The First Shoe I Really Loved
Runner's World SA|February 2019
The First Shoe I Really Loved

They gave me PB's, podiums, a job - and they helped me heal from my biggest loss.

Amanda Furrer


Shoe shops are the Ollivanders Wand Shop of our painfully mundane Muggle lives. After all, shoes become an extension of our bodies.

How do I explain that feeling when you just know you love a running shoe? I’m a test editor at Runner’s World – reviewing and explaining shoes is my trade. But that particular alchemy defies explanation. It could be the fit or feel, or maybe superstition; but sometimes you just know they will carry you through whatever mileage lies ahead.

The first shoe I truly fell for was the Brooks PureFlow. Lightweight and sleek, they’re the kind of shoe people compliment you on as you board the Green Line after the Boston Marathon, despite the rest of you looking like leftover meatloaf in a space blanket. In the PureFlow I felt like I could fly. The shoe even helped me land my dream job: in my Runner’s World application, I needed to review a shoe, and there was no question which one I’d use.

My devotion started in early 2017, when the PureFlow 4 helped me take second place at the Ocala Marathon in Central Florida. That podium was the first in a series of amazing changes in my life. Runner’s World – working here seemed like a pipe dream back then – had accepted my freelance pitches. I had one semester to go for my master’s in journalism from NYU, and I was set to intern at Women’s Health. All the while, I was training for my fifth consecutive Boston Marathon, hanging out with friends, and consuming more guacamole and margaritas than any human deserves.

It sounds crazy, but I had this nagging feeling that things were going too well. No matter what, I couldn’t shake this inexplicable feeling of dread.

A few weeks after I finished Boston in PureFlow 6s the colour of roasted cashews (my favorite nut), I booked a flight to celebrate Mother’s Day with my parents in Florida. This is how peculiar, serendipitous, and cruel life can be: within a week of my booking, my mom told me she had cancer.


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February 2019