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Kicksology by Brian Metzler

Kicksology is a book that I have wanted to read since I first read about it on Facebook a little while ago. So when I got a chance I ordered as a personal purchase and got it in this week. It took me just over a day to read it from cover-to-cover.

Running shoe geekery is something that has afflicted me for far too many years. Sometimes I think I run more to check out all the different running shoes than I do to train for any running event or race. If you don’t believe that think for a second, I have run in one race in 2019 and have run in more than 20 pair of running shoes this year.

I think that says about everything.

So when I saw that Brian Metzler (who’s running shoe reviews I have read so often) was writing a book on running shoes, I knew it was one that I had to read and add to my collection.

Did I enjoy it? Absolutely, it gave me the rest of the story from an insiders view point. Which as a complete outsider to the running shoe industry, but someone who loves running shoes was pretty cool.

As you can see by the table of contents, he does cover a lot of ground. While some of the contents of the book I was sort of familiar with having read “Born to Run”, “Shoe Dog”, along with a bunch of other books, magazine articles, having met/talked with Golden Harper and just having been a running shoe geek from the 70’s, made the book a must read.

Brian brought more of the back story and tied a lot of the loose ends together that I had always wondered about. His insider’s view and knowledge of the shoe industry gave me insights into some of the why’s, while at the same time giving me a chance to remember a few things that I had forgotten about.

Like Hersey’s custom shoes, I came within dropping a big envelope in the post office box of having a pair made for me back in the mid 80’s, but balked at the last minute due to the high cost of custom made shoes. I wonder how it might have changed my running if I had gone ahead and put that envelope in the mail to get a pair of running shoes that actually fit my hard to fit feet?

Probably a bit differently I would love to surmise.

The other big thing that I am taking from the book is how much hands-on work is required to create a running shoe. I knew that it was labor intensive, but to have a consistent product with that many things having to come together is a testament to the actual people who physically put together my running shoes.

I have a lot more respect for the amount of work it takes to create, produce and get my running shoes to me at a price that is usually pretty reasonable for the amount of work involved.

The reality is that

There is a lot of information on how running shoes have evolved over the years and a lot more I could write about, but instead I encourage you to get the book and read it for yourself, especially if you consider yourself a running shoe geek.

I will end with a comment by Brian at the start of the book that just stuck with me, because I find myself doing this whenever I am out and around people wearing running shoes

“Truth is, I can’t help but check out what kicks the people are wearing.”

Yeah, I do look to see if I can tell what running shoes someone else has on…I guess that is a sign of a running shoe geek.

Good book and one I heartily recommend reading if you have any interesting in running shoes.

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