Asics Gel 1120Back in March, I mentioned that I wanted to trade in my Converse All-Stars for a pair of real sneakers.

Last night, I finally did it — and inexpensively too!

With vacation on the horizon and an itinerary that includes a ton of walking, it was getting down to the wire.

In high school, when I was taking running pretty seriously, my shoe brand of choice was Asics.

My training shoes were Asics, my racing flats were Asics, my spikes were Asics, my back-to-school shoes were, well, those were Converse.

So, obviously, my search narrowed in on Asics.

We’d looked at shoes in stores locally, Asics included, and I just couldn’t seem to find anything I liked. Seemed that at every store, I’d start in the running show section and wander off course back to the canvas casual shoe area — where the Converse are.

I really like Allstars, but they just won’t get the job done this time. That, and I already have 4 different colors on the go right now.

The biggest hurdle for me was color. All of the running shoes on the market are U-G-L-Y. I mean, you can only put so many reflective strips on them and still make them look nice, you know? And what is with the color combinations?

It was far too difficult to find a shoe with the base color being white. I want a white shoe with a colored brand logo. That’s it. No bells, no whistles, and as few reflectors as possible. Oh, and no over the top plastic bubble areas visible in the sole either.

Last night, I settled on a winner. They’re not perfect. I don’t particularly like the plastic logo that looks hastily applied to the side of the shoe. The funky toe cap area looks a little, I dunno, metallic for my tastes.

But you know what?

The shoe is predominantly white — and that isn’t easy to find anymore.

They’re Asics Gel 1120’s. List price is around $80. We saw these at local stores, as well, but not this color, just some horrible dark grey and maroon color combo — with a dashing hint of highlighter yellow thrown in. Yeah, did I mention that running shoes are U-G-L-Y yet?

Anyhow, I went online to find them and came across the site RunningShoes.com. Their list price was $39.99. Shipping would be $5. Too good to be true?

I was skeptical at first — I’d never heard of the company or the site. Then again, I haven’t picked up an issue of Runner’s World since, probably, 1991 and that was well before Al Gore ‘created’ the internet. (What I’m saying is that RunningShoes.com probably didn’t exist back then and that I’m a good 17 years removed from being in the know.)

As I always do with a merchant that I’m not familiar with (or one that has a very, well, simplistic shopping cart script on their website), I did a little research on them to see if they had a bunch of bad reviews somewhere.

Everywhere I went had them listed (a good sign) along with the infamous, “Be the FIRST to write a review about RunningShoes.com!” Not a good sign.

Good grief.

Things were not looking good… I then tried to find the same shoe from another vendor. Lots of companies offered the horrible grey/maroon color — didn’t want that — and one had the color I wanted for $64.99 — didn’t want to pay that when I knew it could be had for far less.

I went back to RunningShoes.com. Hmmmm… I Google’d them again. They apparently sponsor a lot of local road races out in Washington State. I guess that’s a pretty good sign.

Then I came across this link. You don’t need to click it — it’s not that exciting. Really.

It’s from a United Healthcare Oxford Health Plan site. My guess is that it’s supposed to be behind a password for members or something, but it clearly states, “You are eligible for 10% off our already low prices and free shipping on orders over $50. To get your 10% discount just order online at www.runningshoes.com and use “oxford” as the coupon code.”

I felt a little guilty. I’m not an Oxford Health Plan member but I gave it a try anyway, and what do you know, my price dropped $4.

That did it. Sure, $4 isn’t much, but getting to plug in a coupon code made me feel like I won something.

I clicked “Submit Order”.

So my new sneakers should arrive early next week and they only set me back $40.99.

Hey, when compared to what Foot Locker and Sports Authority wanted for the same shoe (in ghastly colors), I just got them at half price! Woo-hoo!

3 COMMENTS

  1. Surely the Converse Gods will envoke their wrath upon you for forsaking them!!

    I have gray ones, red ones, and black ones. They are pretty much the only shoe I wear. I even wore them with business suits and skirts at the office before I became a WAHM.

    But I agree with you. You can’t very well run in them.

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