Monday, September 14, 2009

If the shoe fit's life is good.

A lot of my walker and runner friends are gearing up for the January Disney World Marathon, half Marathon and Goofy Challenge. The most important equipment you will buy is your shoes and socks. When I first started running in the 70s shoe buying was much simpler. Most shoes were of the neutral cushion type and you just needed to find some that fit good and felt good. Times have changed.

When you go to look at shoes now there are lots and lots and lots... of every kind and purpose. You really can't do the best job of picking them out on your own. So here is my advice on shoe shopping:

Go to a running/walking specialty store. If you don't know where one is look on line for a local running club in your town or a nearby city. Then email them for a store recommendation or call them if there is a phone number. They may also have a link to the stores they approve of. Once you find a store go there and let them fit you for the proper shoe type. If you have to travel to another city, do it, it's that important.

When you arrive at the store, ask for someone who is trained in shoe fitting. Most good stores have people that have been trained by the shoe company reps and can get you in the right type of shoe. The wrong shoe can cause you structure problems and end your running/walking career before it even gets started good.

Once your proper shoe type is determined, then ask to try on every shoe in your size that fits the category. The shoe store will understand. Try on each one, a half to a full size larger than your regular shoes. Walk around the store in each, run or walk on their treadmill or where they have designated for you to run around. Narrow it down to the 2 pairs that you like best and feel the best. Don't look at price, more than likely what you finally pick out will not be the most expensive anyway. But a shoe that's $25 dollars higher is worth the money if it's the most comfortable. If you can afford it buy the two pairs that you like best. If not write down the information on the other brand. Shoes get changed or discontinued so having a backup is vital.

When you try on the shoes do it in the socks you plan to wear. They must be of a wicking material and fit you snugly. Cotton tube socks are cheap and called athletic socks but they are useless and will cripple you with blisters pretty quickly. The running store can recommend good socks for you to. Buy them there that day to thank them for helping you pick the proper shoes and even if you order on line most of the time, visit your store a few times a year and make a purchase, you need them to stay in business.

With the proper shoe and sock combination you will be way ahead of most people who begin exercise programs. A year from now you will more than likely still be working out, lots of people who didn't get the proper start are back on the couch.

Thanks for reading.

Rambling Panda


Lisa said...

Dave, the 2 things I carry with me on a plane and NEVER put in my checked bags are my running shoes and socks. Everything else can be replaced but the right combination is irreplacable. Great advice, keep it coming!!

Going for Goofy said...

I agree, but I take it a step further everything I am going to wear race day goes in my carry on. Thanks for doing all this Dave!!!