My Shoe Collection

Over the course of the past two years, I seem to have acquired a large number of things to put on my feet that apparently we just must have for this sport of ours. You only NEED two pair of shoes for this sport – one for riding the bike, one for running. And if you use pedals with toe clips, you only need one as you can wear the same shoe to bike and run.

Apparently I like shoes.

13 pairs of foot ware arranged in a circle.

The things I put on my feet for triathlon and related multisport activities.

Here’s what they are. I’ve put a link to a description of these or similar/later model shoes.

  • A – Water shoes to wear on the way to races and for bumming around before the race. Speedo Surf Walker.
  • B – Short swim fins to work on the fact that I am an old runner and my ankles don’t flex (put me on a kickboard and I go backwards). These torture devices are designed to help develop that form. Finis Zoomers Gold.
  • C – Special fins for triathletes, which I bought because it said “for triathletes” on the box, and triathletes must buy all things that say “for triathletes” on them. Finis Z2 Gold Zoomers.
  • D – “Mike Nelson Sea Hunt” swim fins for when my swim coach has had enough and wants to go home sometime before the day is over. Tyr Flexfins.
  • E – Triathlon cycling shoes with Shimano SPD-SL cleats and carbon fiber soles which one must have because, you know, carbon. The SPD-SL cleats have a very broad surface for applying the force on the sole of your foot over a larger area. Triathlon cycling shoes are typified by a smooth interior to facilitate not wearing socks, a hole in the bottom to let water drain out, and a single Velcro strap that allows one to put your feet in and out of the shoes while on the bike (something I may never master). Interestingly, the strap goes the other direction as on regular cycling shoes so it won’t get caught in the chain when open. Shimano SH-TR60.
  • F – My original triathlon cycling shoes, with regular SPD clips. I still use these for Spin classes and for indoor triathlons. Makes you look real serious when you show up with  special shoes for an indoor triathlon! Shimano SH-TR32.
  • G – Regular cycling shoes with SPD clips, I use these especially for cold weather training. Specialized Sport Touring.
  • H – Triathlon running shoes. Very smooth inside for running without socks, no-tie lacing system to save time, and yet more holes for drainage (you know, for aquathlons). Yes, these are slip-on running shoes. Tip: do not touch a triathlete’s running shoes. Ever. Just don’t. Zoot.
  • I – Running shoes for, you know, running. Nike Free.
  • J – Trail running shoes for trails that are more roots than rocks. The sole is split between the big toe and the other four toes so you can “feel” your way along the roots. Brooks Pure Grit.
  • K – Trail running shoes for trails that are ore rock than root. They have Kevlar soles, and are also my favorite shoes for running on snow. Best name ever: Montrail Mountain Masochist.
  • L – “Tire chains” to put on your shoes when you need to run in snow or on ice, and definitely NOT when you are on pavement. Yaktrax Pro.
  • M – Cross country spikes, which generally use the longer 1/2 ” spikes. You need to be careful when adjusting to these if you aren’t used to a low-drop shoe. And remember to pick your feet up with those long spikes! Nike Zoom Waffle XC 10 Cross Country Running Spikes.
  • N – Track spikes for my budding track and field career, meaning, I haven’t worn these yet. These shoes are usually cheap and don’t have a lot to them; they are intended for races and not much else. Usually you wear the 1/4″ spikes for the synthetic tracks. Nike Zoom Rival.

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