Ask Rambling Mom – Part 1: SHOES!

I recently had a friend suggest that I start an “Ask Rambling Mom” segment. I never thought of it before but it is a great idea as I’m constantly getting messages asking various questions about this and that (mostly running related) so now I’ll have a place to send folks to in regards to those questions. Before I get started I want to apologize for my blogging hiatus. I have a few other blog posts about my pregnancy and birth story that need to be edited and posted so I will work on those for y’all as well.
So here goes…today’s post is about SHOES!
I often get asked “what kind of running shoes do you recommend?”
Get the shoes that work for you is the simple answer. Now let’s dive into that a little bit more…
• GO GET PROPERLY FITTED! Not just once but every time you go to buy new shoes. Trust me I know it’s a little bit of a process and it takes time but please find a local specialty running store (there are lots of small business ones out there so please support a small business) and get properly fitted. A good running store will measure your feet. Some will do a foot arch analysis. Some stores even have special equipment to analyze how you run.

• The store will also often ask you what kind of shoe you had in mind. Everyone has an opinion of which shoe to try so you can take all of your friends recommendations into consideration but as a side note always remember that what works for one person may not work for you. I’m personally a minimalist runner but even so there are minimalist shoes out there that have been recommended to me to try out that I just wasn’t a fan of. There have also been shoes recommended to me that I wouldn’t have dreamed of wearing but fell in love with (that was definitely the case with my Vibrams).

• When you’re trying shoes on make sure you wear socks that you normally would while running. Side note – plain cotton socks are a NO NO unless you want nasty blisters. My personal go to socks are Injinji for my Vibrams and Swiftwick for everything else. That’s something else to test out as well; a good pair of socks can make a big difference. I know they can be pricey (about $10-$15 a pair) but trust me they’re worth it.

• ok so now you’re at the store and you’ve gone through the process of having your feet measured and analyzed now it’s time to try on some kicks – don’t stress too much about price at this point. Know that a good pair of running shoes is going to “run” you between $100-$150. Luckily many local stores offer discounts; military discounts, running group discounts, store rewards, etc. From all of the data gathered the person working with you should give you multiple types of shoes to try on. When trying them on test them out – hop back on the treadmill and take a few minutes to run in them. Or some stores even allow you to go outside and run around the block in them. The point is to get a good feel of them. Note what you like and dislike about the shoe (bring a note pad if you need to) and then move on to the next shoe. Or sometimes you may need to try a size up or size down depending on how the fit of the shoe is.

• Again every time you go to buy new shoes get refitted and try them on. This is especially true in a new season of a shoe. I’ll let it slide if you’ve already had a certain pair of shoes that you love and you know what size you wear in them AS LONG AS IT’S THE EXACT SAME SEASON OF SHOE! What I mean is that every year shoe companies switch up their shoes a bit. So the 1.0 version of the shoe is going to be different than the 2.0 version and even though the 1.0 worked great for you the 2.0 may not and don’t write it off next time because the 3.0 may work for you. So even though the name of the shoe may be the same each year; test it out, note the changes and again go with the shoe that works best for you.

• Now that you’ve tried on a few pairs of kicks if you have one pair that you absolutely love just go with that pair. If you have more than one pair that you’re having difficulty deciding between then go to the next level of decision making. For some it’s color (it can be for me at times not gonna lie I love bright colored shoes) and for others this is where price becomes a factor.

• Purchase your shoes and ENJOY! IF for some reason the kicks just aren’t working out for you, check the return policy. It’s personally one thing I love about Newtons; they have a 30 day satisfaction guaranteed return policy (though I’ve never had to return any).

• Finally be on the look out for sales. Often at the end of a season shoe stores will offer last years model at some deep discounts to clear the store and make way for the new season. This is a great time to buy a second pair of shoes. Just make sure you quickly try them on before purchasing them. Be careful though with purchases made at outlets (often there’s a slight defect in the shoe) and even more so online. If it’s through a reputable online seller or the shoe maker themselves great but caution caution caution with eBay and Amazon. I once purchased a pair of tried and true shoes on Amazon only to be sent the wrong shoe and it took almost 3 months to return and get my money back on them because of who the dealer was and I couldn’t return them directly to Amazon. On eBay there have been issues of counterfeit shoes. So please be aware of what you’re purchasing online and read the details of their return policy.

I really hope this first segment of “Ask Rambling Mom” was helpful. If you have a question you’d like to see answered in the blog please email me at: RamblingMom3@gmail.com
Be sure to stay tuned for more in the near future. Thanks!

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