Monday, November 17, 2008

The Bumble Bee Shoes

Anyone out there remember Nike's Sock Racer? These were wicked comfortable racing shoes, they were very light and fit like...a sock, of course.

I got my first pair from Nike on their Wear Testing Program. I can't remember, but i would tend to think that when i opened the box and saw these, it was kind of like WTF is going on here. One race in these and you had to love them, especially if you like flashy shoes. I think on the testing program, i only had them for about 6 weeks, not much time to test in real race conditions. From what i can tell from old race logs, i wore them for 4 races. The first one being the picture below at the West Warwick Holy Ghost Society Labor Day 5k, also know as the La-La Race. Don't ask me why, i don't know. I ran 2nd that day in 14.58. The last race i wore them in was October 19th at the Cape Cod Relay. Lucky me, i got to run the longest leg, the 14.6 mile seventh one. By the time i took the handoff, it was pouring rain and there was no one close in front of me or behind which made for a long boring time trial. I had to settle for a 1:16.0 on the leg in conditions that just plain sucked, but the team did get 5th place that year so i can't really bitch about it too much. The next day the shoes went back to the testing labs which were in Exeter, NH at the time. With all the rain in the race and the very porous EVA midsole on the shoe that acted as a sponge, the shoes probably weighed twice what they were supposed to. I was wringing water out of them after the last race, i can just imagine what the lab techs thought when they opened the box. I did buy a pair of these when they hit the market, that is a picture of them above, i only kept them because they are a great conversation piece.

I don't think i would have had the balls to wear the bumble bee socks that Ingrid Kristiansen wore with her shoes in the 1986 Boston Marathon, of course, she ran 2:24.55 and won the race that year. Still, the shoes were ugly enough without wearing matching socks. But they were probably the best racing shoe i ever had.


Jim Johnson said...

Holy cow...not only can I not imagine running in those things but running sub 15 in them is amazing. Running a marathon in them is something else entirely... Now that I think of it, I can't run sub 15 in ANY shoe ;).

day-v done 'em said...

I had a pair of those but I blistered really bad in them and that was the end of that. I hadn't seen a pair in many years. Thanks for the memory jog!

I have a couple of pair of Nike Elite Classics still in the box!

Tuesday Night Turtles said...

Great post Scott!! I love the "Retro" stuff...keep it coming!


Derrick said...

Just loved the sock racer. The PU sole had the tendency to split on the bottom kind of quickly though. Would love to have a pair to run in now.

The Sock Trainer was a big disappointment.