Monday, April 7, 2014

Fast Steps



Pastel sneakers from VEJA, a French footwear company that I think is fair trade, but it's kinda hard to tell because Google Translate is not foolproof. Example: "The action is rare and abounding verb. [...] That between the organic fair trade, which joins economic, environmental and social development." I'm pretty sure that I understand what they're getting at, but not 100% sure.

I'm posting sneakers because I've been scouring the internet for ethical athletic shoes. Yesterday I went running for the first time in literal years, and remembered what I used to love about it. I had forgotten the feeling of physical mastery when you settle into your stride, and the tired euphoria when you finish. At the beginning of 2014, I vaguely pledged to Get More Exercise, but this is my first concrete step toward that goal.

The most athletic period of my life was the summer before junior year of high school. I started running during that July, and astonished myself by liking it. I was adjusting to Prozac, which came with a new abundance of energy. Some of it got channeled into bounding up suburban hills before dawn. Unfortunately, I couldn't sustain the habit after school gained momentum, and I lapsed into my natural torpor. It didn't help that the Prozac dosage was losing its effect. (Yeah, it does that. FYI, I'm no longer on Prozac. Whattup, Effexor.)

One of my early exercise goals was to get thinner, hoping in vain to be/feel more attractive. My views have changed significantly since then, with respect to other people's bodies as well as my own--I think it's tragic that we're taught to berate ourselves for being physically present--and now I want to exercise because it's super healthy. Working out is great for your mood, and then there's this chart from OkTrends:



The first time I saw that, I thought of eight zillion reasons why it could be dismissed, but reality is that many sources support the idea that regular exercise leads to an improved sex life. Not that I want to talk about sex. I want to talk about how goddam difficult it is to find a running shoe that I won't feel guilty about buying. Even Patagonia, a brand that's considered relatively sustainable, only offers Chinese-made shoes. I'm not inherently opposed to Chinese manufacturing, but even given Patagonia's corporate responsibility statement, I feel uncomfortable. Sportiva reassures me a little more, so I'm considering these "Helios" trainers:

coral Helios running shoes from Sportiva

However, it's difficult for me to commit to spending more than $100 on anything, so I might check out the thrift shop first and see if I can get lucky. Don't look at me like that! Sneakers are washable!

12 comments :

  1. Um, that graph makes me sad. Why is it good for dudes no matter what but we have to exercise in order to get off? Where's the justice in that?!

    Evil graph and that's all I'm going to say about that. I admire your dedication to shopping ethically, that can be a hard thing to do and harder still when it comes to athletic gear. I've always worn Champions for running(heh, that sounds bad) but they're not the best so any brands you've found, even in the higher range, throw them out there!

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    1. I agree. Evil graph! I'll definitely keep y'all updated.

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  2. umm ok my comment to the above is not internet appropriate but i will say that 1) exercise is not necessary but 2) exercise is good in so many reasons, including for me personally my mood
    and now onto what i really wanted to say is i'm so glad you did this post!! I've been on the hunt for about a year but had just given up and was going to go to my (totally non local) local sporting goods store and buy whatever random, non Nike shoe, preferably a kind suitable for zumba too since my old running shoes i think are hurting my feet. i decided not to try to thrift running shoes since they can be worn too much to someone's foot and hurt mine, but of course if i stumbled across some in good shape i'd try them on. i thrift shoes all the time so i dont find it gross, but esp running shoes since i assume they're always worn w/ socks (sweat? whatever.). but ah the price tag on these shoes gets me as well so now i'm just in the same conundrum but i really do appreciate that you did this internet search for me because i kept putting it off and was feeling guilty! thanks! also..... dont run distance too much! that gave me so many issues in HS cross country, although none fortunately long term.

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    1. Oooh, you're right about thrift shoes being molded to someone else's foot! Thanks for bringing that up; it didn't occur to me. Yeah, I won't be running long distances, at least not for a long time.

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  3. Holy cow! That chart actually kind of shocked me. I won't go into too many details but I am definitely happier when exercising and that translates to *ahem* other areas.

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  4. I think that graph is the most well-justified excuse to buy shoes I have ever seen.

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  5. That graph is great - I have serious doubts about its actual statistical usefulness, but I'll be darned if I won't add it to my list of excuses to do MOAR BALLET.

    You can't pay me to run though. I think it's the worst thing in the world :-P

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  6. I absolutely despise running and have a bad hip, so have been advised against it anyways, but I do love a good workout. I always finish with a swim too! Those pastel sneakers are so cute!

    http://mattekat.blogspot.ca/

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    1. I would like to get into swimming! Need to find a good pool nearby...

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