Well, you’d have to be brain dead to not notice the running shoes—after all, they’re pretty much the only thing in the picture.
As surely as hammers and screwdrivers and drills are tools, so are our shoes...and our bottle packs and flashlights and reflective gear and high-tech clothing, etc.
But all of these “improvements” to our leisure pursuit of Ultrarunning are but a few decades old, at best. Nowhere near 1.76 million years old as is this tool:
Image credit Boing Boing, such a wonderful site if you like science and culture with an eclectic bent.
The fact that these ancestors of ours used tools--sophisticated tools, really--links them to us in a rather primal way. That, probably, is one of the prime characteristics that makes us human. Much as we have our favorite running shoes or flashlight, nearly 2 million years ago there was some individual who carefully crafted this stone ax and used it in life-or-death survival. One can imagine that he or she held and kept it close, deriving comfort and security from its firm heft in the hand....
And I bet those Homo erectus folks could do some mean endurance running as well.