Thoughts While Working at a Running Store

First, happy March.  It feels like February flew by but I’m not complaining.  When I asked what people were interested in on the fueledbylolz Facebook page, many people requested to post more about working at a Running Store, shoes and random thoughts.

Thinking out loud, I’ve wanted to have a weekly post with running related questions so if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.  Keep in mind, I’m not a professional, expert or a coach.  However, I do work at a run speciality store, know my shoes (and apparel) and of course love to run. 🙂

I enjoy my job because I’m around a sport I love, however, work does not revolve around my running or blog. It revolves around the people we help and their running. I’ve worked through injuries, through personal life and everything in between.

Here are some things I’ve learned from working in the store the past 3 years:

Should you Lose Toenails?

If you lose toenails, it’s because your shoes are the wrong size.  I wrote about this more here. If 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 important 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).

(sorry no photos of missing toenails…)

What Shoe is Right for Me? 

A Running shoe might work for you but not work for me. I could write a million blog reviews about running shoes but that doesn’t mean the shoe will work for you.

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.

I tell people if you aren’t injured and it’s worked, go with it. 

If it feels comfortable…go with it.

I wrote more about running shoe reviews here as well as the importance of rotating shoes.

Ask yourself: Would you believe an article titled “is your significant other a great catch for everyone”?

There are many running shoes for many different foot types.  I cannot stress enough getting fit for the correct shoe.  Without the right shoe, you won’t make it very far.  Go your local running store.  They’ll be able to narrow down appropriate shoes for you (not based by how a shoe “looks”.

Does the right clothing matter? Is it important to use moisture wicking socks? 

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 right clothing can make you “fashionable” and blister free. Personally, I have found moisture wicking clothing matters the most in extreme temperatures (whether it’s hot or cold).

I will routinely do a run in a t-shirt and shorts.  Running can be as expensive as you make it.

Finally here are some common comments we receive in store (don’t think you are the only one to say it):

  • The first thing most costumers say is they have “the worst feet in the world”.   As long as your feet don’t smell, they aren’t the worst.
  • I’m not a “serious” runner…anyone who is looking to get fitted for shoes is serious, don’t sell yourself short!
  • I want a light weight shoe that breathes well  Believe me, running shoes went to light weight and “breath easy” a few years back.  All running shoes are light weight.  Running shoes are just getting lighter and brighter.

If you have any questions about running shoes, work or products feel free to ask.  I’m no expert, but I am thinking about creating a weekly series about it!

Questions for you:
Have you been fitted for shoes before?
Do you have any questions?  Ask below.