Shoe Shopping 101

I knew I needed to find the right pair of running shoes. But this challenge is more easily said than done.

First, I wanted to buy something fair trade. As noble as that sounds, that is really difficult to do for athletic shoes and stay under a budget.

Second, I wanted to make sure I did not sustain a running injury. And honestly, second is very important. I have trained for a couple marathons before, and I get injured before the marathon in training, which has resulted in me not running in the marathon. In this instance, personal safety was a big factor… and may have actually been number one.

So, my wife and I went to the shopping center yesterday. The sales person at the store was very friendly. Before I started trying out shoes, I ran on a treadmill at the store so they could analyze my running style. I knew this was a possibility, which is why I brilliantly brought a pair of shorts with me to the shopping center so I could change out of my jeans. However, I left the shorts in the car. *sigh* So, I ran on the treadmill in jeans. Anyway, they recorded my running style, and then we began looking at shoes with arch support because of the way my foot rolls when I run.

Having my wife with me was nice. Honestly, I cannot remember buying any type of shoe where a sales person repeatedly brings out the same size of shoe for me to try on. I normally bought my shoes off the shelf from a place like Payless Shoes. I asked the sales person what a good running shoe should feel like, and my wife asked questions as well. I felt uncomfortable (awkward), especially when the sales person kept bringing out different pairs of shoes for me to try. My wife reminded me that this was the sale person’s job… but I still felt odd.

My top two choices: I could barely tell a difference between them in terms of how comfortable they felt. A pair of shoes from Brooks Running Company and a pair from Mizuno. For my foot, the Brooks shoes felt slightly better. They were both a substantial upgrade from the Nike shoes I had been wearing. In all fairness, the Nike shoes were not special running shoes for my stride with the added arch support.

GTS Brooks Running Shoes,
The GTS Brooks Running Shoes my wife bought for me!!

I was even able to jog on the treadmill in the Mizuno and Brooks shoes before purchasing the Brooks running shoes.

I am happy with my purchase. I do not have buyer’s remorse. I am disappointed that the Brooks Running shoes may not be fair trade (they were made in China)… but being able to try on different shoes is important, and I did not feel comfortable special ordering fair trade shoes online. Especially when they sell for over $100.

So, that was my shoe shopping experience. What are your running shoe buying experiences?

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