Running shoes are the most important gear a runner can purchase. Ask anyone who has attempted to run a race in ill-fitted or otherwise inadequate footwear. Proper shoes are the most essential part of a well-prepared runner’s attire. They should suit a runner’s stride, size and foot shape. Running any sort of distance without proper shoes can lead to serious injury. For this reason, we at runnersgoal.com highly recommend that you purchase your shoes as a specialty running store.
Specialty running stores can be found in and around almost every major city in the country. I go to a store which employs kinesiology experts who are able to properly diagnose a runner’s stride, pronation and size of shoe to ensure the best possible style and fit for their training program and race. This is a common feature in specialty stores. In addition to their expertise in stride and sizing, most (if not all) of the employees in these stores are avid, experienced runners themselves who can advise you on training for your race properly.
Specialty running stores can offer the runner a variety of shoes that may not be available in a standard shoe store or sporting goods store. This range of selection can mean the difference between a serious injury and a successful race. Shoes that are not fit properly by size, brand or shape for your foot and stride can damage the foot and joints while they are taking the pounding from the road.
Another perk to shopping at a specialty running store is supporting the local economy. Many of these stores support local running groups and charity organizations. They also often offer discounts to local running groups and charity groups. Runners tend to be a socially and environmentally conscious crowd, which specialty stores are sure to be active participants in supporting.
When buying shoes, it is a good idea to try on several pairs for comparisons in comfort and stride. Some stores are outfitted with a treadmill and a video camera while others simply offer a professional to observe you take a jog around the store to evaluate your stride. Either way, a clear observation will lead to the best advice on which shoes you should wear for your training program and race.
Most running experts will advise you to get at least 2 pairs of shoes for your training program. This ensures their longevity as well as your optimal comfort. Shoes should be purchased every 3 – 6 months, depending on how much mileage you put on them. I am a standard 4 month shopper. Even though I tend to wear the same shoes, I still stop in at the specialty store in my area to get reevaluated, talk racing with the owners and employees and make sure I haven’t missed out on any good advice.
Shopping for shoes can also be done at a race expo or even online if you are purchasing your second or third pair for the season. However, we do advise that you get your first pair of the season from a specialty running store. For more advice on purchasing your running shoes this season, check out other articles here at runnersgoal.com.