Recently I was lucky enough to visit the Nike Company Store and for the first time ever in my life I was actually excited to buy a pair of sneakers. Since this opportunity allowed me to try several of the new release items I thought I'd share my impressions here as a non athlete or sneaker fanatic.
Maybe it's because I'm married and I no longer feel pressure to wear cute but uncomfortable shoes all the time or maybe because the older I've gotten the crankier I've gotten but lately I find myself wearing flat shoes - I've even been wearing keds as of late. While I find keds to be cute and comfortable I decided that I really wanted to start wearing proper sneakers in a casual fashionable way. In the past I always considered sneakers to be a gym only shoe, partially because they are sooo casual but also because quite frankly I think they're pretty ugly - and they're expensive!
The Nike Company Store is located on the large distribution campus here in Memphis and contains the newest released products. Company employees receive a discount on products as do guests although not as high of a discount. Because there is a discount on brand new products entry to the store is highly sought after and from time to time one time access guest passes are available - which is how I was able to enter. Lucky for me, the new releases are using a lot of a beautiful blush color - they perfect way for me to get a functional shoes and still be fashionable!
The first shoe I tired was the Nike Air Max 97, which was also the most expensive. Honestly, I tried these first because they looked "the coolest" but as soon as they were on I knew they were not the right "entry" level sneaker for someone like myself. While comfortable and providing good stability this is a rather bulky shoe and it just felt like too much for someone who is taking her first leap into fashionable sneakers. Nike, btw calls these "lifestyle shoes"
Next I tried the Nike Exp X14, another lifestyle shoe. This one has a much more modest presence and a style that's closer to my style. When I tried this shoe on OMG y-all! It was sooooo comfortable thanks to shoe awesome cushioning technology. But as amazing as these felt to walk on and as much as I liked their look there was no ankle support which is something I need. Although I think I would be fine to wear these around town I fear that if I wore them for longer than dashing into Target the lack of ankle support might be a problem as I do tend to roll my ankle.
This lead me to the running shoe section where I was drawn to the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35. This style comes in the most color varieties and is lightweight yet sturdy. As soon as I slipped this one on I knew this provided the ankle support I needed but I walked around the store for a bit just to make sure. I personally found them to be a little snug at the top and I have since read online reviews echoing this sentiment but I'm sure someone with a less pudgy foot won't have this problem and for me it's noticeable but not uncomfortable and I'm sure I'll break them in soon enough. This shoe also features a high arch, which for me is actually perfect but again, I realize that's not the same for every foot.
As much as I wanted to buy both the Exp X14 and the Pegasus 35 I felt it best to just one because this was more than I typically spend on a pair of shoes. I understand why a quality sneaker cost what it does but since I'm not a typical sneaker buyer it was a step outside my comfort zone. Of course I had buyer remorse on the Exp X14s and I probably should have done this before entering the store but I've since gone through and checked out some reviews and the Pegasus 35 has been very well received by the running community while it seems the Exp X14 is strictly a lifestyle shoe. Not that I see myself running a marathon anytime soon but I think the most stable and supportive shoe is what best fits my needs right now. If I find myself wearing the Pegasus 35 often enough I could see myself buying the Exp X14 in the future but first I have to figure out how I'm going to style the Pegasus 35.
***This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own. My one time access to the Nike store is unrelated to blogging and I cannot go back or get access for other individuals so please don't ask***