The single most important thing we put on when we go out for a run is a pair of shoes. They say a lot about us – from the brand to the model to the color to how beaten up and dirty they are – or bright and shiny.
Whether a run is the best we’ve had in months or a struggle since the first mile, we put a lot of heart, sole, brain capacity and intention into each one. And if you’re like me, many of your runs are solo. That presents are particularly distinct challenge when you want to capture something to remember a run – for good or bad – since almost every aspect of our lives are now documented in some way.
Welcome… the shoefie. Go ahead, you can admit it. You’re in a safe place here. Like many runners and non-runners, you’ve taken a shoefie or have thought about it. Maybe you’ve posted it on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, or maybe you kept it for yourself along with 1000+ other photos in your phone’s photo gallery.
From a quick look at any one of my social media feeds, I know for a fact I’m not alone. And you know what? That’s okay. Actually, it’s pretty great. Because, at least for us runners, we’re getting out there. We’re pushing ourselves and wearing holes in our running shoes, and that’s a beautiful thing. And for those non-runners posting shoefies, well, they can be pretty great too when there are particularly awesome shoes involved.
From personal experience there are 3 basic reasons for the shoefies rise in popularity: 1) we love our shoes - the more colorful and crazy, the better; 2) it’s pretty easy to take a basic shoefie, and once that’s mastered, they can be fun and creative; and 3) I can take it myself (key since I run solo) but better than a selfie, I don’t have to show the world my sweaty, blushed and crazy-hair post-run self!
That all said, there is something a bit weird about the shoefie too. Growing up I loved looking through the old, black and white photos in boxes and glued in photo albums at my grandparent’s houses. I’ve always been intrigued by how people dressed and posed for photos, and I can’t help but wonder what life was like for them, what they were celebrating or where they were going all dressed up. I have a few of those cherished photos over my desk. Now that so many of our photos are self-portraits or only our legs and feet, and always filtered, what are future generations going to think of us? Just like with black and white photos, we can’t tell what color a dress was, or if a man was wearing a grey or black suit, colors were in the wedding bouquet our Grandma carried, they’ll have similar questions when they look at ours. A good reminder for me to keep some photos just as they are.
Alright, that’s enough for the deep thoughts. I’d love to know, do you share shoefies? Running only or do you prefer not to discriminate? Share a link to your favorite in the comments!
For good measure, one proving that I do wear shoes of the non-running variety. Sometimes!