Getting Back Into Running
I was never a big runner. Growing up I preferred to bike, swim, dance and tumble. It wasn’t until I met a runner in my early twenties that I began to really “run for fun.” Prior to that I only ran when physical education class required it, or if someone was chasing me. Not that I had to do that often. Needless to say, I didn’t understand what all goes into running and what sort of equipment is required. Spoiler alert –it’s not what you think.
Running requires a lot less gear than the majority of sports. The most important of all being the shoes! I’m used to buying shoes based on appearance, style and color. Fit only comes in secondary to the visual appeal of the shoe itself. I remember cramming my toes into a sneaker I had to have in grade school. They didn’t have my size so I made do with a size smaller and my poor feet paid the price for it. I learned quickly you don’t go this route with running! My running friend recommended I go to a specialty running store that has trained associates to help in shoe selection.
Below are two southern New Hampshire running specialty stores:
They usually take a measurement of your feet and watch to see how you run simply by having you take a few strides within the store, down one way and back again. The associate should also ask you some basic questions on your running experience, length of your average run, and about the surfaces you generally run on (trail vs. road). Based on their assessment of your running style and the way your foot hits the ground (gait), the associate then brings out a few different shoes for you to try. Once you find a shoe that fits, unfortunately the color selection is limited to the manufacturer’s combinations and what the store may have in stock. Not always what you have in mind! If you don’t happen to have a specialty running store near you, many running shoe manufacturers provide online assessment tools that ask a number of questions and then recommend a shoe type based on the answers you provide.
Here are a couple of sites that help select a running shoe:
When I recently decided to start running again, a trip to the local running store was in order. They didn’t happen to have the exact size (11.5) I needed in stock but I was able to select the color combination of “my choice” from the limited three in the catalog. One thing I failed to mention previously is that running shoes typically run a half or full size larger than what you would regularly wear in a street shoe. Again, remember it is all about finding the right fit, regardless of how big the number in sizing may seem (sasquatch, in my case) and however bright and obnoxious the color combination may be! Just check out my new kicks in bright coral, purple, and black. What are your favorite running shoe color combinations?
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