Reason #2: Your Running Shoes Are Not Right For You
Way too often people tell me they just can’t run. It’s too painful or they get shin splints or their knees or ankles hurt. Oh, how my little soul goes on high alert. “Attention, attention, you can save them from their naivety. Step in and help them before it is too late!!!!”
That is really what goes on in my head. I’m not kidding. I really love running. L-O-V-E it and I want you to love it too. I didn’t love it at first though. It has taken many years and many pairs of shoes!
Anywho……after I stop gushing about how you are made to run and how you should give it another chance and that I know you can do it, I have a series of questions I generally ask.
One of those questions is, “What running shoes do you have?”
What do you think the most common answer is?
Nike? Asics? Adidas?
Nope. The most common answer I get is “I have no idea. They are some cheap pair I found in the back of my closet. I picked them up a few years ago.”
I also get something along these lines. “I’m not sure, but I went to a good store and they were the most expensive pair.”
I also get “Asics. My friend runs in Asics and said it was the only brand that works.”
Why Are Running Shoes Important?
Before I address the common answers I listed above, let’s talk about why you want running shoes that are right for you.
Your foot is the point of impact with the ground, right? So, if your running shoe is not a great fit for your body and your foot strike, it is going to affect everything all the way up.
Ever had back pain? Hip pain? Knee pain? Shin Splints?
Some times the pain has nothing to do with shoes, but often, really often, it has A LOT to do with your shoes.
The Fix: Buy a Pair of Running Shoes that is Right For You
What Not to Buy
Let me first tell you how not to decide what pair of shoes to get. Cheapest, most expensive, and what your friends like are probably all irrelevant to your shoe choice.
Cheapest: When we first start running, it is easy to go with the cheapest shoes, because you really aren’t that “in” to it yet. While this is understandable, if you do want to ever get “in” to it, you might have to decide to spend a few extra bucks. Let’s all be real here. Running is one of the cheapest hobbies around. So, spend the extra $30 or $50 IF that shoes feels better.
Most Expensive: On the flip side, just because a running shoe is the latest and greatest and the most expensive one a company has ever made, does not mean it’s all that great at all, especially for you. It just means it will take more of your money to put it in your closet. Buy the most expensive one only if it feels the best after trying several other options.
Friendly Recommendations: I think recommendations from friends are great. We all like to share what we have learned with others especially when it comes to products and hobbies. But here is the deal. I’ll use bras as an analogy.
I have a good friend who is a DD. I am, let’s just say a B, although that is really, really debatable.
She can certainly tell me what bra works for her, but that does not mean it will work for me at all. The differences in a foot are less obvious, but they are there just the same. Give your friend’s recommendation a try, but also make sure you try 3-4 other options.
How to Buy:
If you have access to a specialty running store, go there. The prices are virtually the same as any other store that offers the same running shoes, but you get people who really LOVE running (Like me!) and they really want you to be successful.
Most specialty running stores are so invested in your success that they will take your shoes back even after you have worn them if you have problems.
On top of that, before they sell you a pair of running shoes, many do a fitting process in order to recommend a few pairs that will work best based on what your goals are, if you have any pain, and what you are running in now.
Once they bring the shoes out, go run in them. Again, most stores have a treadmill or will let you run outside on the pavement. Run 50 yards or so. A shoe feels a lot different when you run in it than it does when you just stand there.
Ultimately, pick the one that feels the most natural OR the one that seems like it is going to fix that annoying pain you can’t seem to get rid of.
It might take a few purchases for you to find shoes that you really love, but press on my friends. Don’t let a simple thing like your shoes discourage you from running! The right shoes can turn hate to L-O-V-E, love.
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