My 28 Year Love Affair with NIKE Shoes

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Some people are very into brand names. Whether it is for every day apparel, workout clothes, jackets, vehicles, food, or whatever, people stand by products they love and trust. Sometimes, these brand-addictions go through phases. You try new things out for while, and maybe stick with the new and improved item, or maybe you go back to the brand you have always loved. Over the years I have acquired and disposed of running gear. And while I do admit that I never use to spend much money on running gear, there is one thing I have always gone back to—Nike running shoes.

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As you can see, maybe my parents conditioned me to stick with Nike. Those lovelies were my first “walking shoes.” My mom still has them in the original box down in the basement at her house. She even has the original receipt, because she is crazy. They were bought on August 1, 1985, from the Stride Rite store at Southridge Mall. They were a whopping $15! Growing up my parents always bought me Nike shoes for athletic shoes. I can picture a bunch of my favorites in my head. Even through all the weird fashion trends of the 90s-ying yangs, smiley faces, rainbows, glitter gel, snap bracelets, bodysuits, stirrups, chokers, Tommy Hilfiger, and everything else god-awful and tacky—I stuck with Nike running shoes.

Once in high school, I did have to start getting some legitimate running shoes for track, not just whatever was on sale at Kohls or Finish Line. Rodiez’s running store in West Allis was the place to go. High school track athletes got 10% off! I know that in sophomore year I had a pair of blue and yellow Adidas spikes. But, junior and senior year, I went back to my roots. I can keep telling myself now that maybe that is what got me into running the 1600 meter run and doing my best I ever had. I even proudly displayed my Nike spikes in one of my senior photos!
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When I got into long distance road races, I knew I needed a solid shoe to train and compete in. I went back to Rodiez’s while back home one time from UW-La Crosse and they recommended the Nike Air Pegasus. I have been in love ever since. My first full marathon, the Mad City Marathon 2004, I rocked these. Second marathon, also Mad City, but in 2005, I had a new pair! That race is the one where the course was closed at 5 hours and 15 minutes due to heat index issues and humidity. You can see the shoes in the sweaty photo below, and actually my full Nike outfit.
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I admit-after that race I know I switched around at some point. I don’t know why, but my and Air Pegasus went on a break. I tried some New Balance ones, but the arch was terrible and I got horrific blisters. I had a pair of Saucony too, but it just didn’t feel right. I was meant to run in my Nike Air Pegasus.

I have now owned approximately 7 pairs of Nike Air Pegasus. This might be a little low of an estimate actually. When I went into Runner’s Soul in December 2012 to purchase some new shoes, all I had to do was say to the clerk “Nike Air Pegasus, size 7.5.” Tried them on for good measure and I was in and out in five minutes flat. It always feels good to get that fresh new pair of shoes. I especially loved how these ones looked brand new. The grey and the blue is sweet. I want to go buy some crazy neon laces to put through too and make them pop. But while new shoes look and feel great, there is something about wearing these puppies in, getting them dirty, wet and bent, that feels even better.

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So that is my love affair with Nike shoes. I still buy some Nike shirts and other apparel-my watch is the Nike+ SportWatch GPS and I am in love with that too. But I do wear other brands when it comes to outer wear gear. I have a mix of NorthFace, Lulu Lemon, New Balance, race shirts and Nike. But when it comes to my shoes, only one brand is meant for me. Nike.

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My dad was a Nike supporter too! Here he is looking so thrilled in Disney World, sitting next to the Lego man at Lego Imagination Centre in Downtown Disney. Just Do It!

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