Every week in class, I get asked these questions..
- Should I buy online, in a sports shop, in a running specialist shop?
- How do I know I have the right pair for my feet ?
- What is the best brand of runners to buy ?
- How much should I pay for a new pair ?
- When should I replace them ?
So here you go – finally, here is my quick guide to buying new runners.
1. Where should I buy
We recommend going to a recommended local running shop. Get advice from any runners in your area as to where they would recommend. Generally anyone who has such a shop is passionate about running, knows their stuff, sees lots of runners all the time and is qualified to give you the best advice on which shoes work best with your feet and gait.
2. How do I know I have the right pair for me feet
Its very hard to know by just standing still in a new pair of runners. In a good running shop the specialist will analyse your running gait by videoing you run. He/she show you how you hit the ground, how your legs move when you push forward the will notice anything particular to your style. They will also look at your existing running shoes and notice how you wear them down. Based on this, they will select 3-4 pairs which are good for your feet. After that, its up to you to try them on and see which ones feel best on you. This bit is a personal choice. Try not to judge too much by the colour! Don’t pick a pair just because they look nice. Its important you feel good and comfortable in them. Run around the shop in them and the specialist will video you again in your chosen shoes to see how they work for you. It is hard to decide. Most good running shops will let you take them home, try them out walking indoors for a little bit and if they are not right will replace them for you. Sounds like a complicated process ? Not really, you will get a good feel for a pair of shoes or you wont. Some just don’t feel right. (why is it always the ones that look the nicest that don’t fit right. Oh well)
3. What is the best brand of running shoes.
There is none. The question is which is the best brand for my feet. Some of us have allegiance to a brand we have always worn and thats fine, but don’t be afraid to try a new one. There are so many running shoes out there, its finding the one that moulds best to your feet, not someone elses. What can be a perfect shoe for you, may be very uncomfortable for someone else.
4. How much should a running shoe cost.
Some people think that the more expenive the shoe, the better it is. Not at all. Some of the best shoes I have are actually cheaper than you think! Generally you can pay anywhere from 70 euro to 170 euro for a pair of runners. A big investment – but in the long run, they will save you on phyiso bills if you look after your feet correctly. Try and be openminded when you try on the running shoes. Dont judge by the brand or the price. It can be misleading.
5. When should I replace them ?
Sooner than you think. Like everything else running shoes wear out. Take care of them and dont wear them walking about. Save them for running only and they will last much longer. All the miles add up, so if you are walking to work in them everyday you are reducing the lifespan of them. If you know you love a pair, try and get a replacement sooner than later – like any fashion, the styles and fits change each season, so if you want to have two pairs on the go (especially recommended if you are doing longer distance runs), pick them up before they disappear off the shelves.
6. Where do you buy your running shoes ?
I lived in England when I started running and was very lucky to have really good specialist shops where I got fitted and measured for runners each year. These guys in the running shops are passionate about running and spent ages listening to my diva like demands for a pair of runners, before kitting me out in a new brand and style I would never have considered if i was just to choose myself. There are lots of shops too around Dublin : Amphibian King Ballymount, RunHub Ashtown, Runzone Rathgar, Runlogic Temple Bar and Amphibian King Bray.
The moral of the story is – don’t choose a pair of runners like they are a fashion item. We have all bought high heels which look fabulous but after a night out have damaged our feet, toes and our comfort. Don’t do the same with your running shoes. A good pair will make you want to put them on. A bad pair, or a worn out pair and you will be cursing them just like those dodgy highheels.