Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Quick Running Tip Tuesday - Properly Fitted Shoes! (2.14.12)

With today being Valentine's Day, I thought I'd write a short tip about love... namely loving shoes!

If there is anything that runners love, it's new shoes.  There is something special about the day they come out of the box for the first time.  For me, I often buy my shoes ahead of time (when they are on sale) and put them on the shelf for a couple of months until I am ready for them.  Breaking out a new pair of shoes is sometimes a split second decision based on the previous couple of runs... so I can't always (financially) head to the store to get some new ones.

But I love new shoes!

People who are starting into the running world ask me often, "Where should I get my shoes?"  This answer is easy! You should buy your first couple of pairs of shoes from an actual running store!  Find someone who works in a running store and have them help you find the right shoes for you. 

When it comes to shoes, one size does not fit all (obviously... our feet are all different).  But in the same vein, it's not easy to properly fit yourself.  Shoes are designed for different kinds of feet.  Not all running shoes will work for you.

The first pair of running shoes that I bought I bought at an outlet mall based on how they "felt" in the 30 seconds I had them on.  I didn't walk in them.  I didn't run in them.  Needless to say... they didn't last long.

The second pair of shoes that I bought, I bought from a running professional (this one to be exact).  They put me on a treadmill.  They watched me walk and run.  They photographed my foot (which is quite flat by the way).  They brought out every pair of shoes in the store that they thought would fit my style of foot and had me try them on.  After I put them on, they put me on the treadmill and watched me run and walk again.  Then we decided based on comfort, feel, style and price.  The second time that I bought shoes, it literally took me over an hour.  But they are the right ones for my feet.  They did all of this for free... because they love running... regardless of which pair of shoes I bought.

And since then... I've only worn that style and worn out 4 or 5 pairs in the last couple of years.  You cannot overestimate the importance of properly fitted shoes and someone who will help you fit them properly.

As for me... now I often shop at Road Runner Sports.  But you can shop anywhere.  Just so your first pair or two comes fitted from a running professional (unfortunately 19 year olds working at Champs do not count).  Find a running store and get fit properly!

After you get settled into a style, you can buy your shoes anywhere since you'll know exactly what you are looking for.

Keep running friends!

Disclaimer (if you're into that sort of thing): Jim is not a professional runner nor is this blog endorsed by any company.  These thoughts are merely the thoughts and experiences on one runner.  What works and what doesn't work from a practical level.  Jim hasn't set any records, but he's run a few races (Marathon: 4h 22m / Half-Marathon: 2h 3m / 5k: 22m 57s) and he's been around the block!

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