What Running Stores Want You to Know

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As many people know, I work in a locally owned running store. I enjoy my job because I’m around the sport. It’s fun to meet new people and talk about their running goals, dreams, and aspirations.

I’ve met everyone from someone starting their first run ever, to elite and professional runners! Here are a few common questions we get:

Do you need to be a “serious runner” to come in?

What exactly is a serious runner? That definition still alludes me. At any running store many people who come in are walkers, using the shoes sorely for workout classes, or just beginning to run again.

You don’t have to be a marathoner or label yourself as anything. By nature, runners are friendly and accepting people, and anyone is welcome!

Should you lose toenails when you run?

If you lose toenails, it’s because your shoes are the wrong size. Typically, it is because your shoe is too short or narrow, you will lose toenails. Your feet swell when you run, and you need to accommodate that in running shoes.

It’s essential to buy a half to a full size bigger than dress shoes. For example, I wear a size 9 in dress shoes and 10 or even larger in running shoes.

Shoes should never feel snug. There are a lot of problems you can face with too tight or shoes such as stress fractures or sore tendons. There are minimal issues with having your shoes a little bigger. (Basically just tripping).

What shoe is right for me?

A running shoe might work for you but not work for me. It is important to never base your information solely on an internet review. That person doesn’t have your feet, gait, or form, so they might hate the shoe, but you might love it. Also, keep in mind that many people are being paid to review or promote shoe which will create a bias.

It’s silly to read something on the internet and decide it’s the shoe (or isn’t) for you because of someone else’s experience. We all have different foot shapes, sizes, gaits, and strides.

The most important concept is that it feels comfortable to you! I tell people if you aren’t injured and it’s worked, go with it.

Ask yourself: Would you believe an article titled “is your significant other a great catch for everyone”? Will your running shoe work for everyone? No.

Do socks and clothing matter?

The right clothing and moisture wicking socks prevent blisters. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been mid-run and found myself sweaty and chafing. Not to mention the ten blisters on my feet.

I do think the right clothing and socks are more important for longer runs. However, the proper clothing can make you “fashionable” and blister free. Running clothes can be as expensive, and while you don’t “need them” like you need proper footwear, it will make the sport more comfortable.

Finally, a running store employee is there to help you. They only know what you tell them and it’s important to be as open and honest as you can.

If you have had problems with specific brands or styles, let them know! If you like to run on the treadmill more than outside, let them know. Running stores are there to help you and find the perfect fit.

What are some questions you have for running store employees?

Hollie Sick is an avid runner who’s completed more than 40 half marathons. Read her blog, or follow her on Facebook.

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