Puma: My First Jogging Shoes

by Sheila Tulley
(Ingersoll, Ontario)

I was not active in high school sports until a friend invited me to try out for the cross-country team. The team had very few female runners and she thought that I would have a good chance of making the team. All I had to do was finish the 2.5 mile course.

Really, that’s all! That proved to be quite the challenge. But I did it and was invited to join the team. I bought myself a Runner’s World magazine that contained a shoe guide. Studied it and found out how to select a pair of jogging shoes for cross-country running.

I had saved my money from miscellaneous jobs and went to the nearby running store. It was a tiny little shop filled to the brim with shoe boxes. The storekeeper was very helpful when I told him what I wanted my shoes for and suggested the Pumas.

I can still see them. They were blue and they were a perfect fit for my feet. The soles did not swell out past my feet so they had a slender look. I put them on and felt like I could fly. I took them home and right away had to go out for a run. You know just to check them out. They were perfect.

Those jogging shoes ran through mud, rain, sand, down gravel roads. They even had a shower or two to get clean again. You know I never did become an outstanding x-country runner in those days. But for me, I was able to find an activity that I could do and that made me feel good about myself.

My first jogging shoes were like a badge of honor for me. It meant something special. The shoes had a built in purpose. I had a built in purpose too and so we shared many miles. You know, even today when I walk through running shoe stores and see the Puma, I get a feeling of what is possible. I recall the love of the sport. The shoes don’t do it all by themselves, but instead seem to be able to ignite something that already exists.

I now am back to jogging at 53 years old! Started again this past fall. With the start of autumn, the crisp fall air, the change of color of the leaves, I felt a calling of the woods. My first Pumas are long gone. But I will never forget what they did for me.

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Jan 22, 2013
First Jogging Shoes Become Favorites
by: Doris

I too remember well my first running shoes, Sheila. They opened up a whole new world for me, much like you too described.

That is wonderful that you have revived your jogging! Thank you for sharing your story with us. You even got inspired in autumn, the same season you first started running. Could there be a connection?

I have to ask, "Does anyone else get attached to their jogging shoes?" It seems to me that a bond has been created that isn't easily explained. Well at least that is what I tell my husband when he stumbles on yet another pair of my old runners.

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