I used to find it unbelievable that people would spend nearly $200 on a pair of running shoes. Designer boots, now I get that. But running shoes?! Well, once I started running I swapped out my designer boot fund for a running shoe fund and now am that girl that spend a couple hundred dollars, if not more, on running shoes every year.
In my opinion the most important item when it comes to running is a quality, well fitted shoe. And if you run a lot, one that is not too worn. It is recommended replacing runners every 500km. Which if you run a lot and/or are cheap that makes you want to cry about the small fortune you will spend on runners. Most years I have two pairs of runners I alternate between and my running shoes are anywhere from $120-180 a pair. Eek. But totally worth it.
Now picking said running shoe is no easy task. I have had my share my flops and wasted money on shoes that were not for me. Here are some of my tips for making sure you get the right shoe for you.
1- Research ahead of time. Now this requires that you know a bit about the type of runner you are, your gait and your feet. If you are a new runner this step can probably be skipped. One of my favourite ways to research shoes is by checking is checking out Runner’s World shoe guides.
As well, they have an online shoe advisor that can recommend shoes for you. Which asks you questions about your size, miles you run a week, arch, your gait, if you road or trail run – all important questions!
2 – Visit a running shoe store. I find if you are able to go to a running store versus a sports store the employee knowledge is a bit better. Usually employees are very helpful and should ask you some questions in order to recommend shoes for you. I have had experiences where this is not the case and have left. This is where it is helpful if you have some shoes in mind as well to ask about.
3- Try them on, walk around. Sometimes it will take me an hour of going back and forth trying on shoes. So don’t be rushed!
4 – Ask about the return policy! I say this so that you do not waste a $120 like I have on shoes that are just not for you.
5 – Test them out on a run! I always start off small, 5km or so and slowly ease into longer runs. This is where it is nice to have at least two pairs on the go so you can swap back and forth. It can take a bit to break in the shoe. If you are like me, I am so picky about the way shoes feel and end up wearing my old ones on and off for a good month after I get new ones. This is okay! Break in those new shoes slowly.
As a runner one of the worst things that can happen are injuries. Having the wrong shoe or once that is too worn are factors that lead to injuries. I have very high arches and have had times where I ran in the wrong shoe and can barely walk after. Zero fun. Or when my knees start to ache at the end of runs I know it is time to replace my shoes. Pay attention to how you feel all the time to learn these things about yourself to avoid injuries as well.
Happy shoe shopping!