Over the last several months a ton of clients have come into the gym with awesome new shoes. The issue? When asked - why they picked the ones on their feet,
EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of them responded with:
"They're Nike..." "They're the ones you have..." "They're purple..." (FYI - all wrong answers...) (Also FYI - mine are NEVER purple.) Buying a running shoe is not about purchasing a pretty one online or jolting into a sporting goods store for 3 minutes to just pick up any old pair. Buying a running shoe takes time. It's personal. And there actually IS a science as to why there are SO MANY damn frickin ones to choose.
Buying a running shoe is a lot like looking for a mate...
- It's super personal.
- There isn't a one size fits all.
- Everybody's needs are different.
- Just because one works well with one shoe - doesn't mean you will!
- AND last but the biggest and most popular error EVER: Just because it's crazy good looking - doesn't mean it's the best!
**Trust me people: If it is useless on the inside - you'll just wind up hurt, needing a lot of damage control and ultimately - back on your search for the ONE THAT FITS. I promise you - it ain't fun.
So to prevent any further shoe disasters, let's review some of my RUNNING SHOE SHOPPING ADVICE I give MY clients - free of charge to you, of course...
A. BUY FROM A PRO:
First and foremost - go to a store that employs knowledgable sales associates. They should be super informed on ALL brands. They should watch you walk, jog, run. They should understand pronation and be able to determine how your feet handles your current stride.
Some of my favorite in LA are:
11640 San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
FLEET FEET FKA: PHIDIPPIDES
16545 Ventura Boulevard
Encino, CA 91436
TOP TO TOP
2621 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
B. GIVE YOURSELF TIME:
Be prepared to walk/jog/run. You will likely try on several pairs of shoes. Don't rush this, set aside at least 30 minutes.
C. BE PREPARED BEFORE GOING IN: BRING IN YOUR OLD SHOES
Turn your current shoes over. Do you see wear? Is it in the toe? Is it worn away on the inside? Outside? Your fitter will definitely find this useful in finding your perfect shoe!
WHERE DO YOU RUN?
Track? Trail? Tredmill? Yes, it DOES matter. Make sure you talk to your shoe fitter and they are aware. Yup, there ARE different shoes for different running locations.
D. KNOW YOUR FEET/KNOW YOUR STRIDE
Know if you have normal pronation, over-pronation or under-pronation.
Never heard these terms before? GO TO A SHOE FITTING PRO! If you've gone (good work) and still don't understand exactly what it means - here's a little guide:
E. CHANGE YOUR SHOES OFTEN.... TIME/MILEAGE
If you're a runner who's been using a pair of tennies over a year, it's most likely time to get some new "sneaks." General rule of thumb is to start shopping once you have logged
300-500 miles and/or every six months
Now 300 miles may seem like a CRAZY number, but if you're logging 3 miles a day/5x a week. That's 60 miles a month! In 6 months you would have put in 360 miles. (GOOD WORK!) If you run more you may need to replace more often - less, less often.
Your body may also just tell you if it's time to start shopping again. If you start getting knee, hip, shin pain - AND HAVE BEEN CHECKED BY YOU DOCTOR AND GIVEN THE OK - it may be time for new shoes. As support wears, your body can put unnecessary pressure on any of the above. Personally, I tend to start getting GNARLY shin splints when it's time to replace my shoes. (it's awful.)
F. BUT THIS ONE IS PURPLLLEEEEEE:
Ok I get it. (I mean I hate purple, but I just did this with a client....) Just like finding a mate - just because it's pretty, doesn't mean it's useful. Uch, trust me... FUNCTION OVER FASHION
G. KNOW THEIR RETURN POLICY!
This is SO important!!! I've never had an issue here. The stores I go to are really good about accepting returns on shoes that have not been overly worn. I once bought a pair of shoes, took them home, went on a run, and realized they were FAR too big. While the shoes were super supportive, my foot kept sliding forward in the shoe. I took them right back and got the smaller size. This should be allowed. It's important to make sure it fits you 100%.
Don't let buying a running shoe become overwhelming! Find a pro who can help - it will make all the difference. Need some help finding a place? Here's RUNNER WORLD'S STORE LOCATOR GUIDE!
So there ya go, now go shopping.