Running is relatively inexpensive compared to other recreational sports that require much gear and equipment. One item you absolutely should not try to nickel and time yourself for are shoes. There is no doubt that when running long distances, you will end up with sore feet; yet, it is important to invest in good running shoes to avoid blisters and unnecessary injuries, like shin splints, as well as to correct the natural rotation of your foot in stride. Also, putting more miles on shoes than they were designed to withstand may lead to aches and pains.
The best way to find the shoes that fit you best are to shop at running-specific stores like Fleet Feet and Road Runner Sports. Such retailers are staffed by runners who will measure both of your feet, watch you run and match you with a shoe that accompanies your stride and training distance.
This past weekend was Tennessee’s sales tax holiday, and my local Fleet Feet offered to match the tax sales discount for shoes over $100. It’s best to replace your running shoes every 400 miles, and I hit that mark in last month in my Mizuno. So the stars aligned for me to go shopping for new running shoes.
When you walk into this running store, there is a greeter who writes your name on a white board, and when a sales associate becomes available, he or she will find you in the store and work with you until you find a new pair. I appreciate this kind of attention, instead of one associate balancing multiple customers at once or waiting until a customer has a question.
Coincidentally, I was paired with Drew, who coached my winter speed sessions and leads a running group I recently joined. After measuring me, Drew brought out several pair of moderate stability shoes. He laced up and removed each pair, watched me run and shared his observations on my stride. All I had to do was sit, run and choose.
I tend to overpronate and have a high arch, so I use stability shoes, which help control the motion of my foot rolling inward. I tried on Nike Vomero, Brooks Ravenna, Saucony Guide 6, Asics GT-2000 and Mizuno’s Wave Inspire 9 and jogged around the sidewalk outside of the store in each pair to determine its comfort and fit.
Your running shoes should fit snugly but not too tight and without your heel slipping out in movement. Find a shoe that matches your arch’s contour and leaves about a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe (which isn’t always the big toe) and the end of a shoe to help save your toenails. Don’t shop for color or design until you find the shoe model that works for your foot.
I narrowed my choices down to Asics and Mizuno, and wound up going with Mizuno’s Wave Inspire 9, the same model I have been wearing for the past eight months. Then it took me another five minutes to decide the color.
I keep track of my milage per pair of shoe through my Garmin Connect log. After 400 miles, I transition a pair to cross training and gym workouts. You also could donate the shoes to an organization that matches them with bear feet or to be recycled into basketball courts, turf fields, and rubber tracks.
Here is a more information to help you choose the right pair of running shoes.