After she learned her lesson the hard way she started doing things differently. Can you guess what she did?
Okay, by now you probably have figure out that I'm talking about myself. . . So what do I do differently now?
2. I don't allow myself to look at the color of the shoes or the price. I run in them without looking down and I pick the pair that feels the best. While I don’t ask the price before I run in them, I have been known to ask if they have last year’s model in stock. You can often get last year's model at a much more reasonable price and it’s likely exactly the same as this year's model or the sales person can tell you how it is different. I’ve also been known to try on shoes and like them, but then balk at the price at the store, only to regret not buying them until an online search found them at a different store for a much better price.
4. I use two pairs of shoes (sometimes 3. Okay fine, truthfully, I currently have 5) and rotate them so each pair of shoes gets 24-48 hours to go back to their optimal shape to take another pounding from me. I’ve heard a few experts swear by this method. I’ve also heard a few experts who think this whole thing is silly and not true. Me? I like shoes! So I really don’t mind having several pairs and alternating between them.
5. I am cautious about inserts unless a doctor has prescribed them. This is due to my sister, Kathleen, who was an avid marathoner back in the day. She started having knee problems and a friend recommended she try inserts. She started wearing them and it fixed the knee problem. Fast forward two years later and she can’t run anymore due to terrible back pain. For the next two years she kept trying to rehab herself and get back to running and she couldn’t do it. A chance encounter in the airport while she was traveling for work led her to a family who swears by a ‘miracle doctor’ who fixed their daughter, an elite athlete. He wasn’t taking new clients, but because of his connection to this family, he agreed to see my sister. She flew to his city and stayed in a hotel for two weeks. Every day he’d hook her up to different biofeedback machines and have her run and do various exercises. His verdict? She needed to ditch the inserts. The inserts were changing the way she ran and were not properly activating her glute muscles. When her glutes weren’t firing, her back was trying to kick in to do the work and she was ending up in terrible pain. She had to ditch the inserts and rehab her muscles and she was able to go back to running pain-free. I worry inserts might fix one problem and cause another, so unless it’s recommended by a medical professional, I let the advice to buy inserts go in one ear and out the other.
7. I listen to my body. If I have a new pair that is causing pain, you can bet your bottom dollar I will not be running in them anymore! They get returned or if I can’t return them, they become my new walking shoes. I’ve dealt with injuries before and I don’t want to deal with another injury, especially if it is avoidable!
8. I try my best to shop where they offer a military discount (yay!) or allow you to bring back your shoes if they don’t work out (double yay!). Running shoes can be a huge investment. I have been so disappointed before when shoes didn’t work out for me only to be told that they can’t be taken back because they had been used (even just once!). Places like REI and many shoe stores will let you return the shoes if they didn’t work for you, even if you already went on a run in them (even if that run is a trail run!).
So there you have it my tips and guidelines for buying shoes. I hope this helps you on your next shoe buying adventure.