Specialty running store staffers see runners making the same mistakes again and again when they come in to buy shoes. But not you, not anymore, thanks to this advice from five prominent store managers.
“Some runners are too concerned with fashion, and we try and steer people away from that. Often, when they get a shoe that looks cool, they end up coming back in a few months and saying, ‘This shoe hurts me. I had a problem with it.’ When you buy, think feel and fit, not fashion.” – Bryan Mahon, Philadelphia Runner, Philadelphia.
“When you’re ready to pay, ask if there are any discounts available for running club members. Most specialty stores offer some sort of a discount.” – Tim Rhodes, Run For Your Life, Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Tight-fitting shoes lead to blisters and black toenails and that kind of thing. Women in particular are used to wearing their shoes close-fitting, as they’re often more self-conscious about the size of their feet. We like to say, ‘Play the piano with your toes,’ meaning the fit should be roomy enough in the forefoot – about a centimetre – but not sloppy.” – Mike Johnson, Road Runner Sports, San Diego.
“A lot of times people come in the morning and say, ‘This is the shoe I need.’ Then they’ll come back the next day and say, ‘I wore them at 5 p.m. and they were too small.’ Your feet start swelling in the morning and they don’t stop until about 4 p.m. That’s as big as they’re going to get, so always buy your shoes in the evening.” – Tish Borgen, Running Room, Minneapolis.
“People assume that a size is a size – that an 8 in a Nike will be the same as an 8 in a New Balance. But sizes differ because of different lasts (foot forms), the different shape of the upper, and the way the shoe is stitched together. Have your feet measured every time you buy, and always try the shoes on for fit.” – Johnny Halberstadt, Boulder Running Company, Boulder, Colorado.
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