New Running Shoes? Keep These Things in Mind...
Didn't realize it but it had been over 9 months since I bought this pair of Brooks Ghost. We've been through a lot together. From spartan race training, thru the Austin Marathon, and even during this summer these bad boys kept me going. But, knowing when to buy your next pair of running shoes is half the battle. Many people (myself included) will run their shoes in to the ground and wait until their wheels are literally falling apart before shelling out for a new pair. New running shoes are expensive! But for me, saving money isn't the primary factor why I wait until the last minute. It takes a while for my feet to acclimate to any shoe and once I do, I want to avoid this process as much as possible. However, here is my first piece of advice: It is time for a new pair of running shoes every 6 months for regular runners, or you've hit 500 miles..which ever comes first. And so, it was time for me to retire my shoes, and do a little shopping.
Now for my second piece of advice: Buy your next pair of running shoes from a running shoe store. Here are a few reasons why: First, people who work at running shoe stores are trained to find the ideal fit and style of running shoe which varies from person-to-person. Additionally, most of the people employed by running shoe stores are runners themselves. It is easier to talk to a fellow runner about what you are looking for in a running shoe. Lastly, employees at running shoe stores are not held to recommend any particular pairs of shoes, unlike brand specific stores such as Nike, New Balance, etc. These are all fine choice depending on what works for you, but in selecting a running shoe, you don't want to limit your selection based on brand. Why? Because another brand might fit better.
This leads me to my 3rd point: Buy the shoe that fits the best. It is tempting to buy a shoe that looks good, but that pair will sit in your closet if it hurts your feet after the first few miles. Find a shoe that fits well, and worry about the aesthetics later. There are a lot of variables that go into choosing the right shoe, many of which I couldn't tell you off the top of my head. But you know who does? Your local running shoe store. Ask them to put you through a proper fitting. They will ask a lot of questions, watch the way you walk, and allow you to even test drive a few pairs of shoes. Be open and honest during this process for they will be using your answer to decide which direction to take you. After that is all said and done, you will probably end up with a few options for your next shoe. Below were the 3 I had to choose from: The Brooks Ghost, Asiscs DS Trainers, and the Nike Vaporflys.
Please pardon my hair cankles, and allow me to fanboy for a second. The Nikes you see above are of the shoes worn by Kipchoge during the famous BREAKING2 Event in Monza, Italy earlier this year. I gotta tell ya, these shoes feel unlike anything I've worn before. The fitting expert I was working with from Luke's Locker told me how there's a carbon fiber plate that gives structure to the shoe while allowing it to be super light-weight. Compared to the latest iteration of my classic Brooks Ghosts, these nikes weigh 30 percent less. Zero/ultra flyweight running shoes aren't anything new, but this pair still has the support desired for those who seek to run longer distance races or apparently nearly break the 2 hour marathon mark.
With that said, the weight of the shoe was a factor I considered only after deciding I liked the fit of each shoe. Looks and the reputation of each shoe was also considered after the fit. I ended up going with the Asiscs Trainers for two reasons: the fit was good and the shoe was a little bit lighter than my Brooks. I've worn Brooks Ghosts forever however, so I wouldn't be surpised if I went back to them after a few months.
In summary, whether you're looking to buy your first pair or 100th pair of running shoes, getting fitted every so often by a running shoe expert from your local running store is a good habit to form.