My 3-Year Old Running Shoes are More Famous than I Am

Well… technically, I’m not famous. But let’s not get distracted!

Every runner, hiker, or otherwise outdoorsy person has been there. You have a great pair of go-to shoes you’ve been using for years. Then one day, you notice you can feel every rock you step on through the soles.

You realise with an aching heart that it’s time to part ways with a pair of shoes that has likely accompanied you on some of the best adventures of your life.

Well, here I am. But before I toss my famous pair of shoes into the trash, let me give it a proper sending off by covering some of the many accomplishments it’s enjoyed since the early summer of 2014.

My First Charity Run

CUMI Run Medal.jpg

I first bought my shoes to train for, and then attend, the CUMI Run event in 2014. I’ll admit, when I first signed up, it wasn’t for charity. It was for health reasons. I had stacked on 10 pounds and figured running with my coworkers for a company-sponsored event might be a great way to shed them.

We met up at 5:30 AM every Saturday morning for months, to do our training. The week before the race, I also started training with a Taekwondo black-stripe-belt; running up a set of steps in the city, so steep that few people bothered to use it.

I’ve participated in quite a few 5K runs since then; including the Guardian Life Keep it Alive Night Run in Jamaica, and the Color Run in Atlanta, GA.

Featured in NBC News

In fact, my participation in the Color Run in Georgia got a bit of exposure in the national media. Or… maybe it was just my shoes.

The editors have since removed Instagram posts from the article, but luckily I had taken a screenshot at the time and can prove that for a wonderful few months, my pair of shoes was famous.

The writer had hundreds of pictures to choose from – pictures of my family, friends, scenery. And what did they publish with my quote? A picture of my shoes doused in coloured powder, at Color Run 2016.

Alexis Chateau on NBC News Instagram

Not a bad way to go out, eh?

My First Hiking Injury

Though my shoes started out with a focus on running, on arrival in the U.S., hiking became our new favourite thing. Salt Springs State Park in the summer of 2015 was my very first hiking trip in the U.S.

As far as starter-trips go, this one was brutal, with drop-offs to the side, a bit of climbing, lots of bugs, and the threat of bears and snakes. I ended this trip being stung by a hornet. My foot swelled up so badly I couldn’t wear my famous pair of shoes for a few weeks.

Totally worth it.

Hiking Up Kennesaw Mountain

I soon learned, however, that there’s hiking — and then there’s hiking uphill. My first time tackling altitude was at Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia — albeit child’s play compared to Lone Mountain in Vegas.

You can tell how long ago this was by how unbelievably short my hair is!

Trekking through the Desert

Georgia trails are beautiful, but after the rough start I had in Pennsylvania, I longed for a bit more adventure.

I’ve been in and out of the U.S. since 1999. My trips mostly took me up and down the east coast, and later, into the Mid-West. After following one-too-many travel blogs and talking to a few westerners, however, I decided out west is where I would find my proper dose of adventure.

That decision brought me to the deserts in Colorado, California, and Nevada just this year alone. Those trips were so amazing, that I’m planning to see Utah next year, despite my absolute fear of being a minority in the super-conservative middle-of-nowheres of America.

Wish us luck?

A New Era

In short, my shoes has lived with me in 2 countries, and seen 13 of the 20 U.S. states I’ve visited. How’s that for an eventful life?

But needless to say, an outdoorsy girl like myself wouldn’t dare toss out the well-worn pair of shoes without first ensuring she has a replacement. As it turns out, I now have two.

Alexis Chateau Hiking Shoes.jpg

The one on the left is a birthday present to myself. The one on the right is a birthday present from my Mom.

I only have one problem. Now, I have no idea which one to bring with me on my very first trip to New England, this Monday!

What material things have you owned that have earned sentimental value by accompanying you through some of the most iconic moments in your life? What was it like when you finally had to toss it out?

P.S. >>> Happy Friday the 13th!

Alexis Chateau Black Cat

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16 thoughts on “My 3-Year Old Running Shoes are More Famous than I Am

  1. Great story. It’s wonderful you’ve done so much hiking in so many places. If you are every in Tucson, AZ, there are wonderful hikes in all 4 directions. Also in AZ, is mystical and magical Red Mountain, Northwest if Flagstaff on the way to the Grand Canyon. Google it. Geologists can’t explain it and I’ve seen other worldly things there.

    My mom would never buy me converse growing up. Even as an adult I’d ask for them as a present. In 95, she bought me a pair of red converse hightops for Christmas. I wore them until they were falling apart. I had a great pair of Lowa hiking boots I got in 73 and didn’t part with them until 2012 when I hit the road. I kept good soles on them and they were still good but just a little short for me.

    Thanks for following my blog and introducing me to yours!

    1. Thank you, Katelon! I really want to see the Grand Canyon, but I’m wary of Arizona. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories, re the treatment of immigrants and even Americans they think are immigrants. The call of that Canyon is loud though!

      My mom wouldn’t buy me Converse either, but in college I struck a deal. I told her if she bought me a Jansport bag she wouldn’t need to buy me a new book bag every summer. And that worked. So the next year, I told her if she bought me a Converse shoes, I wouldn’t need a new pair every year. I still have the second pair she bought me from back then (I graduated in 2012), and I also still have the Jansport. I bring it to the gym every week – haha!

      1. I’ve been using my little Jansport day pack for 17 years! I worked with Central American refugees in AZ from 84 to late 97. Please don’t be afraid of AZ. It has so much beauty. Check out Red mountain, before the Grand Canyon…very mystical.

      2. Will you protect me, while I’m there? Haha!

        I have a White American friend who was detained earlier this year, because he said “Hola” at an iHop and the agents heard him and thought he was Mexican. They held him for hours while they ran his fingerprints etc and then released him with an apology. That’s scary!

        But… the canyon, the call. I was closeby earlier this year, too. I went hiking in Vegas, by Lone Mountain and Red Rock Canyon. Those were stunning!

        Never heard of Red Mountain. What makes it a better hike than Grand Canyon, in your opinion?

      3. That is awful!

        You’ll have to Google it. It isn’t one over the other. I had blue glowing foot prints walking next to me at red mountain while walking out at night. I’ve seen UFO’S there. It is an extinct volcano but geologists can’t explain it’s formation as the cauldron is on the side, not the middle. The rock structures are so magical. I camped there one night before they forbid over night camping.

  2. Awesome post with great pics! If you like Yeezy’s you should totally check out 👍🏼 they sell 1:1 UA Adidas shoes, clothing, and more for affordable prices

    1. Actually not really big on the big brands. I kind of just go for whatever is comfortable and catches my eye at the time. I don’t even know the brand of the one I bought lol, although it’s probably written on there somewhere.

      Thanks for sharing though! Do they have anything else on that website?

      1. Oh yeah, lots of different shoes! The Adidas NMDs are the most comfortable ones I’ve got from them (: I have 4 pairs and I have 3 on my wishlist haha

  3. You hike and run in the same shoes? Economical I guess. I still own, and wear, a 2001 Half-Marathon shirt (though I was only the organiser that day). I think it’ll be my descendants that will finally bin it 🙂

  4. I remember my first running shoes! Omg I wore them down until they literally had holes in them everywhere, and I still felt sad when I had to replace them 🙁

  5. I know the feeling well, Alexis. During our hiking days, we bought a pair of Chris Brasher boots and Paramo goretex waterproof coat each. After 15 years of loyal service and zealously care on our part, the boots were developing cracks and no longer waterproof, so sadly,I had to let them go. It was like losing a good friend. Paramo coats lasted a bit longer and only when emptying the house to sell did we part with them (I believe our son took my husband’s). Neither item was cheap at the time, but they were reliable to keep you dry even in the worst of weather that the UK can throw at you (including Scottish mountains) and worth every penny. Enjoy the new pairs and happy hiking. 👍

    1. Heartbreaking isn’t it? I’m one of those people who really hate replacing something unless I absolutely have to, so that makes it even worse for me.

      Your hiking gear sounds fabulous! Weather in the US, at least where I’m at, is a lot less rainy and a lot more sunny, so no coats needed to go hiking just yet. I did buy some new hoodies for the autumn hike though, and made some branded tops, I can’t wait to show off while traveling next week.

      Stay tuned, and thanks for dropping by 😊

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