Finding the right running shoe is crucial to your success as a runner. The perfect pair helps prevent injuries and can even affect how much you enjoy your run. But with all the choices on the market, how can you decide what type of shoe is best for you and where should you go to buy your perfect match?
The best way to find the right shoes is by going to a specialty running shoe store.
By choosing this option over a department store or a big box store, you will get a personalized fitting, higher quality shoes, help from experienced runners, great customer service and a sense of community.
Specialty running shoe stores fit you with the appropriate running shoe that will help you become a more efficient runner and keep you from getting injured.
First, a running shoe specialist will set up a personalized running profile for you. This includes what type of running you do (trail, road, training shoe, racing shoe etc) and for what distance.
The specialist will then watch and analyze your foot strike to see what type of shoe you need (e.g. a stability shoe, a neutral shoe or perhaps one with extra cushioning).
The shoe specialists can check your old shoes to see how your feet strike (by looking at the wear on each shoe) and give you advice on which type of shoe is best for you.
Higher Quality Shoes
Each shoe in a specialty running store is a quality running shoe. Unfortunately, most big box stores or department stores do not have the proper running shoe portfolio that you may need.
This is because most running shoe companies sell their higher quality running shoes exclusively to the specialty running stores.
Help From Experienced Runners
When you go to a specialty running store you are able to chat with experienced runners. The employees can give you advice, along with their feedback, on the shoes and products in the store because they have actually used them.
Oftentimes you will find runners who run all different types of distances working in the store, so you can usually find the right person to speak with to answer your specific questions.
Great Customer Service
If for any reason you are not satisfied with the running shoes you purchased, most speciality running stores will let you exchange the shoes and will refit you for the right shoe.
In fact, running shoe stores are very big on customer satisfaction and their goal is to make sure you are running in the right shoe. This great service is what brings you back, time and time again – and they know this 🙂
A Sense of Community
Finally, one of the best parts about going to a specialty running store is the sense of community. Most of these stores have weekly group runs and other events, such as visits from brand reps to educate customers and give them the opportunity to try out the latest gear.
They usually have discounts for running clubs, events and gear. So don’t walk; run to the nearest speciality running store in your area and check it out!