If someone told me a couple of years ago, that one day I’d write a post about running and how to find the right running shoes, I’d probably call him or her nuts. But here I am!
It’s not that I didn’t want to love running. Growing up, I wanted nothing more than to love it. But no matter how many times I tried, I ended up hating it. I just couldn’t understand how people did it for fun. For me it was plain torture.
After several tries, I gave up and decided it just wasn’t my kind of sport. But then I found Tone It Up. One year, during their annual Fall challenge, they introduced the app Charity Miles and asked us to pick up running – even if it was just for 2 miles – to help a cause of our choice.
And that’s when it made click! I wasn’t running to achieve some best time anymore or consistently increase my pace. No, I was running to do something good for me and help someone else in the process. Once I had taken the pressure out of the equation, I fell in love with running.
Fast forward and running became something I craved doing. Now I’m going for a run at least 2-3 a week. It has become my movement of choice when I feel anxious or just need to clear my head (besides stretching, of course).
Needless to say, I also learned a thing or two about running shoes. I’m now owning my third pair that are slowly approaching year 5. So yeah, you could say it was about time for a new pair. They still looked new but certainly didn’t feel that way. The stability faded and I felt less and less supported on my runs.
My first intent was to buy a new pair online. I had become a big fan of Asics over the years and thought I knew which model would be the right fit. Scrolling through the offers on the web, I – of course – ordered a pair that was asthetically pleasing (no black, grey or any other boring color which is sometimes harder to find than you think).
I’m the biggest aesthetic out there. Like seriously! I only buy things that have passed my style test. If they then happen to also function well, great! The best thing is a combination of both. Which is rarely the case and actually one of the reasons I started designing my own activewear line.
I ordered them in two sizes, and was beyond excited when the package turned up on my doorstep. The first try-on was rather sobering. They felt really hard on my feet. Not what I’d expected at all and what I remembered my recent pair to be like.
I immediately put them back into the box and filled out the return label. If this continues, there will be a lot of ordering and sending back, I thought. That’s when it dawned on me that it probably would be easiest if I went to a local running shop with real professionals, proper testing of my feet included.
I asked a friend of mine (who is also a passionate runner) if she had any suggestions where to go. She named a couple and I did my research. In the end, I chose a store that also offered a new kind of pressure measuring instrument called molibso dyneos. It sounded fancy and like they knew what they did.
My friend and I met there the following Monday. When we arrived, the owner was serving a couple of other customers and asked us kindly to wait. No problem for us. The shop offered cozy couches to lounge in and you know we women always have something to talk about 🙂
When he was done, he first asked me how much I would run, on which surfaces, and so on. General stuff to get an idea of what my needs would be. Then he asked me to take off my shoes and quickly walk over an area on the floor that looked like a narrow street with two red lines on it and a little camera in front. This was the measuring system advertised on their website.
The system told him via an oversized tablet how well my feet would unreel. It was fascinating.
Next, I had to step on a measuring tool that looked like the ones normal shoe shops use to figure out your size. This tool, however, told us how well I would distribute pressure via my feet.
He told me there was nothing to criticize and that my feet where perfectly healthy. Seems like my other shoes (which I mostly bought because I liked their design) weren’t too bad of a choice 😉
With my results in hand, he chose three different pairs for me. Two were from Brooks and one was from a company I’ve never heard of before. I tried the latter first.
To get a feeling of the shoe, I stepped on a treadmill. I felt a little wobbly in them – like I had no stability in my left leg. After a couple of minutes, I again briskly walked over the narrow black catwalk where the system measured how well I would unreel in the shoes.
The results confirmed what I had already felt on the treadmill. The unreeling line revealed a little bend. Onto the next one.
The second shoe was a lot better. I again stepped on the treadmill and walked briskly over the catwalk. He gave me the third pair to try and that’s when I found my true love. I think I’ve never felt so stable and supported in a running shoe in my life. It was amazing!
The system confirmed my feeling. I added two pairs of running socks to my purchase and happily left the shop eager to put everything to the test the next day.
And you know what, they did not disappoint! This is hands down the best pair of running shoe I have ever owned. The other day, I felt like they had a built-in turbo. My legs where literally moving on their own. Something I’ve never experienced before – like I was running on clouds.
I’ve went on at least 4-5 runs in them now, and the great feeling prevailed.
It showed me that shopping online and from the comfort of your own home is great but for some things, such as running shoes, getting the proper service is inevitable.
Here are things you should take into account when shopping for your next running shoes:
- Search online for a running shop in your area.
- Check if they offer a special measuring system.
- See if the owner or employees are also passionate about running. Most shops will offer running clubs or workshops. That’s when you know that they are serious about the sport and have experiences on their own.
- Test the shoes on a treadmill, better yet out on the street. Most shop owners will let you.
- Take your time and don’t let anyone pressure you into buying anything. If you are not certain, better keep looking or sleep a night over it.
If you live in the Munich area, I can highly recommend Sport Ruscher.
Do you also love running? And have you had experiences with buying running shoes? Let’s chat!