Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?

Another common question we get at my local running store is:

Should you wear running shoes outside of running?

The short answer is: Yes, but they will break down much faster.  There are many articles and blog posts telling you: only wear your shoes for running.  It is definitely true and if you want to save money and the lifespan of the shoe, then you should only wear them for running.

But is there anything wrong with wearing them to do daily activities? No.

Thinking out loud, I use running shoes that already have reached their running life span to walk around in them.  Once I’ve run 300-400 miles in them, they are retired to walking around (or working) shoes.

Here are some things to think about if you wear your shoes outside of running:

Do You Want to Spend a Lot of Money on Shoes?

You can get a cheaper pair of shoes to “kick around and do errands in”.  Heck, most running shoes aren’t the lookers of the shoe world.  It’s easy to find a cuter and more fashionable shoe to walk around in.  Yes, I work at a running store but I’m not going to lie and say running shoes are trendy and cute.  That isn’t their function.

Are You Injured?

Certain injuries need to have a supportive shoe or you cannot get heal.  If you’re suffering from an injury such as plantar fasciitis, you need to be in a well cushioned shoe all of the time to allow healing.  It’s important to have a supportive shoe if you are coming off any injury.

So How do You Know When To Replace When You Use Them all of the Time:

If you do use your running shoes, know that you have to take into account the mileage you wear them outside of running.  You might have only run 20 miles in the shoe, but if you have worn them for 8 hours a day for at work for a week, that is a lot more stress on shoes too.

The lifespan of a shoe depends on several factors:

  • Type of shoe: Minimalist shoes last less time.  It’s less of a shoe.
  • Running Style: If you strike somewhere strongly (whether it’s the heel or the forefront), your shoe is going to last less. This includes myself as I tend to burn through the front of shoes quickly.
  • How Much You Use Them: Think about your running…realistically that is only an hour or two a day. If you are spending 10 hours a day in the same shoe, they are going to last far less time. Gage when to replace your shoes, especially if you regularly run and then head out on errands wearing the same shoes.  If you wear your shoe every day for errands too, it’s going to last about 3 months.

For the most part, shoes last between 300-400 miles.  I always tell people if your legs feel less tired or you are getting aches and pains and haven’t done anything differently, it’s probably the shoes.

The bottom line is: Yes, you can wear your running shoes for everything and it will be more comfortable, however, your shoes will not last as long.
In case you missed any of the previous weeks Running Store and Training:
Thoughts While Working in the Running Store
Should Race in Racing Flats?
Are you Getting Enough Protein for Running?
Why 5ks are the Best
How Alternating Shoes Can Benefit Your Running:
How to Transition in Minimalist Running Shoes
Question for you: Do you wear your running shoes for everything?

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How Alternating Shoes Can Benefit Your Running:

One of the most asked questions I get while working in a running store, is: “do I need two pairs of shoes”?

The short answer is, you don’t need anything… 

But this post isn’t about the short answer.

Thinking out loud, alternating shoes can benefit anyone running, from those training for a 5k to those training for a marathon or even ultra marathon.

Keep in mind, your rate of injury does go up if you alternate the wrong types of shoes.  Every shoe is made for a different foot type and if you alternate the wrong shoes (for your feet) then you will get injured.

There are very few situations you should rotate a stable and neutral shoe together.  Make sure that the shoes you’ve chosen are correct for your particular gait and feet.  Every shoe is good for someone but there is no “best shoe”.   I cannot stress how important it is to go to your local Running Store and get your feet analyzed. 

But why Alternate Shoes?

Increase the Durability of Your Shoes:

Well yes, having two pairs of shoes means you use the shoe less frequently but it also means your shoe have time to recover and bounce back from each run.

So why do shoes last longer? If you give shoes 1-2 days to “recover,”  the materials in the midsole don’t continuously compress.  Like a sponge, they fluff or bounce back closer to their original state.

Instead of getting the traditional 300-400 miles on a shoe, you might get a few more.  

It does naturally cost more to buy two shoes, you are getting more for your money.  Always ask your running store if they give a discount for buying two shoes, we do where I work

Different Shoes are Made for Different Things:

Take the Hoka Bondi 5 versus the Saucony Type A.  Both of these shoes make weekly appearences in my running but they are made for different types of runs!  The Hoka Bondi 5 has over double the weight and cushion of the Saucony Type A.

The Hoka Bondi 5 was created for a long run, recovery run or to withstand training. Saucony Type A is a minimal racing flat.  If you train in the Saucony Type A for every run, you will get injured.  If you raced in the Hoka Bondi, your body and feet would be working significantly harder.  Every shoe has a time and place.  I did write about racing flats here.

Alternating Shoes Can Prevent Injury:

As I mentioned above, this only works if you do it correctly!  While it’s not the magical way to prevent injuries, you can decrease your injury risk by alternating appropriate shoes.

Stress fractures happen from doing the same thing day in and day out.  If you run the same route, in the same shoes, every day you are more prone to an injury.

Even if you rotate two of the exact same style, then your feet are working in very similar ways.  Choosing different brands or models allow your body and feet to work just differently enough that it can decrease the stress put on any given area of your body.

Should You Rotate the Same Exact Style or Different Brands?

Alternating two of the same style allows each shoe to have a longer life span.

Alternating different styles allows each shoe to have a longer lifespan and your foot will work differently in each shoe.  You’ll be less suscipatble to injury by alternating different types or brands of shoes.

It’s just fun.  This isn’t a scientific fact but running in different shoes is just fun. 

What am I currently alternating between?
Hoka Bondi 5 (long runs, daily runs)
Saucony Freedom ISO (daily runs)
Brooks Launch (speed work, short runs)
Saucony Type A (speed work)

Incase you missed any of the previous weeks Running Store and Training:
Thoughts While Working in the Running Store
Should Race in Racing Flats?
Are you Getting Enough Protein for Running?

Why 5ks are the Best

Questions for you:
Which shoes are in your shoe rotation?
Have a question about shoes?  Ask below!

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. 

LunarGlide 8 Review

The Nike Lunarglide is a special kind of shoe.  It’s mildly supportive when you need it, and not when you don’t.  It can fit a broad range of foot types, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect for everyone. In fact, if you need an extremely supportive or high cushioned shoe, this probably isn’t a shoe for you.  If you need a mildly supportive or neutral shoe, it could be a great option.

While I never ran in the LunarGlide 7s or any previous model of the LunarGlude, I had put them on before.  They felt too supportive, and it was a shoe I didn’t need.  The update from the LunargGlide 7 to 8 made it less supportive and a shoe I wanted to try.

Nike LunarGlide 8 Shoe Review

Fit:

The LunarGlide 8 now uses the flyknit upper that many other Nike shoes use.  The fit is similar to other Nike Flyknit shoes, but it’s different than previous LunarGlide models.  It’s not a good or bad thing, and the flyknit upper accommodates wider feet (like mine) as well as those with a higher instep.  A lot of brands are going towards a seamless upper, and it’s a good thing. I usually wear a size 10, and the size 10 was the best fit for my foot.

It’s not a shoe I would just order online because you’ve worn that size the previous year.

Ride:

As I mentioned, I’ve never run in LunarGlide before and in fact, on paper, it’s not exactly a shoe that would make sense for me.  Since it is a special design that works for runners who need mild stability and those who need nothing, it can work for a few different people.  (Sorry friends, not going to try a shoe that would injure me “for the sake of the blog).

The ride itself is light and soft.  It doesn’t have a lot of cushion but definitely more than a racing flat.  It’s not a shoe I’m comfortable running more than 10 miles in but some people might get away with it.  Based on the design, I’m curious to see how much mileage,, it will be before the shoe breaks down.

Something interesting about the design pattern of the bottom is how many rocks it collects.  I’ve only run into this problem with a couple of different shoes (including the Newtons).  It’s not a make or break for the shoe, but you will hear a little clicking noise when (not if but when) a rock gets stuck in between the layers.

Nike LunarGlide 8 Shoe Review
Rock City

The major difference in the ride is the stability factor.  The LunarGlide 8 is far less stable than the LunarGlide 7.  If this is something you needed from the shoe, I would be more hesitant.  For me, this is a good thing and why a neutral runner like myself likes and can use the shoe.

Final thoughts:

While I never ran in the LunarGlide 7, I do know it’s a drastic and significant change.  That change is why I can run in the 8, but it’s a change that many running in the 7 might not appreciate.  I would go to your local store before purchasing.  Due to the changes, it’s not a shoe I would recommend ordering online, just because you’ve worn several models.

I do like the shoe and will continue to run in it until it wears out. 

Pros:

  • Less stable and can fit a broad range of foot types
  • No seem upper allows accommodating bunions and wide feet

Cons:

  • Drastic changes from the LunarGlide 7 to LunarGlide 8
  • Collects a lot of small rocks underneath

Not too many “similar” models of shoes to compare too.

My Running Shoe Rotation: Hoka Clifton 3, Saucony Zealot 2, Brooks Launch 3

Questions for you:

What shoe are you currently running in?

Do you have any shoes that collect rocks underneath? 

How to Find the Perfect Pair of Running Shoes

 How to Find Perfect Running Shoes

One of the most important decisions you can make as a runner is choosing the right pair of running shoes.

It’s important to spend both time and money to pick out the best shoes for you.  Without proper running shoes, you won’t be running for very long.  While you can choose a shoe off of the shelf, it’s important to get properly fitted by an expert.

How to find the perfect running shoe

Thinking out loud, proper running shoes are going to prevent many injuries such as shin splints and plantar fasciitis.  They are going help you run faster and further because aches will be the last thing you’re thinking about.

So how do you find the best running shoes?

First, it’s important to realize there is no “best-running shoe.”  Each running shoe is designed for a different foot type.  What works for me, might not work for you or your friend.  Reading internet shoe reviews isn’t going to help you find a shoe that will help you.  Every foot is different, including your left and right.

Second, go to a running specialty store. Employees at running speciality stores go through training to figure out which shoes work for which feet.  They can tell you within a matter of minutes which shoe will work for you.  A process that can take you hours will be cut into minutes.  Employees at running stores also have a wealth of knowledge about the sport of running including local events and races.  They are runners themselves and will know local races or even doctors or podiatrists.

You should plan to spend time in the store because the employee will ask you several questions, take a look at your feet, gait and running form.  Don’t get to the store 5 minutes before closing time and expect to have time to be fitted.

So what should you expect?

First, the employee will ask you several questions such as:

  • What are you using the shoes for?
  • Every day walking? Training? Racing? Gym classes?  There is no right or “good” answer!
  • Do you have any aches or pains? Do you have blisters or black toenails? Do you have shin splints or knee pain? Pain in your hips or back? Let the employee know everything and anything…but please don’t show me an open wound.
  • What kind running are you doing?
  • How often you run?
  • Where do you run? What kind of surface are you running on? Grass? Sidewalk? The treadmill?
  • Are you training for race or event

Those are just a few questions you might encounter about your personal activity.

Then the employee will look at the shape of your feet as well as the arch.  It’s extremely common for someone to have two different sized feet.  They will look to see if you pronate,supinate or have a neutral gait.  Determining your foot type is the most important part of finding the right running shoes.

Next, the employee will measure your foot. Keep in mind, your foot size changes and grows.  After having children, most women gain a half size.  Even if you’ve been the same size for years, your foot might have gotten longer or wider.

Another thing to keep in mind is running shoes should be 1/2 to a full size bigger than your casual shoe size.  There are very few exceptions to this rule.  When you workout, your feet swell.  If you are losing toenails, chances are your shoes are too small.  Blisters also form at the top of your feet because of improper sizing.  As someone who works in a speciality store, about 75% of athletes who come in are wearing the wrong size shoe.

After the employee is done proding you with questions, they’ll bring a few options that are best fits for you.  They’ll have you try them on and run around in them.   From there you will decide how you like the shoe.  Do you prefer a soft shoe? Firm? Light weight or heavier? Only you can decide what feels right.

Make sure you are ready to run.  Standing awkwardly in the shoe for one second isn’t going to decide whether you like the shoe or not.  You should run in each pair of shoes.  Trust the employee they have chosen appropriate shoes for you.  The employee’s job isn’t too bring out the wrong shoes.

After making your final decision make sure to test your shoes at home too.  If you develop pain, they may not be the right shoes. Most specialty stores have a policy to allow you to exchange the shoes even if you have run in them.  For instance, the store I work at allows you to exchange shoes for up to two weeks.  If they don’t work out, we want to know and for you to find something that does!

Since I work in a speciality running store, I do believe getting fit for a pair of shoes is one of the best things you can do for yourself as a runner.  There is no right or wrong answer for the best pair of running shoes, but there is a right or wrong answer for the best pair for you.

Other Posts You Might be Interested In:
There is No Perfect Running Shoe
There Difference Between Runners and Non-Runners
Why Running Shoe Reviews are (Mostly) Worthless
Why You Should Rotate Running Shoes

Questions for you:
What are your current pair of running shoes?
Have you ever been fit for a pair of running shoes?

Brooks Launch 3 Review

The Brooks Launch 3 is a lightweight trainer.  It’s a great option for anyone is looking for a fast and responsive trainer that can be used for anything from racing a 5k to a marathon.  I know a lot of runners who prefer the Launch 3 as their daily trainer as well.  It’s a shoe that can pretty much do anything.

Originally I bought the Launch 3 based on the Olympic color pattern.  Even though I was injured at the time, I loved the limited edition color and didn’t want to miss out.  I wasn’t alone, and the shoes sold out in store pretty quickly.  I didn’t know if I would end up running in them but I knew they could be an option too.

Brooks Launch 3 Review

Fit: 

I like the fit of the Launch 3.  It has a wide toebox and a narrow heel.  In general, I find the shape of most Brooks Shoes to be true to size.  I wear a size 10, and a size 10 Launch 3 fits like a glove.

To add: I didn’t run in the Launch or the Launch 2 but I tried them on at work a few times.  The Launch 3 was redesigned to be seamless which is great for anyone with a super wide food (like me).

Ride: 

At first glance, the Launch wouldn’t be a shoe I would pick out for myself to run in.  It’s light weight, and I typically like more cushion.

That being said, the Brooks Launch has a nice lightweight, but firm feel to it.  The front, as well as the mid foot, have been designed with more cushion. I run rather far on my toes, so the front loaded cushion is much appreciated!

After a few runs, I ultimately decided I liked them and will keep them in my rotation.  I’m debating buying a second pair to keep the “Olympic pair” for special occasions…(Like what if an Olympian wants to go to a diner or something?)

For my personal use, I plan to run in them as a workout shoe or a “faster feeling shoe”.  I don’t plan to do long runs or high mileage in them.

Similar models: Saucony Kinvara, Saucony Ride, Nike Pegasus, Brooks Ghost

My Current Rotation:
Asics Cumulus 18
Hoka Clifton 3
Saucony Triumph
Brooks Launch

Pros:

  • Light weight but cushioned
  • Price point of $100 ($110 for the limited edition color I chose)
  • Great shoe to use for racing or training

Cons: 

  • Less cushion than a traditional trainer
  • Less durable than a traditional trainer. If you’re using these for a marathon shoe, you might want to invest in a couple of pairs.

Questions for you: 
Do you wear Brooks? Have you tried the Launch 3? 
What is your favorite running shoe? 

Summer Loving

It’s been a while since I’ve done a traditional “Thinking Out Loud” style post.

With the start of summer, I thought I would include some of my favorite things and thoughts.  These are all products I’ve been using frequently and all things I like.  I’m not being paid to promote anything although if there is a season 5, I would love to be on Orange is the New Black.

So what am I loving?

Cardio: 

Lately, I’ve loved the pool.  I can probably guarantee, once I’m running again I won’t go too often but right now it’s been okay and kept my cardio up.

swimming

Entertainment:

Orange is the New Black: Last Tuesday, Lindsey interviewed me for her Podcast: “Can I have Another”?  She mentioned I should get into the Netflix show: Orange is the New Black. Before last week, I had heard of the show before but hadn’t seen an episode…then I watched one episode last Tuesday.  Followed by season 1, season 2 and season 3.  Now I’m just starting season 4 so you can see how that went.  Being sick and unable to run has its advantages (I guess).

Podcasts: Obviously I like Can I have Another by Lindsey.  She’s interviewed a bunch of interesting and fun people.  I like listening while getting ready for work on Friday mornings.  Even if you aren’t a runner, you’ll enjoy the conversation.  I feel like I’m just hanging out (or evesdropping) on someone’s conversation.

Food:

I’ve basically been eating anything with Calcium and Vitamin D: As I mentioned earlier this week, both my Calcium and Vitamin D levels came back in the normal range.  That being said, I’m still attempting to get as much as possible without overdosing or getting a kidney stone.  Luckily for smoothies, milk and cheese.

Sunwarrior sent me a few samples of their latest meal replacement shake powders to try. While I’m not running, 160 calories is a nice snack.  The new Illumin8 mix has a blend of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.  It’s not a full meal, but it’s a good pick me up in the afternoon.  I’ve been blending them with ice, milk, cocoa powder and sweetener.  For one of them, I added leftover beets which surprisingly tasted great and made me feel healthier.

Sunwarrior Protein Illumin8

After trying the samples they sent, I think I’m going to go purchase more.  I like the taste, and extra protein is not a bad thing for me right now.

 

Workout Related:

I’m doing all of my walking around in the Asics Quantum 360.  I nicknamed the shoe, the tank because there is so much support and cushion.  I ran in it for a while but because it’s the most cushioned shoe I’ve ever owned in the forefront, it got the promotion of moving from my running shoe to my only shoe.  asics quantum

This weekend I plan to run in the newest Asics Cumulus.  I love my Saucony shoes, but I need a shoe with more cushion in the forefront right now.  Who knows, the newest Hoka Clifton 3s are wider and actually fit my feet..so they might make a cameo on LOLZ blog.

So that’s what I’ve been up to and enjoying the last few days. 

Questions for you:

What have you been enjoying lately?

What is your favorite recipe?