Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Old Shoes

Mrs ERJ gave me the nod and told me I could buy another pair of shoes.  The only caveat was that I had to get rid of a pair to make room for the new pair.

One of the activities that gives me joy is to look at physical evidence and to noodle out (like Sherlock Holmes) the whys and wherefores.  The longer an object has been in our possession the more physical evidence it accumulates.  That evidence translates into increased detail and refinement in our deductions.

Here are the pictures of the pair that is being retired.  What do you see?  What can you deduce from what you see?

Shoe on the left is the one I wear on my left foot.  The shoe on the right is the one I wear on my right foot.

Close-up of my right shoe, the one that shows greater wear.
Just for the record, this is what the top of the shoe looks like.

This pair of shoes had nearly equal wear patterns on the left and right uppers.  Most other pairs of my running shoes show the outsides of the left shoe blowing out.

One notable thing about these shoes is that both front and rear of the sole show wear.  Most wear occurs when the shoes is in motion as it comes into contact with the ground.  The shoe/foot skids and slides until it sticks.  That sliding is what wears the soles.

The wear on the right shoe suggests that I run with a mid-foot strike, biased to the front of foot, and that my heel strike is on the outboard edge.  That is not a bad stride, particularly when running on uneven surfaces where shock/impacts might be large and unexpected.

The wear on the top of my shoe suggests that I run with my big-toe raised in an effete pretension, like a hillbilly drinking white lightening with his pinky raised to show "class".

The difference in wear between my left and right shoe is a bit puzzling until you look at where I run.  90% of my running is on country roads...dirt roads.  Anybody with a brain is going to run into on-coming traffic.  Yes, my hearing is just fine, but prudence demands that I run toward on-coming traffic so I can also see on-coming hazards.  In the United States, that means I will be running on the left side of the road.

I am ridiculously proud of this photo.  It is surprisingly difficult to capture the crown of the road in a photo.
Dirt roads tend to be more generously crowned than paved roads.  It is a durability thing.

That means that my right foot is always about a half inch (13mm) uphill of my left foot.  Effectively, it is as if my right leg is a half inch longer and it tends to plow the shoe into contact at the ground strike.

The one exception to my running on the left side of the road is when I am cresting a hill.  I switch sides and run on the right side.  Once I pass the peak I immediately switch back to the left side.

Supporting evidence can sometimes be found in the uppers where the outsides of the left shoe shows more blowing out due to side thrust.  That was not evident in this pair of shoes but it is one more piece of evidence one can look for.

Looking at these shoes you can deduce that the owner runs on rough, dirt roads.  You can deduce that he runs on the left side of the road more than on the right side of the road, suggesting that the wearer of the shoe did not run in Great Britain, Japan or Oz.  You can also deduce that he is a pretentious fellow and that should trim his toenails more often.  Finally, you can deduce that he hates to spend money on new shoes.

1 comment:

  1. It's ALL in the details, and the bigger things that FEED those little details... :-)