When I joined San Diego Track Club, I thought I should get some new running shoes and I went to a Sports Authority and tried to pick based on color (shocking, I know) with ZERO regard for the type of shoe they are, what I needed, or how they felt. My friend told me I needed to go to a specialty running store, have them watch me run, and then recommend shoes based on that. I would STILL recommend that to any runners JUST getting into running.
The things you need to know when going to buy shoes:
1. Don't use your shoes from 10 years ago- If you are using the shoes you got when you were in high school- chances are that they are too old and won't provide you the right amount of support. The sweet spot for the life span of a running shoe is 300-500 miles- but totally depends on the shoe. If you're feeling that things are flaring up (injury-wise) or you're not getting the same kick that you used to from your shoe- it's probably time to help boost the economy and buy some shoes.
2. Don't believe the hype- Just because a shoe is popular, doesn't mean its the right fit for you. (Think Cinderella and the glass slipper, kinda.) You should try a lot of shoes, walk around the store with them, see if a running store is having a demo night, but make sure to pick a pair of shoes based on how they feel v. how they look.
3. Go up a size... or two! For my first marathon (the one I signed up for the day beforehand, GENIUS!) I had shoes that were my normal size, and I was reallyyyyyy concerned about the impact to my body from all that running so I wore double socks to the race. Like not athletic double socks but like THICK ones. Your feet swell when you run and by mile 14 I had PROBLEMS. The fallout (pun inadvertent, but intended) from that marathon has made me wiser and I now only buy shoes that are a full size bigger than my normal size. Unless you are a genetic miracle and your feet don't swell, definitely consider going up a size.
4. Be a playerrrrr- don't commit- I have several different brands of shoes (Mizunos, Newtons and Asics are my favorite) and types of shoes (Support, Stability, Minimal, Racing). And I choose the shoe based on the type of run I am planning on doing. A tempo run won't warrant the same shoe as an everyday treadmill run. And I'll use a different shoe for a track workout than a long run. The good thing about bouncing around is using different types of shoes keeps your feet flexible and makes it less likely for you to get injured. This article gives some more reasons why rotating shoes is a GOOD thing.
Soooo... MY PERSONAL FAVES:
Newton Distance Elite: I was introduced to Newtons in Rome at the Marathon Expo- tried them out for the first time in April and they are now the only shoes I wear for races. I love them. They make me feel quick and I feel a pop and a responsiveness from them that I really want in a race shoe. Super lightweight too! These retail for $155.
Mizuno Wave Riders: These are just a classic GREAT shoe. They are a neutral shoe but are pretty firm and have a great kick to them. These are my usual day -to-day running shoes. So many people I know with all different types of shoe needs all love the Wave Riders. Pretty sure they are Mizunos most popular model. These retail for $115.
Asics Kayanos: When I first got into running, these were the first shoes they gave me at Roadrunners. They helped me soldier through running when I had no clue what I was doing. They have incredible support, and are great for anyone- especially if you need some extra TLC or are injury prone. These retail at $160.
Training Update- Ran 4 miles before work and then hit up track last night to do 5 by 1000 meters (i.e. run as hard as you can and then hold on for dear life ;-) Great workout on my tired legs- but I'm getting excited for when I am back to normal and can really let loose. I had a great talk with my mentor afterwards and it reminded me of the power that your words have to bring life to people's hopes and dreams and to really support and encourage them on their journey. Make sure you are doing that in the lives of people you love. My number one goal right now is to get back to normal and recover and then I will be trying to figure out exactly how I want to train to have an insane race at Boston. ;-) Holla.