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September 19, 2013

How and When Should You Buy Shoes?

Written by Dena Evans

UntitledUnless you have taken barefoot running to extreme measures, each of us will periodically need new running shoes.  Increase your chances of a successful experience with a few of our tips….


If you are starting a running program for the first time….

If you have registered for a goal race as a catalyst to finally begin regular running and you are raring to get started on your runcoach plan, it is important to make sure your shoes won’t impede your progress and slow the momentum of your enthusiasm and motivation.  Although price might be an important factor in your choice, a huge box sporting goods store can be a frustratingly large array of styles and colors if not accompanied by a knowledgeable sales person.  Even if you do not eventually make your purchase there, a local specialty running store is usually staffed by employees who spend their days working exclusively with runners and running shoes and can usually provide more insightful feedback and advice on what shoe might be right for you.  Many of these shoes will provide some gait analysis and allow you to take the shoes for a bit of test running.  Take advantage of these services and make an informed choice.


If you have had a hard time getting a pair of shoes that still feel good a week after leaving the store…

Consider shopping for shoes in the late afternoon or evening, when you have been on your feet for extended periods of time.  Your feet will be a little bit bigger from all that upright blood flow, and you can be sure that at their chunkiest, your shoes will still fit.  Although toenails may be lost along the road of marathon training, too-small shoes can leave the feet much worse for wear.


If you know what you like and price is most important…

Although both small and large retailers can have great deals on your favorite shoes or ones you might like to try, if you know what you want and are sticking with a brand and model, consider buying online, particularly if you can purchase from a retailer with free shipping and/or free returns.  Moreover, if you know what you like, consider buying two or more pairs if on sale as companies are infamous for changing the design and thus the ride and fit of popular shoe models!


If your favorite shoe is no longer available….

Bring it with you to the store, in order to give your salesperson a good idea of what you were wearing before, as well as the nature of your wear pattern on the soles.  With any luck, they can direct you toward a shoe that will suit you just as or almost as well.


If your legs regularly tell you that you need new shoes before you think of it yourself….

Note in your runcoach training log when you start a pair of shoes, and make sure to take stock and plan ahead before you get to 300 miles.  Most shoes will last 300-500 miles.  Don’t risk injury – plan ahead and shop before your shoes are on their last mile.  Also consider rotating shoes to multiply the number of runs you get consistently on modestly or moderately worn shoes.  A shoe can use a day to decompress and dry out between runs.


If you enjoy being adventurous…

Then go on an adventurous run!  If possible, however, avoid buying a brand new first year model.  Once a shoe has been extensively wear tested by others, advice and feedback often help that shoe move closer to ideal the second or third time around.  If you can avoid being a guinea pig, you might also avoid an injury.


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