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. No words. Looked at various inappropriate combinations. Got tired of trying to defeat Nike’s dirty word filter.

    not very funny

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


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