This questions is usually tough to answer on a large scale. Everyone has different needs. There are so many options out there it can be confusing for new runners. However, the endless options are actually working in your favor because it allows you to find the perfect option for you 🙂
Everyone’s shoe preferences will be different. There is not a “magical shoe” that will make you faster or better. (although I wish there was lol).
Here are my tips for buying shoes:
1- Do a google search for a running store
Find a running store in your area. The people who work at these running stores are the biggest running shoe geeks out there. They know almost too much knowledge on running shoes. Most running stores will help you select a pair of running shoes. They will watch your stride/gait as you run and recommend shoes based on if you pronate or not. I would recommend even chatting with these people about what you are training for (ie marathon or a 5k). These people KNOW their stuff! Just go into the store and try on whatever they recommend.
IT IS SO IMPORTANT: remember the brand & the model of the shoe.
Brand– nike, Adidas, sauconey, Brooks, Hookas, Asics, New Balance (etc)
Model– lunar tempos, kinvara, launch, cliftons, etc.
Please don’t walk into a store and ask for a pair of Asics. You need to know the model. Everyone I hear someone say “I got a new pair of running shoes- I think they were Brooks or Asics or something?” I face palm myself. Every brand has like 1089238 shoe models.
2- Tips to save money
Option1: Ask the running store if they have any older models on sale/Clarence usually older models get knocked down 30-50% off as they want to get rid of that old inventory (do this only if it is a shoe you like. (Don’t buy sale shoes just because they are on sale. It’s important to get a shoe that works for you)
Option2: Call the store in advance and ask the running store if they give discounts to USATF members or any running clubs. It might be worth joining USATF or a local running club to get their discount. Most locally running stores in Minneapolis (aka any store EXCEPT running room) give about a 20% discount to anyone who is a USATF member. USATF is like $40 to join. If you buy running shoes more than 2x per year, it will pay for itself.
Option3: After you find a good pair that work for you, you could try going to DSW or other known shoes stores that sell the older models of your shoes. I’ve seen shoes for about 20-30% off at these stores. The model will be an older model, but still works. (do this only if it is a shoe you like. Don’t buy sale shoes just because they are on sale. It’s important to get a shoe that works for you)
3- Considering Rotating
If you run more than 3 times a week, it might be a good idea to consider having more than 1 pair of running shoes. Deciding to add a new shoe to the rotation can be almost as confusing as shopping for your first pair. Why do you need two pairs?
Essentially, you switch shoes by day depending on the type of run you are doing. Speed work you might use a lighter shoe. Long run a more supportive therefore heavier shoe.
-Anyone at a running store can help you pick your “second pair” based on what your first pair is. They can make really good recommendations for you actually!
My rule of thumb
1-speed work shoe (ask for lighter weight, little lower to the ground, more flexible)
2- a easy run/long run shoe (something with more support & maybe cushion & a can be a little heavier)
3- a recovery shoe (something with more a lot cushion & a can be a little heavier)
4- How Often to get new shoes?
It depends on the model. The sale’s person in the shoe store should be able to give you a good estimate for each shoe.
If you look at the bottom of your shoe & the tread is worn down, it is time for a new pair of shoes. I, personally, usually get a new pair every 300-500 miles depending on the pair. I know a lot of people who will do closer to 150-300 miles.
Chances are if you have had the same shoes for 4+ months, you need a new pair.
If you walk in your shoes AND run in them, you probably need a new pair.
Note: I find that beginner runners are the people who aren’t buying running shoes often enough.
5- What do I personally run in?
I have a very neutal stride, and I rotate between
Nike Lunar Tempos