Key Factors Not To Consider

Shoes are without doubt the single most important piece of equipment for runners and walkers.  There are a wide variety of key factors to consider in buying shoes. Here are key factors NOT to consider.

shoe-asics-gelSteve Prefontaine ran in Chuck Taylor All Stars, so they must be good.
If a type of shoe works good for someone else, unless their feets are similar to yours in terms of arch, width and size, and that person is roughly your body type and weight - then forget it. Find the right brand and shoe for you. This means sticking the shoes on your own feets and trying them out.

This shoe feels great - but the colors are so hideous.
I have a high arch and I am what is called a "large frame" runner. It used to be called "fat ass" until the P.R. people got a hold of the ad copy. For me, Gel Asics MC Plus were the #1 best show.  Unfortunately, the newest model is a barfy pale yellow.  Just accept ahead of time that your shoes are going to be ugly, and then don't think about it.  I've even had shoes that were basic  baby blue - size thirteen boats in baby blue is not good look, incidentally.

I got a great shoe!  Only twenty bucks at CostCutter.
Buying a shoe because it's on sale is probably the worst mistake you can make.  When I first started running with Portland Fit, I was attending one of my Reunions (go to enough schools, and you'll always have a "reunion" of something).  I was surprised to find that all the "athletes" when I was in school were hanging up their guns due to injuries from their undergrad days - they either scrimped on equipment or ran too long in their shoes.  And nobody said "Well, I may walk with a limp now, but it's worth it because  I saved twenty-five bucks on shoes ten years ago."  Do not buy shoes at CostCutter.  Period.  Spend the money to be sure you are in the right shoe for you.

These shoes hurt a little now, but the pain will go away when I toughen up more.
No.  That pain is not going away.  And you are not going to get tougher.  In the immortal words of Milton Berle (ask your grandmother): "If it hurts when you do that, then don't do that."  Pain is your body's way of communicating that something is wrong.  Of course, long distance running will cause your body more distress than watching Sponge Bob in a Lazy Boy - but that means you need to ***start*** pain free.  I promise you, any pain you feel at the start is going to get worse as time and distance wear on.

These shoes are [tight, stiff, awkward, or anything less than perfect--pick one]  but they'll be fine when I break them in.
This point is still a little controversial, but I am of the school of thought that if you need to "break in" running shoes, you are in the wrong shoe.  A shoe needs to feel good right out of the box.  If it doesn't, then find one that does.

I am nervous about this marathon tomorrow, so I just bought this brand new pair of shoes that I’ve never worn, a completely different model and brand that I have never tried, and I want to put them on for the first time two minutes before the start - just for luck.
Sounds good to me!


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