A couple weeks ago, Tasha and I were at a local running shop picking up our packet for a Father’s Day Obstacle Course Race we were running. The store had a sale section where shoes were 50% off. Tasha and I bought 4 pairs.
While Tasha & I are avid exercisers and now know what type of shoes our feet prefer, our purchase got me thinking about new runners choose where to buy their running shoes. Here are 3 critera you should consider when choosing your running shop and thereby, your running shoes.
Most seasoned runners would agree that the singularly most important function of a running shoe is to prevent injury. Running shoes should be comfortable, supportive, and fit with your natural gait. Running shops are owned and staffed by runners know how to help others find the right shoes for their individual needs. The shop should allow you to test the shoes. Some have a runway or treadmill in the store while others let you to run outside on the sidewalk.
Good running shops also have a technique for analyzing your gait. For example, I run with my feet pretty well squared up in the direction I’m running. I once bought shoes on my own that were for someone who ran with pronated feet. The improper fit caused an injury because my shoes were forcing me to run on the outside of my foot. A quality shop with the level of customer service I now know to be critical would have advised against those shoes and told me the risks of using them. Additionally, I also have bursitis in my left knee so minimalist shoes don’t work for me. Shops with great customer service employees would take that into account and not even show me a minimalist shoe rather than trying to sell me the more expensive or trendy minimalist model.
Support Local Business
I prefer to support local running shops. They are normally owned and operated by the people who organize and put on your local races and running clubs. These are the people who are lining up next to you early on a Sunday morning to run for a local charity. They support you as a runner through providing you with opportunities to compete, train, and have fun. I like supporting them in return. Therefore, I’m more likely to shop at the locally owned running shop than the national chain sporting goods store.
Price is third purposely. It is usually my tie breaker. Every town I’ve lived in has had multiple locally owned running shops with great customer service. Since I’m not made out of money and running shoes are not cheap, and are a recurring cost if you run as much as I do, price is a consideration I can’t ignore. I am not as calculated when shopping as Tasha so I tend to find the deals by going to the shop often and finding the great sales and buying shoes before I need them. With a Spartan Super coming up I know I’m going to be donating the shoes I’m wearing now right after that race. Good thing I have 2 pair at home.
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