Running Shoes: Fit Before Fashion

Running Shoes | Running Shoe Fit | Triathlon Training | Move Your Body | ENJOY Every Day

I need to apologize, but I forgot to add something in an earlier post about new shoes.  Yes – new running shoes are AWESOME and can motivate you to get out and run.  BUT – make sure that you don’t run super far on those first few runs in your new shoes.  Believe me ….  I speak from experience!

MANY years ago I was training for my first Ironman.   If you have been following Triathlon Thursdays you know that I made plenty of mistakes in my first foray into triathlons.  Here is another.  I had a 15 mile run planned and I thought it would be fun to run from San Francisco to Tiburon.  My mom was in town visiting us – so she and S were going to drive over there and I would meet them (clean up in a bathroom with some wet wipes) and we would have a relaxing afternoon shopping, eating and drinking wine.  Perfect.  Plus – I had brand new shoes to wear.  Not so perfect.

I started out on my run and felt good for the first few miles.  I made it over the Golden Gate Bridge (and there was no fog!).  And then my feet started to hurt.  A lot!  The bottoms of my feet felt so bruised that I could hardly walk.  I was NEVER going to make it the whole 15 miles.  I finally found a gas station and prayed that S had taken our cell phone with him.  (Yep – we only had one cell phone between the 2 of us and we rarely even carried it those days.)  Thank goodness I knew the number – but I had to borrow a quarter from a stranger to use the pay phone.  (Yep – there were still pay phones!)  I was so relieved when he answered, and after some scrambling I figured out where I was and they came to pick me up.

So – do NOT follow what I did.  Do buy a new pair of shoes every 300 – 500 miles, but do NOT wear them on a 15 mile run the first time out.


Your Perfect Running Shoe

6 tips for you to use when shopping for your perfect running shoe.

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When you do go buy your new shoes here are some suggestions for you:


Fit Comes First

The top priority when buying running shoes is fit. My suggestion is that you go to a reputable running store where there are experts to help you.  Run N Fun in St. Paul, MN is my absolute favorite.  They are always helpful, knowledgeable and just really like to talk about running.  Plus – they are just excited you are running regardless if you are a novice or an elite marathoner.  They examine your feet to see if they are flat, wide, narrow, have a high arch, etc.  They will watch you walk without shoes on and then they will watch you in each pair of shoes you try on to examine how your foot hits the ground, how the shoe fits and how your foot feels. You want to make sure you are getting this level of help when purchasing your shoes.


Fit Before Fashion – ALWAYS

This is a hard one for me.  I want to be fit AND stylish!  Someone told me once that you shoe try on shoes with your eyes closed – so it is really about fit not fashion. If the most stylish shoe is also comfortable, that is an added bonus.  But in running shoes fit and comfort are more important.  When you find the shoes that fit like Cinderella’s glass slipper, do not let them get away. If you happen to like the color and style – perfect. If not, go ahead and purchase them anyway!  You can always put them on with your eyes closed – although I would open them when you actually run.


The Sneaky “Little” Price Tag

Now that we have covered fit and fashion – but how much do you really have to spend?  You can expect the price of the shoes to start around $110. I can tell you from personal experience, the right shoe is worth every penny.  Remember my story, well – once I broke them in I loved those shoes! You do get what you pay for — shoes that are meant to take a pounding on the pavement and will help prevent injuries (which can be a lot more painful on the wallet than the right shoes).  Go see for yourself.  Once you are in the store, the feel and fit of the shoes will convince you to make the investment.


So how long will this investment last you?  You need new shoes every 300-500 miles or about every six months. If you don’t track your mileage – get on a schedule and buy them every 6 months.  After you buy your replacements donate your shoes.  Most running shoes take donations to give to people in need.



Now – get out and move your body, put good things in and ENJOY every day!

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