I got new shoes this weekend – Brooks Ghost 4. I have always run in Brooks Ghosts. When I first started running I used to believe that just the right shoe would make me into a real runner. Cushioning, DNA technology, subtle but cute colors – surely they’d make the miles more tolerable. I laced my first pair up with pride because they told the world that I ran. They represented who I wanted to become.
My first pair of orange Ghost 3s felt right from the beginning, as if they had chosen me a la Harry Potter and his wand. They carried me across the finish line for my first race, through my first tortuous long runs, and over the pieces that remained of people’s lives when I volunteered after the Tuscaloosa tornado. And when there was a shortage of sneakers among tornado victims, my Ghosts went to someone who needed them more than I did. Since then I have worn many more pairs of Ghosts and even wear test for Brooks and am able to watch the shoes evolve to provide runners with that perfect run.
Apart from my love for the shoes themselves, I have a crush on the entire Brooks brand. Two things come to mind when I think of Brooks:
Run Happy tagline It’s brilliant. Run happy. That’s all a runner really wants, isn’t it? For me, Run Happy serves as a reminder of why I run. Not every run will be my best and sometimes I would much rather lay on the couch eating a bowl of mac & cheese, but running still makes me happy. I see their tagline and think “Yes. I will!”
Strong social media presence Brooks does a great job managing their Twitter and Facebook accounts, which makes the brand more personable and therefore more likeable. Coming from an advertising background, I am going to respect you more as a company if you are consistent with your branding and marketing. You present yourself as a fun-loving brand? Prove it. I met the Brooks team when they came to Birmingham on their Cavalcade of Curiosities tour a few weeks ago, and they were everything I thought they’d be. But more on that in another post.
Running shoes are a luxury I can’t always afford, which makes me appreciate each new pair that much more. I have always worn my Ghosts down to the foam, and when they eventually start to break down I manage to coax a few more miles out of them. My dabblings with barefoot running (I’m a believer) stemmed from trying to extend the life cycle of my shoes. The fact that I am able to wear my Ghosts for so long is a testament to their quality.
My feet are thrilled to have a new pair of shoes and I expect my shins will start to thank me too. I have exactly a month to break these bad boys in before my marathon, so I better get a move on.