Tips and Advice For Running Shoe Purchases
Wrong fit? Return hassles? Model changes to the shoes? There are a number of potential pitfalls involved in online shoe purchasing. The return rate for Amazon running shoe purchases is 35% and the Zappos return rate is 50%. There is a big chance that any online shoe purchase will lead to shoes that don’t fit right. This is just one of the reasons that running shoe stores are thriving around the country. Because getting your feet inside a pair of shoes before you buy them is so important when it comes to finding the best running shoes for you.
Are you ready to buy some running or walking shoes? Then check out these tips before you do anything else! We’ve compiled a list of things that we wish we had known before buying running shoes so that you can save yourself time and energy. This list will help you get into the right running shoes for you in the shortest amount of time.
The 5 Dos and the 5 Don’ts of Shoe Buying
What To DO:
- 1. Go To A Local Running Store – The temptation to buy online is strong when looking to save time. However, there is no time saved when the shoe arrives and it doesn’t feel right. Instead of lacing up and getting out the door for your first run like you would as soon as you leave the running store, you’re stuck placing a return and waiting to receive the refund. And now you still have to go to a running store in person so that you can figure out what went wrong.
- 2. Get A Proper Shoe Fitting – There are many reasons why a running shoe ordered online won’t feel right. Some model sizes vary, which means you might be a size 8 in one brand and a size 8.5 in another. There are neutral versus stability shoes, and unless you go through a proper shoe fitting like the StrideSmart Shoe Fitting at St. Pete Running Company, you won’t know which type of shoe works best for your stride. Other factors like the expected distance to be ran and the trainer versus the racer play an important role in how to pick the right shoes for you. A shoe expert taking you through a proper shoe fitting is needed!
- 3. Put Your Feet Inside the Shoes – When you go to a local running store like St. Pete Running Company, you’ll get the opportunity to feel the shoes, walk around in them, and you can even take a short jog on the treadmill to really experience the fullness of the running shoes. This is very important because you won’t know how well you like the way a pair of running shoes feel on your feet until you’re physically wearing them.
- 4. Compare and Contrast Multiple Shoes – Unless you compare and contrast more than one pair of running shoes, you won’t give your feet the opportunity to find the very best running shoes for you. Most running stores carry multiple running shoe brands. At St. Pete Running Company, we carry brands like Brooks, Hoka, Saucony, Nike, Diadora, On, Mizuno, and Altra. The shoe experts in store will help you narrow down the key factors that will be best for you, which usually leaves at least two pairs of shoes for you to compare and contrast.
- 5. Purchase More Than One Pair of Shoes – Your running shoes for speed work and your running shoes for longer distances are not necessarily the same shoes. In fact, we highly recommend buying two pairs of running shoes: one for the shorter, faster runs and one for the longer, slower runs. If you also incorporate a lot of walking, you might even consider having a designated pair as walking shoes. As noted, the shoe experts at St. Pete Running Company can help you determine which shoes are best for longer distances, and which shoes are best for shorter distances.
What Not To Do:
- 1. Don’t Buy Online – Even if you’ve purchased a certain running shoe model in the past, that doesn’t mean the current model of that shoe will work for you. Each year, shoe companies update their models and make sometimes subtle, sometimes drastic changes to their running and walking shoes. When it’s time to buy running shoes, go into the store and put your feet in the shoes to make sure they still work. And then ask the shoe experts what other models might be worth checking out, because the best shoes for you might be something you’ve never tried before.
- 2. Don’t Buy the Shoes Someone Else Wears – It can be tempting to get advice from a friend or family member who found the best shoes for them, but that’s a problem. Because what they are wearing is best for them, not for you. Everyone’s feet are incredibly unique, and factors like what type of cushion you prefer underfoot and the type of stride you have (neutral versus stability) will greatly impact what shoes will feel the best to you.
- 3. Don’t Run Once and Return the Shoes – At St. Pete Running Company, we recommend you spend some time in your new shoes. If the first time you run in them feels off, go out for a second or third run before making a determination. Most running shoes are best evaluated after several runs rather than just one. There are also simple tricks that can be done with the laces to make minor adjustments that go a long way to making your shoes the best fit for your feet. Our shoe experts can help you with this.
- 4. Don’t Buy Shoes Based On Color – This is one of the biggest mistakes all types of runners make. When you’re comparing and contrasting running and walking shoes by getting your feet inside, do your best to IGNORE the look of the shoe. Your focus should be entirely on the feel of the shoe. If your feet don’t feel good, the color of the shoes will not help you when you’re out on a long run.
- 5. Don’t Focus On A Shoe Size Number – Similar to the mistake runners make when they focus on how a shoe looks, there is also a tendency to assume that the shoe size you wear in your non-running shoes will be the same as your running shoes. This is a big mistake! The shoe experts at a local running store will measure your feet and advise you on the fit of the shoe that will be best for your feet. This might include running shoes that are bigger than your non-running shoes, which is very typical as running shoes often require extra room for your feet to move and breathe. Don’t let the desire to be in a particular shoe size leave you with a pair of running shoes that can end up giving you blisters.
Do you have more questions about things to know before buying running shoes? We can help! Call or come into the store where our shoe and running experts are ready to provide the high-quality customer service you expect from a Top 50 Running Store in America.