My first pair of racing shoes was made by Dreske, an Australian brand, in kangaroo leather with a thin crepe rubber sole. I was 12, but was able to spend my own money on these racing shoes (though mine were white/red) because they were only $2! The next year I got the training shoe for $4, which were a little more durable with a bit of a heel (though pictured is the spike, so no heel). I began to study the differences between various running shoes and to look for the purposes behind the designs. I also saw the value in alternating different shoes, over time, and as I acquired more pairs, increased my knowledge. By the time I left for college, I had 23 pairs, all told, between trainers, racers, and spikes. Many years later, when I finished my Master’s degree, my college coach asked if I would write a monthly column about running shoes for California Track and Running News, which then led into regular reviews.
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