Confessional: I sometimes feel weird during “Branded” runs.

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Okay, I love running, and I love running with a group!  Group running brings a great social aspect to the sport of running that is otherwise pretty solitary.  There are many different types of running groups: major training groups such as the Roadrunners organization and some smaller training groups like my friend John’s group SHAKA Runners.  You also have specialty running stores that have weekly fun runs!

Many running stores partner with running shoe companies to organize shoe tryouts which is a “win” for all sides!  The running shoe company gets some feedback and excitement around their product, and the running store draws more runners to the store for the “special event”.  The runners get to REALLY test a shoe before they buy it and often times may get a special discount if they buy it that day.

So why do I sometimes feel “weird” when a brand is involved?  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy these events, it’s just sometimes I feel weird that:

A) I don’t own any of their products

B) I am likely wearing their competitor’s gear

C) I won’t commit to buying their product

There have been a few times when these events have influenced me to purchase a particular brands’ product, but never immediately.  Even if I really like the shoe or product, I like to wait, explore other options, and find deals.  Knowing that makes me feel a little bad.   I feel like I’m leading these people on if I express interest or excitement in their product.

Here’s another confession.  Although I’ve had interest in some of the NikeTown group runs around LA, I have not attended one because I don’t own a pair of Nike running shoes.  I know this is completely silly and unreasonable!  I have this irrational fear that I will show up in my Saucony Kinvaras and be judged or have the Nike evangelists attempt to convert me to their side.  I feel this way even though everything I’ve heard and read shows that this is not the case.

I am confessing this in an attempt to get rid of this odd point of view and open my horizons a bit!

So if you have any experiences, or any other running confessions, drop me a message in the comments section below!

– Eddie

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2 thoughts on “Confessional: I sometimes feel weird during “Branded” runs.

  1. i can appreciate where you’re coming from. although i primarily run alone, when traveling i try and hookup with a running club or group of some sort. i had the best run ever (fast, nice people that knew the route) while visiting new york city last year, it was with the niketown run club, the big big nike store in manhattan. a large group of very friendly and helpful runners, and a wide range of skill levels.
    i’ll probably never buy a nike running shoe as i love love love my nimbus asics. but, because i felt i needed to, which maybe speaks to your sentiment, i tried out some new-fangled nikes on that day (13+ miles) and returned to the store with bloody shoes from a big, fat blister on my toe. they had to throw the shoes out.
    no guilt because i love their running clothes just not the shoes.
    bottom line, no one had shoe envy or even looked down at my shoes.
    in fact i can’t remember an occasion anyone has ever asked about my shoes and i’ve been running for 30+ years.
    next time i’m in la, i’d like to try the niketown run club, if it’s not far from marina del ray, that is or maybe you can recommend a club along the coast.
    thanks for sharing the message Eddie.

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