The First Running Shoe Purge of 2020

We all own plenty of stuff, some of it great, some of it necessary and most of it...well let's just say if a lot of that stuff suddenly disappeared, I have a sneaking suspicion that most of us would not actually miss it. We might wonder what used to be sitting there or hey why I can close the drawer on my dresser easier.

How do I know all of this, because I am a huge sucker for a great sale (especially when it comes to running shoes) or free stuff that others don't want anymore?

I also know that the marketing professionals are great at their jobs and make it seem as though their product is something we cannot live without and the biggest thing is "well I might need this" (you can add in when or what), but when is usually "someday" and all too often "someday" never comes.

At some point, you start looking around and see how much "stuff" you have. When I did this back in January, I saw how many pairs of running shoes I had squirreled away around the house.  Despite getting rid of 11 pairs of running shoes back in November.

Below is a photo of some of the running shoes that I quickly found and there were a few more that I hauled out after I took the photo when I remembered where I had "stored" them.

As a result of "finding" all these running shoes, over the past few weeks, I looked a lot more closely at the running shoes I do have and how I use them. The more I thought about things, the more I realized if a pair of running shoes didn't work for me last year or two years ago, they sure as hell ain't going to work for me now.

The truth is that most of the shoes out in the garage, under the dresser, in the closet, in the vehicles and other places that I have them squirreled away don't work for the way that I run and I hadn't got rid of them because I was hoarding running shoes - again.

Then I was procrastinating getting rid of them and justified the delay in getting rid of them each time I would go out to try on another pair in the give-away pile to see how they fit compared to shoes that were sort of working for me now.

Finally, after trying on yet another pair from that pile I got it through my head that this was going to continue forever unless I just got rid of them. So that afternoon, I got all the shoes that I know that I won't wear, don't work for me or just didn't like and put them into the back of the van, along with some other stuff that needs to go away

The next morning when I went into Waterville, I dropped them off.

14 pairs of running shoes left the house that morning.

This purge leaves me with:

  • Nike Zoom Fly SP
  • Nike Vomero 14
  • New Balance 1400 v6
  • New Balance Beacon v1
  • New Balance Fuel Cell Propel 

Although I did keep my Mizuno Elixir v7 and Brook Green Silence as legacy shoes I just didn't want to get rid of at this time.

I still have a few too many with what I have left, but I weeded out quite a few and I have a feeling that my two trail shoes will go away if they keep bothering my feet while wearing them and probably the ones I foresee using as tempo shoes when the weather is nicer will probably leave once I actually start to run in them again, they were in the back of the garage for a reason.

  • New Balance 890 v7
  • Salomon Sense Ride v1
  • Nike Wildhorse 5
  • Nike Zoom Fly v1s

The reality is that 

Even though I have a better idea of what running shoes I have left in the house and why I kept them, this really is not only about running shoes.

If you have ever had to take care of a loved one's possessions after they die, you know how hard that can be and if the loved one had lots of interests, lived in the same place for several years or was a bit of a hoarder - then you know what kind of a job it can be to clean-up and dispose of all those personal effects. We went through this when Mary's brother died suddenly in 2017 and we vowed to never put the people who have to clean-up after our death's through that kind of misery.

Realistically the amount of stuff that I have that is unnecessary is pretty much under control. However, keeping the junk, clutter and too much stuff under control is one of those processes that is never-ending, but necessary.

The questions I ask myself now are do I use it, how often and if I die tomorrow, what would the people left behind do with it?

You might think it is a morbid way to think about our stuff, but it is being honest - our possessions, hobbies, and possessions are mostly just stuff to other people.

When I die how much of my stuff, especially my running shoes would be wanted by the people who survive me?

So the important stuff that I want someone to have, I have already started to give to those people and will be getting rid of even more stuff over the coming months. I think that is our lot in life, we spend a lifetime accumulating stuff and then as we get older we work hard at getting rid of until we die and then most of our stuff is either thrown out or given anyway.

Although I have a feeling, I will always own too many running shoes.

First written for One Foot In Reality by Harold Shaw, Jr.


CheerfulMonk said…
I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff, but have more to go. I'm doing it for the same reason you are --- to spare my daughter and son-in-law after I've shuffled off.