Exercise! - Finding a running shoe store?

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08-23-2007, 03:29 PM
My current shoes are just... okay. They aren't horrible but they're not right. My running is starting to go well but from right below the knees to the ends of my toes, it just aches, aches, aches, as soon as I start running. I have a messy run coming up in October during which my shoes will be trashed. I'd like to move on up to a good pair (now that I've proven myself to be committed to running) within the next month and just save the current ones for the muddy race, to be thrown away at its end.

But how to find "real" running shoe store in my area? Staffed with people who know what kind of shoe to put me in because that's all over my head. I've searched within a couple hour diameter of our (rural) area and come up with nothing. I've been checking running sites this morning for local links and nada. I'm not opposed to a road trip for good shoes but I want to make sure it's a decent place before I waste my time/money, ya know?

08-23-2007, 03:49 PM
Can you narrow down your area for us a little? For example, I can recommend some great stores local to Vancouver, BC, and some good nation-wide chains in Canada, but I'm useless for US recommendations. :D

08-23-2007, 03:51 PM
I don't know where you live, but highly recommend a Fleet Feet (http://www.fleetfeetsports.com/) store if there's one in your vicinity. They'll videotape you on a treadmill, analyze your gait, and pull out boxes and boxes of shoes that work. Then they'll have you run wearing the shoes to see how they feel and how you run in them.

I discovered that the shoes I picked out for myself were correcting for a problem I didn't have. Good shoes make a world of difference -- good luck! :)

BTW, I'm not a doctor but it sounds like you're describing shin splints.

08-23-2007, 04:15 PM
I bit the bullet and did this recently. I went to an independently owned shoe store about 50 miles from here. I didn't get videotaped, but otherwise it was much as Meg described. I took my custom orthotics with me. The guy watched me walked, had me do a few other movements, measured my feet and then started pulling out boxes. It was like the eye doc - a different shoe on each foot, and "which is better, R or L?" on and on til a shoe was the favored one for at least 5 times, at which point I got to try both shoes of the pair. :lol: I ended up with a pair of Addidas made for women, and my physical therapist is thrilled with them! They're very stylish looking too, though was my last consideration....

You might want to seek out other runners in your area and see what they do for shoes....

08-23-2007, 05:03 PM
Runner's World has a top 50 list of running stores on their website. You might find something near you.

08-23-2007, 05:38 PM
Meg - that store sounds amazing, with the video analysis!

In Vancouver, I recommend the Run Inn in Kerrisdale, LadySport or Forerunners in Kitsilano, and the Running Room all over the place. I think the Running Room is all over Canada and in parts of the USA.

08-23-2007, 05:48 PM
I just got new shoes during lunch today! Went to Jack Rabbit (as instructed by my trainer) they videotaped my gait on the treadmill (boy are my legs more chunky than I thought) and the second pair of shoes adjusted my over pronation perfectly . If you are within commuting distance of New York City, they are on 14th street between 6th and 7th Aves.

08-23-2007, 06:53 PM
We only have one in our area...Running Wild. I only know of it because they host the 2 or 3 5k and 10k runs we have in town. While I haven't yet taken the dive (my current shoes are still okay) I do look forward to visiting them soon.

Have you tried a Google search of your area? That should help narrow it down. Other than that, the trusty phone book can be of some help.

08-23-2007, 07:33 PM
Hi Diane,

The best store near me is a privately owned running store right by the College of William and Mary. They were recommended to me years ago by the cross country coach at my high school who sends his runners there to be fitted for shoes. They are used by William and Mary for all of the track and cross country athletes. They do what others have said - take you outside, watch you run, do a wet footprint (so they can see pronation or whatever) and recommend shoes for you, which you try on and they watch you walk/run in them. They're very good.

Since we don't know where you are, I'd recommend you email a college track coach that is local and ask him/her which store is good.

08-24-2007, 12:55 AM
I'll second the recommendation for Fleet Feet if there's one near you - they have been great to work with here in Chicago.

08-24-2007, 08:11 AM
Does anyone have recommendations for Toronto? There must be plenty running shoe stores here but I don't know of many.

Also whats the difference between running shoes, cross training shoes, and walking shoes? The only shoes I can really see a strong differences is in hiking shoes (which look something like combat boots lol ). Recently I have read about weight lifting shoes! That's a lot of different types of shoes.

I spend most of time in aerobics classes, step aerobics, and a weight lifting class. I also walk alot because I commute via public transit. What type of shoes should I be wearing?

08-24-2007, 09:34 AM
I'm not in TO, but I have shopped there when on business (a long time ago). Running Room has stores in Toronto - for shoes for running, although I'm not sure they have ones for other sports. Check their website (runningroom.com) for the one nearest you. There is also a store called New Balance Toronto (they are also online) which only carries New Balance shoes, so is limited, but they do carry various types of shoe for different activities. Also NB shoes come in different widths, it helps if you have wide feet, as I do.

Running shoes are designed for running, without lots of side to side motion that you'd find in aerobics. That said, there seems to be WAY more research and design in runnning shoes, leading to a better selection, than for any other activity. I'm not sure what the difference is in walking shoes, perhaps they are slightly less cushioned (lower impact) but last longer?

I'd talk to a store about what you should be wearing and why. You'll probably end up with one set for the aerobics and one for walking outside. Good luck.


08-24-2007, 02:31 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the tips!

We live in rural southeastern Oklahoma. The only "close" city with any shopping options is Fort Smith, Arkansas and I wasn't able to come up with any running stores there. I'm sure there have to be (right? :lol: ) but I'll be darned if I was able to find them.

But! Meg's suggestion of Fleet Feet seems to be my perfect answer! They have a store in Fayetteville, Arkansas -- quite a road trip for us but, luckily for us, we happen to be going through there on a trip next month. Woot! :carrot:

I had good shoes when I ran before, fitted by a good store who knew what they were doing (when I lived elsewhere), and the difference is night and day! Nope, I don't have shin splints (well, okay, I do get them sometimes but that's not what this is) because I know shin splints intimately. :lol: This is just all over lower-leg & feet aches during the running, as well as incredibly tight and sore feet 24/7 since I started running again. Whatever the specific reason(s), I'm pretty sure at least a major part of it can be blamed on el cheapo, ill-fitting shoes. After I get decent shoes, I'll see what's left in the way of symptoms, if any, and start trying to fix those.

My feet are tingling now at the promise of good shoes in the near future! :D