Reposting a comment thread I started around 16 Jun 2011 on the Atlantic website that I can't find anymore, so I can point someone asking a similar question to it.
* Self-serving question for the Horde:
Anyone got a recommendation for where to go to learn about sneakers/trainers/running shoes/cross-trainers/whatever these darn kids are calling those non-leather things on your feet these days?
I've been doing 5K walk/runs every weekend for about two months now, and last Saturday I beat my time and did something nasty to my middle back which is still sore three days later. Some people have suggested maybe I need to get proper running shoes instead of the badly worn out cheap junk I have now.
But the only thing I know about sneakers these days is that there is an enormous morass of stuff out there that I have no clue about.
Anyone have any suggestions on where to start reading?
DougEMI 1 day ago in reply to edwardbornstein
* The advice I was giving when I started running was to go to a specialty running store and talk with someone there, instead of at a megastore where the staff might not be very aware of running. Some have suggested having the shoe person watch how you run, or bring in your old shoes to see how your tread wears out.
Also, you don't need the most expensive shoe in the store. An average priced shoe is fine.
TribalistMeathead 1 day ago in reply to DougEMI
* Also, you can get detailed info on the shoe and then go buy it online for a lower price.
Byrk 1 day ago in reply to TribalistMeathead
* I hate this tactic, because part of the cost of the shoe is having somebody there that can fit you to the right shoe. I'd prefer to reward the store for not just leaving me on my own like an on-line retailer or megamart.
TribalistMeathead 1 day ago in reply to Byrk
* Well, yeah. Emphasis on "can." You *can* replenish your supply of toilet paper by stealing paper napkins from a fast-food joint, but that's not to say you *should*.
Ian 1 day ago in reply to edwardbornstein
* Some people need very specific shoes, some don't. But don't try to make your shoes last too long. If you run a lot, you need to buy new shoes more often than you probably want to.
anibundel 1 day ago in reply to edwardbornstein
* I only buy New Balance. But I have really short, really wide feet, and anything else gives me blisters.
K. Cox 1 day ago in reply to anibundel
* I buy New Balance because they come in my size, also.
I'm finding that their quality has gone down recently, though. I just tossed a pair of New Balance hiking sneakers that were about five years old, and their replacements are lighter, flimsier, less well-stitched, and seem to be made of slightly crappier material. Same thing's been happening with m y husband (and his father); they wear roughly the same New Balance sneakers all the time, getting 6 - 9 months out of each pair, and it's been pretty clear over the last two years that each successive pair of the model my husband buys is slightly less well-made than the one before it.
But I still love my new New Balance sneakers. They're silver and blue and an actual 10.5 wide.
Geoff in Brooklyn (Rhialto) 1 day ago in reply to K. Cox
* I buy New Balance because I'm old. Apparently are they the brand of choice for the over 40 set.
sv 1 day ago in reply to edwardbornstein
* I don't know where you live, but you may want to visit a place like this in Hoboken, NJ: http://www.therunningcompany.n
. They have serious runners fit you out, spend time with you, analyze your gait, etc. The same shoes are more expensive there than at say, Modell's or some other chain store, but they can give you advice regardless of your experience level, and I think they can help you for injuries too
JordanDevereaux 1 day ago in reply to edwardbornstein
* Admittedly they're a whole different ball of wax, but I've come to really appreciate the oddity that is Vibram FiveFingers. They definitely take some getting used to, though the ones with a bit of tread and padding in the sole are a significantly easier to break your feet into. I've found that they're a lot better for my knees, because striking with the balls of your feet makes your arches absorb some of the impact that would otherwise be transmitted up your legs. Also, they're really fun for trail running because you can feel everything squishing between your toes.
WCBound 1 day ago in reply to edwardbornstein
* Check sites like Runner's World. They have good intro summaries so that when you do get to a specialty store, you have a headstart and can understand the lingo.
On top of that, I second the recommendation for a proper pair of shoes for your natural running style, which the specialty store can pinpoint. The worst thing is a suffering a preventable injury which then keeps you out of your hobby for an extended period of time. (Speaking from experience. Sigh.)
Katryzna 1 day ago in reply to edwardbornstein
* This explains the basics:http://www.therunningadvisor.c
This will suggest some shoes that might work for you:http://www.roadrunnersports.co
mythopoeia 1 day ago in reply to edwardbornstein
* I can't speak to what characteristics to look for (I always just went to the store, tried on a bunch that were clearly marked for running, and bought the ones that felt comfiest), but a tip for this and future shoe-buying: when I ran 5ks, the mantra on our team was "replace your shoes every 300 miles."
They'll hold together beyond that, but they will not be good for your body any more, and should at that point be relegated to walking sneakers or tossed altogether.