World’s ugliest running shoe? They’re gonna be mine.

My custom running shoes

Originally uploaded by dchurbuck

I need a pair of running shoes — the old Salomon trail shoes are rounding on the heels and a threat to my health. So off I went for recommendations from the CrossFit community and came up with these — Nike Free’s.

When I checked them out on I discovered I could customize them — really customize them — so in honor of my Cotuit Skiff, the Snafu II, I went with a yellow body and a green highlight.

Professionally, while these suckers will take a discouraging four to six weeks to arrive, I liked:

1. The customization interface was really intuitive and kind of cool to play around with.
2. The text entry for putting words on the heel cups was capricious — permitting some words: “Sinister”; but dinging others: “Dexter.”
3. The email progress notification is a great example of post-sale-pre-delivery expectation management. Including a photo of my shoe is very smart.

There’s a lot to learn from Nike in the customization and communications process. I know I will probably be horrified at how ugly these are on my feet, will look like I have two lemons strapped to my feet, and have an argument with my wife for not conferring with her before committing the order.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “World’s ugliest running shoe? They’re gonna be mine.”

  1. big fan of the Nike Free. they’re light, pack very well, and do give your foot a workout.

    be quick to replace them, though. i started getting some weird leg/hip problems after i ran for not all that long on a worn out pair. that would happen with any shoe, of course, but i think it’s worse with Free’s since there’s not much to them.


  2. Thanks Stephen — I hear they are pretty light (which I want) — but I don’t put all that many miles on my shoes. I prefer to row to run but need some good gym/training shoes that can hit the streets when need be.


  3. Definitely should have gotten input from your better half before ordering…I have a feeling you’ll be training solo….



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