Five Secrets about Buying Running Shoes

Five Secrets about Buying Running Shoes

Working in a specialty running store, I learn a lot about running, in general, new products, and of course, running shoes.  When I began working at the run specialty store, I knew the shoe I liked but not much else.

Like anyone, I went through the whole process of getting my foot remeasured, my gait analyzed, and my (now) coworker brought out some shoes that worked well for me.  To my shock, my feet were wide and had grown. There are so many secrets to buying running shoes that runners don’t realize.

Secrets to buying running shoes

Run specialty employees will take time to get to know you run, if you heel strike or strike at the front, what you are training for if you prefer a certain heel to toe drop, they get to know everything. They won’t let you choose a shoe off the wall “because it looks good.”

There are plenty of fascinating facts about running shoes and secrets to buying running shoes that you might not know.  Working in a run specialty store, they are now common knowledge for me, but I thought I would share.

For instance, there is a lifespan of a running shoe. Most running shoes last between 300- 500 miles, but minimalist shoes and racing flats last less time. Trail running shoes often last longer, and the cheapest running shoes are none and go barefoot running (I kid…somewhat).

Your Feet Change and Grow:
The first and maybe most important secrets to buying running shoes are your feet change over time. When your feet are measured, many people are shocked to find their feet have grown. Your arches can collapse as you age, and therefore, your feet can get longer or wider. Every person’s feet are different, and no two feet are the same. Some people have high arches, low arches, flat feet, wide feet, but everyone is different.

Plus, everyone has a different running style, so your pair of running shoes must accommodate that.

Woman, your feet change after pregnancy.  No one cares about your foot size, but get what is most comfortable.

Running Shoes are not Meant for Lateral Motion:
I recently wrote a post about cross-training shoes. This includes side to side motion, tennis, etc.  Another secret to buying running shoes is running shoes aren’t reinforced on the sides, and using them for lateral movement can break them down much faster.  They are comfortable to do so, but a pair of shoes will wear out more quickly. You can wear your running shoes for these sports, but they will break down faster.

Putting your  Shoes in the Dryer Ruins Them:
Running shoe technology, such as gel, can break down when heated.  Eventually, a shoe will get dirty, so don’t wash and dry it.  Spray it with a hose and let it air dry if you must.

Socks are Normally the Cause of Blisters:
One of the biggest myths and secrets to buying running shoes is the majority of the time; socks are the cause of your blister. Most people believe the shoe causes the blister, but it’s usually a sock with cotton in it. If the bottom of your foot or your arch is getting blisters, that is typically a sign of socks.

Shoes Don’t Have a Break-in Period:
A running shoe shouldn’t have a break-in period unless it’s too small.  Another secret to buying running shoes is shoes should feel good in the store. Do you see a trend here?  Most people buy their running shoes too small and have to “break them in,” or they have to stretch.  If you purchase the correct size, they won’t do that.  You should be able to wiggle your toes before a run, during a run, and after a run.

Secrets to Buying Running shoe Conclusion:

At the end of the day, don’t buy shoes if it doesn’t feel right. Cushioned shoes should also feel good; you shouldn’t need to get used to how a brand cushions your feet.

Other related articles:
There is No Perfect Running Shoe
Why Running Shoe Reviews are (Mostly) Worthless
There is No Perfect Running Shoe

Love running? You can subscribe to my weekly newsletter or read more about running shoes in my ebook.

Questions for you:
What is something interesting and a secret you’ve learned about running shoes?
What is one running shoe you’ve tried but realized it wasn’t for you?