Tag Archives: gear

Lessons from an old pair of sneakers


I have happy feet.

Meet my new footwear:

They make my toes giggly and my steps feel lighter. Extra points for the color combo which I love as well.

I felt a pang of doubt before buying them because my old sneakers are, well, old– but they’re not falling to pieces. They don’t have holes in the sole, they’re not torn or shredded. Basically they still function as shoes, which made me second guess my “need” for new runners. So many things come into play when we buy things (consumerism, depletion of natural resources, contributing to plastic waste in landfills) and they are all things that cross my mind before choosing to buy. This is a big reason why I opt for swapping,  asking around (chances are someone has exactly what you need!) and purchasing at thrift stores and second-hand shops, with the added benefit of paying just a fraction of the cost. I had several conversations in my head weighing my options and consulting with myself before making a decision. It may sound radical to say I meditated on the matter, but that’s pretty much what I did; I made sure I wasn’t trying to justify for myself a frivolous expense, that I wasn’t just getting caught up in the wanting more, better, newer, shinier, prettier. In the end I chose to get the new sneakers because my previous pair were half a size too small for me since I bought them over three years ago, and I had gone all this time training, running and dancing with too-small shoes, cramped toes and an uncomfortable fit. I know, it was silly to buy something that didn’t really fit in the first place but back then I was in a completely different mind frame, thinking only about having sporty shoes to match a sporty outfit. I wasn’t considering the notion of ever becoming an athlete and I just wanted sneakers for the heck of it  (the most mindless and worst possible reason to buy anything).

I’m feeling the deepest respect for those who don’t let uncomfortable toes and brand-name running shoes distract them from their moment, from what truly matters.

South African Dina Phalula competing barefoot

Insight and humbling lessons can be found even in the most superficial of life’s activities because if we think about it there’s no such thing as ‘superficial’; every action, every decision is full of meaning and life-changing potential– we just have to remember to look at it as such.

I’ll wash my old runners, thank them for their time with me and gift them to someone who needs them exactly as they are.