Demystifying the sneaker-guide.

Put down that Runner’s World sneaker guide.  Stop asking your friends on your Facebook status what shoe you should get.  And for the love of God, stop buying $45 shoes off of Amazon.  I’m going to make this really really super easy for you.

Go to a running specialty store.  Get a fitting.  Purchase your shoes.  (And a nice, synthetic sock).  And enjoy yourself.  Here’s why.

  • Some ridiculous percentage of you guys are wearing the wrong size shoes.  It’s not normal to get black and sore toenails.  It’s not normal to lose toenails  in a  race.  It’s also completely abnormal to have space enough by the heel collar for me to shove my fingers in the back of the shoe (which I totally saw at Niketown this weekend).  You’re supposed to go up a half to a full size from your dress shoe size, because when you run, and when you work out?  Your feet swell.  Go get measured.
  • Someone has convinced you you have flat feet/high arches/need some crazy custom orthotic.  Some of you guys have been told but an aunt since you were five you have some weird foot thing.  You buy your shoes based on this and you’re buying the wrong shoe.  Again, let a trained professional look at your foot and tell you what’s going on.
  • You’re not really saving much of anything when you buy a $56 shoe off amazon.  Or at DSW.  Or at Dick’s.  Firstly, running shoes are not the place to skimp on money.  Shoes really shouldn’t cost less than $100 If a shoe is that cheap, there’s probably any number of reasons for that.
    1. The shoe is an older model.  As in, it’s no longer manufactured.
    2. The shoe is a cheaper version of a real shoe.  The company has taken cushioning out of a good shoe, named it something else, and sold it.
    3. The shoe has been sitting in a warehouse for 3.5 years.  Shoes naturally begin to break down after a year, whether they’ve been worn or not.  You just paid money for a shoe that’s already worn out, and you’re risking injury.

photo (5)

Running shoes are a science. They’re an art. They’re subjective. And using a sneaker guide, asking friends, or just buying the cheapest thing you can find at a Dick’s Sporting Goods is just doing your body, your feet, and your running future a huge disservice.  Go get a fitting.  Drop the $110 on a shoe.  And be your best running self (okay, werq Oprah!)

Q: When is it time to get new running shoes?

First off, can we just clap it up for me and say that I have my finger on the pulse of female running society?  Look what came up yesterday no sooner than I posted that entry featuring all my ladies without makeup.

Tyra Banks Sighting In New York City - September 17, 2012

It’s none other than Miz Tyra, working out and makeup free.  I guess I just rock.

Moving right along however, this is a question I get pretty often.  How do I know when it’s time to change my running shoes out?  So the rule of thumb when it comes to a regular, traditional running shoe, is that you’re going to get, at the absolute MOST, 350-400 miles out of a shoe.  That’s it.  Sometimes less, but definitely not more.

350-400 miles sounds like a lot, but it’s really not as much as you think.  If you’re only wearing your running shoes to run in, and you’re running 15-20 miles a week, you can do the math, and it adds up quickly!

So here’s how you can extend the life of your running shoes: (they’re gonna average you $110 a pair, so you may want to pay attention)

Alternate between two pairs of running shoes.  When you do this, especially between long runs, you give your shoe a chance to recover.  The foam/cushioning gets a change to regain it’s original shape, and the shoe gets a chance to dry.

– Stop shoving your feet into your shoe when you’re rushing off to the gym. I know you’re guilty of this.  You’re running off to the gym, and you shove your foot in without untying the shoe.  You’re not three years old, there’s no velcro, so take the time out to untie your shoe and put it on.  When you shove your hoof in, or worse yet, when you walk around on the back of your shoes when you go to check the mail, you destroy the back of the shoe, as well as the structure built to support your heel.  So sit down, and take the extra few seconds to tie/untie your shoes.

Save your running shoes for running only. Don’t go to Whole Foods in your shoe.  Don’t go to cycling in your shoe.  Don’t check the mail in your shoe.  Don’t go to the club in your shoe.  And don’t climb a tree in your shoe.  All these activities put mileage on your shoe.  So if you find you’re going to Zumba or Cycling pretty often as well, buy a special shoe for each of these activities.  Usually Adidas, Reebok, and Nike have a pretty decent selection of “lifestyle” shoes if you’re dancing or doing step, and check with your local cycling shop if you need a pair of cycling shoes.

Let your shoes air out in your home, not in your car, between runs.  The EVA foam and cushioning in shoes is temperamental, and doesn’t like to sit in your car, where the temperature can go from one extreme to the next.  So between workouts, take a few seconds and let your shoe air out.  Untie the laces, and open up the shoe for a while so it can breathe and retain shape.

So if you’re kind of sick of only figuring you need a new shoe when your knee starts to ache, try documenting your mileage a tad better, and the guessing game should be over.

shoe heaven
Cher’s Shoe Graveyard