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A Challenge For Other Runners

P8040002I have a challenge for other runners out there.

Have you looked closely at some of your running buddies lately, students you know or even family members who run?

Are their running shoes starting to really look pretty darn tired?

With the hard times many people are having right now a lot of runners are wearing running shoes that are worn out or pretty close to it.

How does that affect you and I?

With worn-out shoes, those runners are more likely to get injured or become unmotivated to run and are probably feeling very stressed about life in general because of what they can and can’t afford.

The other thing is if they stop running, we won’t have the pleasure of their company during our runs, being totally up front and selfish here.

If You Can

What I am proposing is – if you can afford to, sometime in the next week or two take one of your friends or a family member who is having a tough time, to buy them new running shoes.

Oh I many of them will say – no I can’t let you do this and the other things to try to talk you out of doing this. Don’t let them.

Tell them you are paying forward their running and that at some point in the future, when things are better for them, they will be able to do this for someone else.

You know your friends and family who are runners better than I do and how different ones might react to your offer. However, you might be surprised about how they react if you do offer.

The reality is

that we don’t really stop and think about how our friends and family are really doing sometimes and in my opinion doing something as simple as helping another runner get new pair of running shoes, so they are able to keep running injury/pain free is the right thing to do.

I can think back to times in my life where things were extremely tight and a new pair of running shoes were way down on the list of priorities, yet in order to keep running injury/pain free I needed new shoes. I would keep running in the old shoes and eventually get injured. Which meant that I couldn’t run and felt even worse about myself and whatever was going on.

Think about it.

It might make a big difference in another runner’s life and yours.

After all they say the Karma goes both ways.

What do you think?


  1. Wow!! This is actually such a great message and a great way to pay-it-forward. As a runner who has gone through injury due to bad shoes and a lack of money to buy new ones, I take this message truly to heart. I sincerely hope that some day I’ll be privileged enough to do this for a running buddy! It’s my first time checking out your blog and I’m SO glad I did.

  2. As a runner who is having a hard time financially this really warmed my heart. Such an excellent way to pay it forward. When I have the means I will definitely be doing this. Thanks for posting this.

    • Thank you and I have a feeling You will come out of it fine, maybe even one of your running friends or family will see the post and take the hint. Like Chelsie you will remember to pay it forward too 🙂

  3. I did get my wife a free pair of Mizuno’s and offered to buy a buddy a pair of trail shoes if he’d do another 12 hour run (Russ…he said never again, but I’ve heard that before from him). I also got my brother a GC to a running store when he started walking a lot (used to be a triathlete, completed a 70.3, but may have gained that much in the past 10 years or so). My parents walk a lot…I may get them a GC or just take them to a running store for their birthdays in January to get them some new shoes!

  4. I love this post. Sometimes it’s really important to look beyond yourself and your own current problems/issues to see how you can help someone else. This is a point well taken, and I am on the lookout to be helpful in this way…

  5. I think it’s wonderful! My coach in high school recognized this exact fact. I went to a school that was not known for its wealth. So he had a shoe program – we could purchase running shoes from a local running store and someone from (who knows where) sponsored them. It was a great program because otherwise I would have gone without good running shoes in high school. They are definitely expensive when the budget is tight – and you are spot on. Helping someone out in a time of need is crucial and running shoes always end up seeming like a luxury item. But in reality, it’s a preventative health care program. Not bad for $90!

  6. What a great act of kindness! I actually have gone through trying out numerous different shoes and would notice they weren’t for me by around 50 miles into them. I had decided before that instead of returning them I would give them to friends who liked the different shoe styles in my running group. It does feel good to do! I’ll be sharing this challenge.

    • Thank you Tina, what you are doing is a great thing, it would be nice if some local races would advertise they were taking in lightly used shoes for giving/exchanging to other runners and have an area to put them or get them and then after give leftovers to local charity.

  7. That’s an awesome idea. I think the reason I only have one pair of trail and one pair of running shoes is because that’s about all I can afford but i’m cool with that. I do most of my running for fun and not competition. Some of the trails I run in bare feet.
    You are an innovative thinker Harold that’s for sure.


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