Whats the worst part about buying running shoes on a Saturday before a long run?

Having to wait until Tuesday to try them out!

If you remember, last Saturday I briefly mentioned stopping by Hanson’s Running store and buying new shoes. Well, this morning, I finally pulled them on, laced them up, and took them for a 5 mile run on the treadmill.

Verdict? I like them so far, but I really need to go for a run outside to see how they handle the road. I was really in need of a new pair, so I’m sure anything will feel better than the shoes I’ve been wearing!

In terms of replacing shoes, most stores and sources will quote that running shoes need to be replaced every 200-300 miles. Runner’s World actually gives the biggest range I’ve seen and says that some shoes may last as long as 500 miles. [Aside: Amen to that! If I had to replace running shoes every 200 miles, I'd be buying new shoes almost every two months. Crazy $$!]

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I generally just wait until my shoes give and then I know it’s time for a replacement pair. Usually this happens gradually, I’ll feel less and less padding on each run until one day I’ll go out for a run and really “feel the pavement”. At that point it is definitely time for a new pair of shoes.

I’m a simplist when it comes to running shoes. I find a model and stick with it until it no longer work for me. I’m also pretty stubborn about shoe brands. The only time I’ve run a long distance race wearing a shoe not produced by Brooks, I lost a toenail. That situation was gross enough to scare me away from other brands and send me running to the nearest store to buy a pair of Brooks. So many other people swear by Mizuno, or Asics though, it just goes to show you how every runner is different!

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But finding the right pair of running shoes can be really difficult, do you buy stability shoes, motion control shoes, cushioned shoes, or a minamilist type? Does your foot or stride change over time? What about inter-brand variability?

Honestly, the best thing you can do is go to a store and ask for them to fit you with a shoe. Most running stores will have a treadmill or a short track and they will ask you to run while they watch your stride. More advanced stores may also be able to look at your footprint and identify which part of your foot strikes the ground first. Either way, this should help you find a good running shoe. I’d also recommend having them re-evaluate you every year or every two years to see if your stride (and therefore ideal shoe) has changed.

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For example, until last summer, I’d been running in stability shoes for so long, I couldn’t remember why they were initially suggested (my guess is that it has something to do with the fact that I had knee surgery in high school). My go-to stability shoe was the Brooks Adrenaline, and I’m pretty sure I have gone through at least 5 pairs and 3 new models. 

However, last summer I was lucky enough to purchase a Groupon for a running evaluation. When I got the results back I was informed that it was totally unnecessary for me to be running in a stability shoe and that a neutral shoe would be a better fit. Finding out this information coincided with the release of the Brooks Adrenaline 11, which I didn’t really like, so I decided to make the jump to a neutral shoe and I’ve been running in the Brooks Ravenna ever since.

So here is my new pair of shoes:

My first instinct was that they were pretty ugly, I tend to prefer lighter colored running shoes and these are a dark dark gray. They’re drastically darker than my last pair.

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But knowing that you’re not supposed to buy shoes based on appearance alone, I sucked it up and bought them anyway. I’m glad I did. They were awesome on the treadmill and their appearance is even starting to grow on me, especially the inner lining. Running nerd alert!

Anyway, to wrap it up, having a good shoe is very important for successful running and there is no perfect shoe that will work for all runners. So, it is always best to go to a running store, get fitted, and make an informed decision :) . Also, for some more general shoe care tips, check out this article.

If you’re a runner, what kind of shoe do you wear? If not, are you particular about any particular brand for athletic gear, clothes, shoes, etc?