Although it’s tempting to pick up the first pair of stylish, affordable running shoes you see, doing so might not be the best decision for your feet or your bank account. Different styles and brands of running shoes can provide you with varying levels of support, quality, and injury prevention, so it’s vital that you do your research and select the pair that’s just right for your feet.
Currently on the hunt for some new kicks? Here are some of the most common running shoe shopping mistakes to avoid:
Not Getting Your Feet Accurately Measured
The first step toward finding the perfect pair of running shoes is figuring out exactly what your feet need. This can only be achieved by having a professional take a close measurement of your size, including your foot length and width.
There’s a reason shoe stores those little measuring contraptions lying around: they’re the best method of ascertaining exactly what size of shoe you need. The devices can even figure out what kind of arch and support your feet require.
Don’t get lazy and assume you know what size you need. Have a store representative take your measurements, or measure yourself at home so you can be 100 percent sure you’re spending your money on the best pair of shoes.
Buying the Same Size in Every Brand, Every Year
Even if you don’t think your feet have changed in size for the past ten years, it’s still a good idea to have an in-store assistant take your measurements. You may wear a size 9 in adidas, but a size 8 in Nike, so don’t assume that you’re the same size across the board when shopping.
Also, keep in mind that your feet can change over the years, even if you think you are done growing. In fact, most people’s feet continue to get a little bigger throughout their lifetime due to accumulated weight and muscle. Therefore, it’s always a smart idea to try every pair of shoes on before committing. Even better, have a store representative approve the choice before handing over your credit card.
Choosing Form Over Function
Sure, those brightly-colored shoe look fantastic, but are they actually the right choice for your foot size and activity levels? The comfort and function of your shoes is much more important than the color or popularity–don’t just purchase the pair that looks the coolest in the store.
Do your research and select a style that’s equipped for running, not weight training, walking, or other forms of physical activity. Believe it or not, such distinctions can make a huge difference in how long your running shoes last and how likely you are to injure yourself.
Ignoring Reviews From Other Customers
There’s a whole world of online feedback available at your fingertips, so don’t forget to utilize it when shopping for a new pair of running shoes. Hundreds of customers might have provided helpful feedback on the shoes you’re considering. By taking a moment to read through all of the comments, both positive and negative, you can learn quite a bit about the shoes’ sizing, reliability, comfort, and more.
No matter how cheap or attractive the shoes are, don’t purchase them if the reviews are predominantly negative. You’ll probably end up disappointed in the product, just like all of the other annoyed reviewers.
Only Shopping at Specialty Stores
Although stores that are specifically geared toward running and athletic footwear are a great place to start your shopping, there are other places that might have more reasonable pricing and an equally impressive shoe selection. Small retailers can sometimes give you more affordable price tags for the same brand names you usually shop, and department stores often have better sales than specialty stores do. Spend some time comparing prices across the board so you know you’re getting the best deal on the best shoes.
Additionally, don’t forget to check out online stores for great deals. A recent study indicated that shoppers could save up to 38 percent by simply doing their running shoe shopping on the Internet rather than in physical stores. Although you might want to get your foot measured in a store, that doesn’t mean you need to purchase the shoes there. Check online first to see if there are better deals.
Forgetting to Take the Shoes for a Test Run
If you wouldn’t purchase a car without taking it for a test drive, then you shouldn’t buy a pair of shoes without doing the same. Ask the store workers if you can take the shoes for a short jog around the block. Better yet, see if they have an in-store treadmill you can use to give the shoes a trial run. If the shoes feel uncomfortable in any way, don’t hope that you can break them in later; in most cases, the problems will only worsen, so try another pair.
Buying a new pair of running shoes isn’t something to put off or treat with indifference. Your feet carry you thousands of miles every year, so give them the support, size, quality, and attention they deserve. Don’t underestimate the importance of getting your feet accurately sized, and shop at the stores that will give you the best products for the best prices. This may take a lot more time than you want, but it will be worth it once you find the perfect shoes for you.