litigators would consider any case worth more than $25 million a very big one.

What surprises me is that the jury found Payless to be infringing on Adidas’ trademark even when they used 2 stripes or four (pdf) rather than the 3 that define the Adidas brand. While the intent is clearly there to ride on the Adidas brand is clear to me, aren’t knock-off brands like the ones at Payless simply a gateway to the major brands? If so, could knocking Payless out of the knock-off shoe business actually hurt the demand for Adidas long term?

A Tip for the Shoe Freaks

I’ve never purchased shoes from Zappos, but I’m going to give them a try the next time I’m in the market for some new treads. It sounds like their customer service is off the charts:

Customer Service Heaven

My wife had ordered a pair of sandals from Zappos. When they arrived, she found that they didn’t fit. She tried to order the right size, but Zappos was sold out of her size. So here’s what the company offered: she could return the sandals (for free), Zappos would refund the purchase price and they’d send her a $25 coupon toward her next purchase.

Ebay is another good place to look for shoes. You can even set up saved searches for the type of shoe you’re looking for in your size that will automatically send an alert to you when new stuff hits your search criteria.

How Long Does it Take Shoes to Recover from a Run?

At least a few times a year, I have a conversation with runners about whether running shoes last longer if you own more than one pair and rotate through the shoes rather than wearing the same pair over and over again. The story goes that two pair of shoes rotated last as long as three, or something like that. (For my own shoes’ sake, I try not to run every day.)
There are even some who believe that running shoes take exactly 26 hours to recover from a run, so if you don’t run two hours later day after day, you’ll basically need two or more pair of shoes in order to let your shoes do whatever it is that they do over those 26 hours. Some think it takes even longer for synthetic footwear to recover, including “Gear Guy” from Outside Magazine:

Thing is, Michael, you don’t need one pair of shoes, you need two. Shoes need at least 48 hours off between runs in order to dry out. Shoes that have a twin also last longer, of course.Â

There is also a 24-hour theory based on the time it takes foot fungi to die off between workouts, courtesy of The Running Times:

Long runs with less than 24 hours of recovery are hard on runners and hard on shoes. While Dan is fortunate to have a body that can pull it off, shoes are just shoes. They need to dry thoroughly between workouts, otherwise the billions of bacteria thriving in the perpetual humidity of the shoe’s interior will help the shoe fall apart faster and maybe even threaten Dan’s streak with a gnarly case of athlete’s foot.

Alternating between two pairs gives the shoes plenty of time to dry between workouts, which is good for the shoes and even better for keeping Dan’s feet fungus-free. The shoes last longer and Dan stays healthier.

Probably the most authoritative sounding quote I could find on this issue comes from a personal blog referencing the The Competitive Runner’s Handbook, which states:

In his book, “The Competitive Runner’s Handbook�, Bob Glover says, “Studies show that by alternating two pairs of shoes they’ll last longer than three pairs used consecutively.� He also says, “Rotated shoes retain 80% of their cushioning after sixty runs of an average of 5 miles (300 total miles) compared to only 60% for those not rotated.�

I couldn’t find any links to said “studies” but it sure sounds authoritative.
While researching this post, I actually came across what sounds like a logical reason for rotating shoes, but it had nothing to do with shoe maintenance. Instead, it focused on injury prevention and suggested that your body is better off transitioning in and out of new shoes rather than going cold turkey from one pair to the next:

Rotating Running Shoes

What’s your biggest fear as a runner? Injury, of course! It’s important to do all we can to prevent injuries. Shoe rotation is at the top of my list. Ever notice how your body “signals” you to buy a new pair of shoes? Running in worn-out shoes results in aches and pains in your legs, knees and hips. You can prevent this unnecessary pain by rotating between two pair of running shoes. How’s it work?

1.First, start with two pair of shoes that both have less than 250 miles on them. If they’re the same model, mark one pair as A and the other B. To rotate most effectively, keep track of the mileage you’ve put on each pair.

2.The newest pair (lowest mileage) should be used for your longer runs and your competitive racing.

3.The older pair (highest mileage) should be used for your shorter runs, inclement weather runs or your offroad runs if you aren’t using a trail shoe.

4.Keep the older pair in the rotation until you’ve run 450 miles in them. At that point, it’s time to “boot” your old pair and bring a new pair into the rotation. Continue this cycle and you’ll be doing everything you can to prevent worn out shoes from placing you on the “disabled list.” Effectively rotating your shoes takes the guess work out of replacing your shoes and saves you money because your shoes will last longer. It will also save your body from the “wrath of the worn out running shoe.”

Can anyone find an actual study explaining whether shoes “need” recovery time?