Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ball Players, Band Boys, & Bad Ankles: Selecting a good pair of shoes

Journal Entry: Weight = 177.0; Money Found = $.24, 19 pennies, one nickel (a classic walk-over, a coin that has been on the street for a long time); Glass bottle retrievals = 12.

Feature Entry: Walking is a good time for reflection and for what the French writer Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time) calls involuntary memory (fr. souvenir involontaire). While walking, cues are encountered which evoke recollections of the past without conscious effort. Today’s feature blog builds on one of those encounters, seeing an old pick-up truck.

In high school, my big brother divided males into two categories, ball players or band boys. Being a band boy doesn’t sound endearing, but he didn’t use it in a pejorative way. More like, “Hey band boy” he would yell, “Would you like a ride home?” Brother had use of Dad’s old Studebaker pick-up and the band boy had a tuba case. In he jumped as we all returned home totally fatigued from hours of band practice or football drills.

The MoneyWalker still considers himself a ball player, and still utilizes one of the mantra’s of a ball player’s mentality, “Walk it off!” When we turned an ankle which was often, the coach would yell “Walk it off, or go join the band.” I should have, not only was the future Mrs. MoneyWalker a band member, I now possess a seriously pronated left ankle. But not just from high school, I have been turning my ankle and walking-it-off for decades.

The consequence of walking-it-off is bad ankles. Even without a history of ankle injury, purchasing a quality pair of walking shoes is critical for walking comfortably and staying injury-free. Actually, you want jogging shoes. The top brands include New Balance, Reebok, Nike, Saucony, Brooks, and Mizuno. Be careful with low-end Nike and Reebok.

Before I bought my Brooks, turning my ankle was a frequent occurrence during my walks. Avoid the department stores and seek out a runner’s specialty store. Be sure the sales staff are knowledgeable about underpronation, overpronation, and neutral. They should determine if you are flat footed, high arched, or neutral. They should examine your feet for size and physical attributes. The sales person should insist that you try several different brands and within two size patterns. I am fit with both 10 1/2 and 11 inch sizes. The store should insist that you walk several feet in each pair that you try. My Brooks cost just over $100 dollars. To learn more about shoe reviews and prices, consult

Well,I am still a ball player. In a recent pick-up basketball game, true to form and habit, the left ankle turned again. Using a well practiced side body roll, I avoided serious bodily injury. But what really hurt were the words of a fellow player as he bent down and with great concern said, “Are you all right Sir?”



  1. Timely post. Yesterday I told hubby that it was time for new shoes as mine felt a little "sloppy" when I put them on. I average a pair every eight months. The last two have been Brooks. The running store is on my list of errands for this afternoon.

    My morning run/walks are very personal times, almost like meditation. In fact, I can honestly say that since hitting the streets five years ago not only has my physical health improved but my mental well-being is in a better place as well. No ipods for me, just time to think and look for "round".

    Another two scatters this morning, .17 and .25. It's my lucky day!

  2. "Hitting the streets", nice phrase, it captures what I do--so much better than curb walking which is my phrase. Wife uses ipode and insisted that I use them for a few walks. She could tell they weren't for me and sweetly stopped asking. She uses one for her stairs and dumb bell exercises. Meditation is one aspect and for that reason, I have never sought to walk with friends. Besides, I don't think friend walking and money walking are compatable.

    This was a low money walk day. I did take a residual walk to my accountant's office for IRS stuff and added 13 cents to my haul. I agree with you, I love scatters.

  3. If we ever get to New Orleans (it's on our list) we can "not" walk together. My neighbor finally quit nagging me about going with her. She likes to talk. I like to think and pick up shiny objects.

    Personally, I'm too cautious to listen to music. We grow huge trucks out here and they don't always stop for pedestrians. I prefer to have all of my senses focused on not getting flattened. On those rare occasions when I am relegated to walking a mall (snow for days at a time) I will take my iPod, but only because I find the mall to be incredibly boring.