What to look for in running shoes.

What to look for in running shoes.

The only time I've run in the past 15 years is when I'm late for the train. So, I've set myself a goal of running a 5K in 2018.


However, I do not have any practical running shoes. Every time I've gone to the store, there are so many options with so many different features that it's difficult to know what a beginner runner needs. Traction, cushioning, flexibility... How important are the different features?


I've tried a few on and yes, they are comfortable, but what features should a beginner runner (or more accurately, a stumbler) look for when buying new running shoes? And what questions should I ask?


Re: What to look for in running shoes.

@FearghalOReilly, here is the long and short of it: it really depends. Your walking/running style and how high or low your arches go will dictate which sneakers you should get. If you go to a bona fide running store, they will watch how you walk and even run on a treadmill. They'll then bring out different sneaker options based on what they see. It really makes all the difference in the world. 

Re: What to look for in running shoes.

There's an awesome store called Boulder Running Company in the Cherry Creek area I've heard is a great place for getting a solid athletic shoe recommendation. I did something similar at a store called RunTex back in Austin and came out with an awesome pair of shoes that made cardio way less painful because my foot was supported in the ways needed. 


Tagging in @nvecsei @tvermie12 @seichmann8 who are all runners for tips! Smiley Happy

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Re: What to look for in running shoes.

I hate running but it's the only stress release exercise I have found to work from the moment I start down the road, so I am very big on getting the right shoes.


I actually injured myself running a half marathon in Nottingham (U.K.) over 10 years ago because I ran in shoes bought on a market for $15. It took me three years and 4 doctors to find out what happened to my knee and another 3 years of physical therapy to fix it. All in all I spent about $1500 (in addition to my insurance coverage) in doctors fees when I could have just bought a good pair of shoes for $100 at the time of my run and save myself a lot of pain and hassle. I believe in the magical powers of proper shoes. 


I used to go to this store in Canada, but I think they are here in the US as well: https://www.runningroom.com/hm/


They specialize in all kinds of runners.


My physical therapist and the stores told me that you need a new pair of runners about every 150 miles, and that to never wear the same pair within 24 hours, because the cushioning needs about that much time to re-inflate for proper support. So since I run 3-4x a week I have two pairs of running shoes at all times. I am guilty of not changing at every 150 miles, but that would be simply too expensive. I do however keep my old shoes for walking and light hiking, because there is less cushioning needed for those forms of low impact activity. So I usually rotate my shoes once a year. 


In Denver, these guys helped me find a new fit: https://runnersroost.com/


they were awesome because:

  • they measured me for fit
  • made me run on a threadmill to see my gate and find the right arch and heel support
  • Prices were reasonable (granted new years and boxing day sales are usually better) $100- $150
  • you can trade in any old sneaker for a discount on your new ones.

I even my husband to try on a pair for his fit, even though he is not running. His were a last year's model and we got them for $50. He walks in them every day now and he has less hip pain and no arch and ankle swelling. 


Told you, it's a  miracle.


My trick is usualy once I find a specific brand and style fits me well, I go on Amazon and buy the same model in a different color or an older year model but the same style so the shape and cushioning is the same. That usually cuts down on price too.

Re: What to look for in running shoes.

There's a New Balance store by my house. They have a machine that you step on and it gives all sort of information based on the pressure you put on various parts of your feet that they then use to make a shoe recommendation off of.

Re: What to look for in running shoes.

@nvecsei This is great advice! I suppose I'm now a former distance runner (having taken close to 3 years off from any serious training), but fairly certain that running a few marathons in the wrong type of shoes, some minimalist ones by Brooks, caused a lot of tendonitis in my feet and Achilles. Doctors didn't really help, just ice, elevation, and doing a lot of low-impact workouts; but the bills from those visits certainly left a bit of a scar hahaha


Getting back into it, slowly, is the most frustrating thing, but it's super exciting to know that you've bounced back! I've gotten my runs up to 3-4 times a week in the last month or so, and probably should consider new trainers. But, the Asics I'm most comfortable with have been phased out, of course, so they're still expensive even on Amazon--running stores in my area don't carry them anymore either.


That said, I've also been bad about switching out shoes every 150 miles or so. More like every 500, citing expense. This is added incentive to get better about that.

Re: What to look for in running shoes.

Is not it surprising how much thought needs to go into the exercise equipment, let alone doing the exercise? @Dave_Robertson

Re: What to look for in running shoes.

@nvecsei For such a seemingly simple sport, it certainly is complicated!

Re: What to look for in running shoes.

thank you for the information that was very helpful to me