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I Love Running Shoes…I Hate Not Knowing How to Pick the Best

April 2, 2010

When I started working out before my gastric bypass surgery I was going to Curves wearing a pair of walking shoes. After learning I needed a more diverse workout and joined an actual gym with workout classes the walking shoes did not cut it. Step class, strength training and spinning classes needed better grips on the soles and good arches. 

I love running shoes…well any shoe really. I was never really a shoe fan growing up, since I had size 11 wide feet. Not the best for finding hip and cool shoes in mainstream stores. It is really Payless all the way for me. But, when I started losing weight and working out a lot I found a new love for exercise shoes. I loved being able to go to a store and finding cool shoes, then going on eBay and getting it for cheap. 

Washington, DC


I love Nike shoes, my first pair was pink and silver and I thought I was the coolest person around wearing them. Having never owned an expensive pair of any type of shoe, these were the best. They hugged my foot and didn’t give me blisters. They went with me to all my workout classes, helped me on the elliptical machine and were my go-to shoe for just doing errands. My next pair of Nikes was black with hot pink and green-so cute. These however are not the best for running or long-term walking. The soles are hard and don’t have any give in them for my new-found love of running, they also gave the worst blisters when I walked for 2.5 miles around Washington, DC sightseeing. 

So, I am on the look-out for the right pair of running shoes. Running shoes have to be replaced every 300-500 miles-whew that sounds like a lot. But in reality it isn’t. If you run 3.1 miles a day-or a 5k- then your shoes need to be replaced in about four months. Not long for a $100-$200 pair of shoes. Also, it is lucky I am doing workouts at home and running because you running shoe is specific-if you are doing training classes in a gym, you need a cross-trainer or aerobic shoe. I love shoes but not enough to spend hundreds of dollars on different shoes. 

Getting Your Shoe:  

  •   Go to a specialty running shoe store-not just a department store
  •   Get your feet sized-even if you think you know your shoe size
  •   Know if your ankles run in our out, have a steady stride and if your arches are high, flat or normal
  •   Walk, jog or run for the sales person to check your stride
  •   Be sure to pick a few shoe models and try them all in the store before acquiring

I hate not knowing which shoe is best. I give you these guidelines, but with all the hype about shoes who is to know which is best. Even the shoe salesperson has their own favorite brand that they might try and push at you. And what about the Reebok EasyTone shoes that are supposed to work your bottom and thighs like the FitFlops? Should I just invest in those and be done with it? I do want them, for walking around because I want a nice bottom and thighs. 

I hate when I read fitness magazines that they all give different shoe choices. I know they don’t communicate, but are there really that many choices out there that they can each choose a different brand as there faves? I obviously only ever went for the pair of shoes that I thought was cutest, and the one that was cheapest. Not the best options now that I actually care about what is happening to my feet. Here are four shoes that my mags said were it:

Reebok ZigPulse-$100 ZigTech’s foam absorbs heel impact and sends it along the sole, reducing the risk of shin splits
Mizuno Wave 11-$135 Mesh ventilation prevents overheating of foot and cushioning prevents joint pain when landing on foot
Ryka Revive-$65 Cheap yes, but the nitrogen-infused foam increases heel and forefeet cushioning and gives a bouncier push0off
Nike LunarGlide+-$100 Built to correct your gait when needed, this shoe also has extra material by your big toe to prevent blisters

 I hate the prices, as I have indicated I am cheap. So does that mean I go for the Ryka, a brand that I have never heard of but has been around awhile and Kelly Ripa is the spokesperson for, or go for the Nike’s a brand I am familiar with. This is my problem, I am intimidated to go to the shoe store because I don’t want to seem unintelligent or indecisive about the shoe options. So do I take the magazines and tell them these are what I want to see or just put my trust-and money-into what the seller suggests? 

How about you all? Do you have suggestions on which running shoe is best, or has had the same dilemmas?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2010 1:21 pm

    I bought some Fitflops for the beach, and they were worth the $65 price tag (total price including tax). I have knee problems and they were perfect for long walks on the beach or daily wear.

    Running and finess shoes have always been a doozy for me. Sketcher Shape Ups are great for doing plyometric workouts – involves a lot of jumping. You need good shock absorption and cushioning for the knees when doing plyometrics. I, also, have Nike Plus Shox for running and the gym from the outlet. A good choice too. You can, also, custom make your own shoes at the Nike website. I plan to get my next shoes from there in the future.

    • April 3, 2010 6:13 am

      Thanks for the info Grace. The FitFlops don’t do anything for me but do feel like clouds when walking around. I will check out the Nike Shox when I go to the running store. I hadn’t thought of finding an Outlet to get the shoes after finding the best for my body. Thanks.

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