As a runner, you know the value and importance of purchasing good, stable running shoes that match your stride, weight, pronation, and all-around your foot. When I began running over forty years ago, I ran in any old shoe I found – quite literally found. As a PE teacher, locker clean-out at the end of the year produced numerous nice, fairly new shoes, and as they say, “When the shoe fits, wear it” and so I did. This was back in what I lovingly refer to as our poverty days, so my shoe browsing was of necessity as well as choice. Thousands of miles later, I can now be quite picky.
I run four times a week and put in about 20 miles unless I am training and then, of course, the mileage increases. I have completed one marathon, a terrific and exhilarating accomplishment, however, because of the time and intensity involved in training, I now focus on 2-4 half-marathons per year.
With a sound base under me, training is rudimentary and the opportunity to travel to a variety of venues keeps me engaged during workouts as I visualize the new sights and sounds that await me. As I have a bunion on my left foot, my shoe choice is limited to a wide toe box. This is offered by Brooks and Saucony so I must search out stores that carry this brand.
The first is getting easier to find while the latter is more difficult, at least in my area. For the marathon, I trained and ran in ASICs and loved them, but when I bought my third pair, I found them to be poorly crafted and they wore out in a flash.
I questioned sales personnel as the shoes were the same model as I had worn previously and they explained that while the style name and number were the same, the company had been drinking with modifications and I had purchased a lousy pair.
When in a store to buy shoes, be sure to get the clerk who knows and understands running. The “I hate to run” folks probably are not the best resources. Begin with a new pair of running socks. I like them cushiony and a fresh pair has lots of rebounds. Try on several shoe models in sizes just up or down from your regular fit.
Walk around, shake your toes and heels, test rolling in and out, and try some in-place jogging. Some outlets have a trade-in or money-back guarantee so you can take the shoes out on the road or trail. I have never done this so I am not sure how well this offer is backed, but it might be worth a try.
My most recent shoes I purchased online. As they are Brooks, I knew most of the models and knew how the sizes matched my feet. Then they had an online test with questions about my running preferences, style, mileage and goals, and so forth. In the end, certain shoes were recommended. I thought this a good idea and am excited to test my purchase.
Breaking in shoes is fun and it feels good to have brightly colored new footgear. Preferably I have bought the shoes in late spring, early summer, or late fall. Generally, the streets are dry then and the back roads have a minimum of powdery dust. I like my new shoes to glimmer with newness for a few days.
Since I typically jog just 4-5 miles this is a good distance for getting them acclimated to my feet and my feet to the new shoes. I have also run greater distances with new shoes and never had any problems. This is most likely because I have selected with care.
While the price is not the sole indicator of quality, it seems like when I go cheap I get cheap shoes. It pains me to spend $120+ but fortunately, this pain does not transfer to my feet. A greater agony is not being able to find shoes that adhere to my feet and running style requirements that are entirely manufactured in the US.
I am hoping this is about to change. Happy running, happy feet, and happy me. I hope the same is true for you.