The High Cotton

infusing life with Southern food, hospitality, and fun

Category: Gals

New Shoes

I got an email last Friday from the organizers of the half-marathon I’m running.  It’s 4 weeks away.  !!!!!

I decided that if I was going to get a new pair of running shoes, I’d better do it now.  The number one rule of race day is: don’t do anything new on race day.  So, I went to Charm City Run here in Annapolis and tried on a couple pairs.  I run in neutral or minimal shoes.  Quick aside – if you’re new to the whole concept of minimal shoes, you need to read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.  It totally changed how I thought about running.  Amazing.   I switched to minimal shoes over a year ago, and have been injury free.  I don’t stick strictly to the barefoot philosophy, though.  For the longer half-marathon distance, I decided minimal was probably too…well…minimal.  When I run short distances, I use a barefoot shoe that just wouldn’t be right for double-digit miles.  A friend of mine wears barefoot shoes regardless of distance.  She also just came back from a brutal stress fracture in her foot.

That left neutral models.  I’ve worn Nike Frees for distances longer than about 3 miles for awhile now, and that is the pair I wanted to replace.  They’ve got a lot of miles on them and it was time.  Goodbye, old friends.

I tried on the new Nike Free 5.0s and liked them a lot.  I also tried on some Flyknits, which I thought were cool, but not right for a half-marathon (too minimal).  The 5.0s fit pretty much the same as my current Frees.

Nike Free 5.0

Nike Free 5.0

Next, I tried on a pair of Brooks Pureflows.  The Pureflow model is part of a “high tech” line Brooks has been doing.  It’s a neutral shoe like the Nike Free 5.0, but sports some additions that Brooks claims make it technologically better.  For example, Pureflows feature a “split toe.”  From what I can tell, that has no function whatsoever.  So, I guess take the marketing claims with a grain of salt.  I can say, though, that the Pureflow is extremely comfortable for a shoe with not much going on in the sole department (i.e. no cushy heel that may very well injure you).  I’d never even tried on a pair of Brooks before, much less run in them.

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Brooks Pureflow

The great thing about Charm City Run is that you can try out the shoes you’re considering on a treadmill there.  I ran for a couple minutes in the Nike Frees, and then the Brooks Pureflows (having already eliminated the Flyknits).  After that, I was really torn between the two.  On the one hand, I have owned Nike Frees and know I like them.  The Nike Free 5.0s were comfortable, looked good, and felt like a safe choice.  On the other hand, the Pureflows were different from any other neutral/minimal shoe I’ve ever tried.  They felt like they had a lot of cushion without any of the weight or dangerous heel drop.  You can’t land on your heel in these no matter how hard you try.  After walking around the store for awhile, making Tom try on the boy versions, and asking a bunch of questions, I finally decided to just get both.  It seemed a little bit excessive, but I’m glad I did it.

I’ve run about 12 miles on the Pureflows so far and have zero complaints.  I plan to run in the Nike Free 5.0s tomorrow.  I expect them to feel pretty much like my old pair, but newer and better.

New Ball Caps

Now that baseball season is back, I thought I would post about a couple of cute new ball caps I’ve purchased recently.  These are not team hats, though, so don’t get too excited.  I will be sporting my Braves cap this weekend at the game, but that’s a different post.  I’m really nervous for the Braves due to the pitching situation, or lack of one (also a different post).

Anyway, if you haven’t shopped at Tuckernuck, you should really check it out.  It is a retail site that features a curated collection of clothing and accessories.  They are absolutely killing it right now, particularly in the ball cap department.  I recently bought two that I just love.  I can’t wait to start wearing them while riding around in the Jeep this summer.  They both have a Southern flair, too, making them extra appropriate for me.

First up is a kelly green cap from Harding-Lane.  The Southern element on this one is obviously the precious needlepoint design.  Harding-Lane is based in Massachusetts, but features a “Southern” line of hats that is available through the Harding-Lane site or through Tuckernuck.

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This hat is doing everything right.  The colors are bright and true, and the design is adorable.  Just look at the fox!!  I had mine monogrammed and am completely in love with it.

Next up is a baby blue hat, also from a Massachusetts company, but with a similar Southern flair.  The color is spot on and the tiny life preserver stitched onto the front is too cute.

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This hat is currently sold out on Tuckernuck, but don’t worry.  They have pop-backs all the time, and you can even set up a notification so Tuckernuck will email you when it becomes available.

Snow Shmow

It snowed here on Monday.  Again.  I’m so over it.  I mean, I don’t have the constitution to deal with these frigid temperatures.  Southern girls are delicate, y’all.  Snow is perfectly welcome at Christmas, but otherwise, it can kindly leave.  At least I have awesome snow boots to help me deal.  In my view, there is no better boot than the Bean Boot.  They are functional, cool, and a great value.  We have a pair in our house that is at least 15 years old and still in regular rotation.  I have two pair, myself, and wear them both all the time.  And since we seem to be in the midst of a never-ending winter around these parts, they are getting plenty of use this year.

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Warming up on the radiator!

I’ve been wearing the heck out of my new 10″ shearling lined pair.  I bought them at an L.L. Bean retail store right after one of the first snows a couple of months ago.  I wasn’t the only one who decided she was in desperate need of snow boots, unfortunately.  The store was a MAD HOUSE.  I think everyone in the metro area was trying to buy Bean Boots that day.  The poor sales people were totally overwhelmed.  They were out of almost everything.  I only got my beloved boots by stalking the original person trying them on.  I waited off to the side, trying to look casual.  Eventually, after a practical eternity, she decided to move on and I pounced on those things so fast!  By some miracle, they were my size and fit just right.  I raced to the counter to pay for them before anyone else could snap them up.  I have been so glad to have them.

Khakis for Women

Can we talk about how there are no decent khaki pants out there for women?  No, women’s clothing companies, I do not want: (1) boot cuts, (2) flap pockets on the butt, (3) low rise, (4) stretch, or (5) pointless shallow pockets.  I just want a good quality pair of timeless, plain khakis.

After scouring the earth for months, I finally gave up my search for the perfect pair of women’s khakis.  Instead, I walked on the wild side and bought khakis made for…wait for it…men!  I could not be more pleased.  I picked up a pair of Bills at our friendly neighborhood menswear shop and haven’t looked back.  These things are amazing, and actually fit very well even though I am on the curvy side.  Tom dry cleans his because he wants a crease (nerd alert), but I’ve just thrown mine in the wash at home and had perfect results.  They are casual, comfortable, and exactly what I wanted.