Tips for Buying the Right Running Shoes

I’ve mentioned that back in the spring I started running, and I’m going to do a post on that journey eventually, but today we’re going to talk about some tips for buying the right running shoes.

I’ve been wearing running shoes for exercising for at least the last 10 years. I had a bad bout of plantar fasciitis that lasted about 3 years and the podiatrist had me wear for the most part “tennis shoes” all the time for several months. This was murder for me because I’ve never been a girl to run around in athletic shoes. To say I hated it was putting it mildly. HA!

I went to a running store and got fitted for the right kind of shoe to best suit my foot. Since then, I’ve gone every 3-5 years to have them re-evaluated.

It was time to replace my current running shoes, and it’s been about 3 years since I’d been to the running store, so Saturday we hit it up. We had the sweetest girl help us and we both got new shoes.

There’s not an exact science for finding the right shoe for your foot, but it’s definitely a little more scientific at the store we visited than I’ve experienced in the past. We went to Fleet Feet (this is not a sponsored post) and they had a machine that did a scan of your feet and then gave a lot of information. Don’t not to worry if your store doesn’t have one of these machines. Sales associates in running stores are trained to help you. Any running store I’ve ever been will have you walk so they can see how my feet looked, if you pronate, are flat footed, and observe your stance and stride.

This was so cool and showed everything from foot size, width, arch, toe length, to heel width as well as some other stats. Here’s what I found to be really funny. Whenever I try on shoes, my left foot seems to be slightly bigger than my right, but when this machine did its thing, it said the exact opposite.

We discussed the shoes I’ve worn in past and what, if anything I wanted/needed to address. I’ve worn Saucony’s exclusively for 10+ years, so of course that was one of the choices she brought me. Running shoes may look like any other sneakers, but they are designed to help you run by providing cushioning, shock absorption and stability to help prevent injury.

Karhu Fusion || Saucony Everun || Mizuno Wave

We started with me trying on 3 different pairs and I walked around in them each for a few minutes. It’s amazing how good a new pair of shoes feel when your old ones have a lot of miles on them.

Saucony Everun

My foot has a pretty high arch, is narrow and I pronate slightly, so all of these are considered mild stability shoes.

Surprisingly my beloved Saucony’s ranked 3rd of the 3 pairs I tried on. The other two were brands I wasn’t familiar with #butthatdoesntmeananything.

Once I’d tried on all 3 pairs, I felt pretty sure I knew which pair I would go with, but there were 2 that were possibilities so I tried on one of each to compare. I ultimately chose a Mizuno Wave Inspire 15. #soundsfancyhuh They have a nice amount of cushion and just generally felt good on.

So when you go to purchase new running shoes what do you need to know?

  • Allow time. You don’t want to feel rushed and if you get someone who’s willing to work with you, it will take time.
  • You get what you pay for. A more expensive shoe will most likely have more technology and comfort features.
  • The most important thing to remember is fit. A shoe that doesn’t fit right not only can make your running painful, but also cause potential injury.
  • Purchase shoes a half to full size larger than your normal shoes. You want about a thumbs width between the end of your toe and end of your shoe. Your feet will tend to spread as you run and swell throughout the day.
  • Be sure the shoe is narrow enough at the heel to avoid slipping.
  • When trying on running shoes, wear the socks you plan to run in.
  •  A good pair of running socks will be made of moisture-wicking fabrics, such as polyester, acrylic or even a wool and nylon blend. A correct fitting sock should do three things: protect your feet, be comfortable and wick away moisture
  • Keep your running shoes just for running…not running errands

Shop for your runner here….

I hope you’ll find these tips for buying the right running shoes helpful and if you haven’t already, you’ll sign up to receive my posts by email. Just scroll back up to the top and fill in the box on the left above my picture. You won’t get spammed, just an email anytime a new post is published, so you never miss out. I’d also love it if you’d follow me on InstagramFacebookPinterest and Twitter. Just click the little icons below or the links above and thanks a million!

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32 Comments

  1. September 16, 2019 / 5:50 am

    Those foot scans are pretty amazing! These are great tips even if you are not a runner and just need a good pair of comfortable shoes!

    Jill – Doused in Pink

    • September 18, 2019 / 4:22 pm

      Thanks Jill! I thought it was amazing all the info it gave.
      XO

  2. Living on Cloud Nine
    September 16, 2019 / 3:48 am

    The were fabulous tips!! I get in a similar situation with walking shoes. I ned to stop buying Nikes, the pair I’d been wearing all year gave me a blister on my toe last week, time for a new pair and I tend to wear the tread right off, I walk so dang much. I think I need different socks too. Thanks friend and Happy Monday!

    • September 18, 2019 / 4:22 pm

      Yuck, blisters are noooo fun!!! I’m the same way, I walk the tread right off in a very distinct pattern.
      XOXO

  3. Kellyann
    September 16, 2019 / 4:38 am

    It is so important to speak to someone who really knows what they’re doing! Gosh our feet are so important and when we put so much stress on them with exercise they really take a beating. Great post my friend!
    xo,
    Kellyann

  4. Color AndGrace
    September 16, 2019 / 7:12 am

    These are such helpful tips! That foot machine is so cool! Definitely makes the process a little easier. 🙂

    https://colorandgrace.com

  5. Heather Bramlett
    September 16, 2019 / 7:44 am

    That is really cool! I could never run because my shins would hurt so bad.

    • September 18, 2019 / 4:22 pm

      Mine were hurting a few weeks ago, but thankfully it only lasted a few days.
      XOXO

  6. September 16, 2019 / 8:36 am

    That’s such a smart thing to do Lisa. Running can be hard on the body, so the right shoes make all the difference I bet.
    XOXO
    Jodie

  7. September 16, 2019 / 9:42 am

    These are all such great tips, Lisa! When I was training for my first marathon, getting fitted for the proper shoes was the BEST decision, especially bc my preferred shoe model was discontinued. I’ll never go back to picking my own haha

    • September 18, 2019 / 4:22 pm

      Well you are probably an expert, you’re such a running machine. I tend to wear them til they are discontinued and then back to square one. LOL
      XO

  8. Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom
    September 16, 2019 / 6:10 pm

    With all of the long distance running I’ve done in the past, that is one thing I agree with you 100%!!!!! The right shoes for running are SO important! I lost a toe nail (ew!) on my second half marathon and after that I went out to a running store and got my first pair of Brooks and I’ve never looked back since. I have stopped doing long distance running (after my marathon in 2017, I did 2 half marathons and then I was just done), although I do miss it. I still run about 6.5 miles a week, tho and that is plenty for me for right now. I would love to read a post about your running journey!! Love stuff like that! And, I loved reading about these shoes. So interesting!! I haven’t heard of this brand you selected, but they sound like heaven on the feet. I agree that moisture wicking socks are also important, something else I found out after the fact. Ha!!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

    • September 18, 2019 / 4:22 pm

      You are a running machine!!! Katie wears Brooks and Kent was until this pair. He got Hoka’s. Benny told him about those. I need to go ahead and buy a pair of those socks. I don’t have any yet.
      XO

  9. September 16, 2019 / 6:34 pm

    Alise has been having so much trouble with her feet at basketball practice for the last few months. She says her feet feel like pins and needles. We took her to the doctor and he said she needed new pads in her shoes and to stretch better before practice. It doesn’t seem to be working. Another player’s mom, who is a nurse, suggested rolling frozen water balls with her feet twice a day. Alise hasn’t said if that’s helping or not. Her new shoes are suppose to be in any day, so I’m hoping those will help more than anything! Great post, Lisa!

    • Sarah
      September 17, 2019 / 3:24 pm

      I had that trouble in my 30s. You could also try freezing water in a small glass jar (like a small smuckers jam jar or small olive jar). Just leave room for the water to expand. The water in the jar won’t melt as fast and is more comfortable under the foot so it’s a little more tolerable to roll. I also rolled a golf ball under my foot. It hurt like heck but it reeeaally helped. Foot problems are the worst!

  10. September 17, 2019 / 5:30 am

    Yes that is so important! I always go to a special store for my work out shoes. I get back and knee problems with the wrong shoe.

    • September 18, 2019 / 4:12 pm

      I know, I hate paying the price, but it’s definitely better than the price of a wrecked body.
      XO

  11. Gina Daily
    September 17, 2019 / 6:16 am

    That foot machine is so cool! I love how it gave you all of those details & specs. Gad you were able to find a great new pair of shoes!

  12. September 17, 2019 / 7:45 am

    Finding the right running shoe is so key- my boyfriend is a runner and he encouraged me to really research the right shoe for my foot when I was training for a (really short, lol) race last year! It helped so much!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

  13. September 17, 2019 / 12:35 pm

    These are all really great tips! I actually have custom orthotics so that does make getting new shoes easier because I slip in my orthotic and it’s already molded to my foot! I also think about weight of the shoe. Because I run distance the lighter the shoe the better!

    • September 18, 2019 / 4:12 pm

      These are lighter than any of the pairs I’ve previously had. It’s amazing to me just how light they make them.
      XO

  14. September 17, 2019 / 7:49 pm

    Getting the perfect fit is an absolute must indeed. These are great tips dear. Thanks for sharing!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

  15. September 18, 2019 / 6:00 am

    Just bought a new pair on line- hope I got it right! 🙂

    • September 18, 2019 / 4:12 pm

      Fingers crossed! I’ll buy this same pair for a few times and then start over again. LOL
      XO

  16. September 18, 2019 / 7:22 am

    Fabulous information! I have been running for close to 15 years and over time found that Asics are the best fit for me. They somehow keep my knees from hurting. Can’t wait to hear how you like running!
    Peace!
    Cheryl

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