There’s more to buying running shoes than simply walking in a running store, trying a pair or two on, making your purchase and then moving on with your day. Here’s a few tips for anyone who’s new to the shoe-buying process:
1) Head to Your Local Running Store
The sales associate should measure your feet, ask you about your running, and ask about any aches and pains. Skip big box stores that allow you to try on shoes without assistance. Ask about the return/exchange policy in the event that you end up taking home a pair of shoes you thought you loved.
2) Bring Running Socks
Or at least a pair of socks that you would run in.
3) Be Open to Any Brand
If you limit your choices based on who spends the most money on advertising, you might miss out on the best shoe for you. In fact, even if the first shoe feels great, try on a few other styles just to be aware of the differences.
4) Shop in the Late Afternoon
Your feet swell slightly throughout the day and size is critical. A too small shoe can easily lead to pain and potential injury. Remember that your feet will swell as your body warms up while running.
5) Shoe Store Lacing is Not for Everyone
Most shoes come laced in a criss-cross style and this works for many people. However, alternative lacing styles can tighten or loosen a shoe for a near-custom fit. You can see one of the best resources for alternative shoe-lacing methods here.
6) Keep Track of Your Mileage
Or at the very least, take note of the date of purchase. Depending on the shoe and the runner, mileage can vary widely. Expect to get anywhere from 300 to 500 miles on a pair of shoes.
7) Do Not Clean Your Running Shoes in Your Washer or Dryer
Laundry detergent and dryer heat can break down the glue used to hold the shoe together. If you feel compelled to clean them because of odor, remove the insoles and let them air out. You can even sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on the insoles. If the shoes need to be cleaned because of dirt, use a bristled brush and mild soap.