Running Shoe Shopping

Runners just love to talk shoes. And with so many different types, colors, and brands, it’s possible to never stop talking about them. We all talk and compare, discuss why we love last year’s model but absolutely loathe this year’s model, and with new shoes coming out every couple of months it’s hard to be satisfied with just one model and brand. So we keep talking. But what about those of you who have just started running, or who are truly uncomfortable with their current shoe choice? All of this talking ends up being too much because no two runners like the same pair of running shoes for the same reasons. And yet we’re all after that “perfect shoe.” What do you do?
Start with doing a little research about running shops in your area, or even outside of your town if you’re really looking for a good store and are willing to travel in order to find the best shoes for you. The point of this is to figure out which store employs people who really know their stuff when it comes to fitting runners for shoes. You don’t know yourself what you need, especially when you start running, so you need someone else to take a look at how you walk, how you run, how your feet pronate (or don’t pronate), and so on. So first, find a store that knows how to fit shoes.
Head to that store on its off-hours so you can ensure that you get the attention you deserve. Then, try on everything the employees can throw at you! Walk around the store in them, take them for a run around the block (good stores will let you do this, or run on their in-store treadmill), see how they feel. When you find a couple of pairs that you like, then wear one model on one foot and the other model on the other foot to really compare the feel. Go up a size, go down a size, don’t pay too much attention to the number on the shoe—fit and feel is what is important.
If you notice something that sort of hurts or you think might hurt later, even though you may love the rest of the shoe, choose a different model. That pain will only increase as you run longer.
Tell the employee as you’re trying on shoes what type of running you do—are you training for a full marathon? A half? Just run to stay in shape and so only run about 10-20 miles per week? These all factor into the type of shoe that they will recommend for you.
Last but not least, buy the shoes there. Yes, they will cost more than online, but think about the time the store’s employees gave you. They aren’t being paid extra to fit you. And if you’ve really fallen in love with the shoe, the price won’t seem like a big deal. After this first pair, you can buy that model online for the rest of your life if you so choose and save money. Give back to your local store and keep them in business, so customers in the years to come can find their perfect running shoes like you just did!

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest