15 Tips For Buying Running Shoes

Wednesday, 30 May 2007  |  Gear + Gadgets

Out with the old and in with the New. New Balance, that is.

A few days ago, I was still too enamored with my NB 807’s to even think of letting them go. I loved their fit and design. Deep inside though, I knew that our relationship had been slowly turning sour since last year. Around December, due to my constant abuse, I noticed small tears on its sides near the laces. In March, as I was staring at it lovingly, I suddenly became aware of how it had gotten older than its years. My love remained unconditional though. Decrepit and dirty as my shoes were, I could not find a suitable replacement despite the many many times I shopped and surfed for other shoes (well, mainly because my 807s have a B width while local New Balance stores only sell D width.)

Then, over the past weekend, heaven intervened (perhaps our relationship wasn’t good for either of us?) Heading towards the cinemas, I decided to pass by New Balance, Festival Mall to take a quick peek. Hallelujah, they were on sale! Before entering, I hesitated as I remembered my 807s, but I felt that it was the right time to move on and let them go. I thought the sale was a sign and God was whispering in my ear saying “Come in, child. It is time for you to buy new running shoes.” When God speaks, I certainly listen. So, I went on in and came out with a new sleek pair of 1222’s.

- My new running buddy -

– My new running buddy –

The following day, as I was reading my favorite running book, I learn that there must be a thumb-width gap between my toe and the shoe. You know that feeling when you just ran about 2k and realize you’ve forgotten to wear your underwear? Oh, you don’t, do you? Well, neither do I so let’s just get back to the story. Anyway, sirens were ringing in my ears. I knew the tips of my toes touched the end of the shoe. Oh god, I was cringeing at the thought of more blisters and more dead toenails. Immediately, I call New Balance and ask if I can get a bigger shoe size. I fly to the store and get the shoe that fits me perfectly well. End of story.

Now, out of my good heart, I’ve decided to compile running shoe tips to save you from committing the same stupid silly mistakes I did:

Running Shoe Tips:

  1. Buy new running shoes every 3 to 6 months regardless of its use. Your shoe will lose its shock absorbing qualities in about 80 to 1000 kilometers of running.
  2. Do your research. Search for the best running shoes online, read reviews about a particular shoe you’ve been eyeing, and ask your running friends about what they recommend. (Although a shoe may not fit as well on you as it does for a friend.)
  3. Choose a running shoe based on your needs: do you need stability? or motion control? or cushioning? (perhaps a drink before you go insane with all these choices?) If you are unsure, select a more stable shoe rather than a more cushioned one.
  4. Evaluate the wear on the sole of your old shoe and ask your shoe dealer what brand or model they would recommend that would last better and longer for you.
  5. Do not buy lightweight shoes for training; these should only be used for races.
  6. Consider buying two pairs of shoes if you expect to get one wet and dirty under the rain. Buy the 2nd pair only after you’ve tested the first…and when you know you’ve got the extra money.
  7. When buying shoes, make sure you leave a gap as wide as your thumb between your big toe and the end of the shoe. You should be able to wiggle your toes up there. Remember: your feet expand while running.
  8. Make sure the shape of your foot (long and narrow or short and wide) matches the shape of the shoe.
  9. If one foot is larger than the other, fit the shoe on the larger foot.
  10. Shop for shoes in the afternoon or evening when your feet are bigger than it was in the morning.
  11. Bring your favorite socks.
  12. Run inside the store if you must. Just don’t bump into the glass door.
  13. You don’t have to buy the top-of-the-line shoe but do not buy the cheapest non-running shoe either.
  14. Wait for a sale. Running shoes can burn a hole in your pocket. Be patient and eventually your favorite shoe store will have to place some of its stocks on sale. (Now this is one tip I followed!)
  15. After buying the shoe, use them for walking first. It is not advisable to train in them immediately. Ditto for races.

Oh, are you wondering how my 807’s reacted to my new 1222’s? They took it well. I told them they would never be replaced in my heart. First love never dies, right? Naah, maybe that holds true only in the shoe world.

NB shoes

– the old and the new happily co-exist –

Reference: Gloria Averbuch, New York Road Runners Complete Book of Running and Fitness, 4th Edition, New York, Random House, 2004

 

My Polar Dream

Tuesday, 15 May 2007  |  Gear + Gadgets

Elite runners probably know their bodies so well that they know when to push harder, slow down, run longer, or stop. For the novice runners, it will take some time to listen and learn to what their previously indolent bodies have to say (I’m speaking for myself, really). For all types of runners though, it’s been said that monitoring your heart rate is still the best way to go to determine your pace, maximize your training runs, and track your progress.

For the longest time now, I’ve been using my hubby’s hand-me-down stopwatch that he received as a giveaway in a company sales conference. It’s not very attractive—it has a high-tech cum alien look to it—but it’s free so I don’t mind looking like a martian at all during my runs. Then, last week, Mayi and Jamike ran with us and Jamike was sporting his Polar. He even had the foot module on to track our distance and pace.

Oooh, I thought, I want one.

No, that’ll cost you, my conscience tells me.

You’ve worked hard and you deserve it.

You’re spending way too much on accessories.

Shut up, conscience, I said. Maybe my hubby can get me a second birthday gift? The following day, I drop by Time Depot at Festival Mall and pick up a Polar brochure. That evening, I show the Polar RS 200 to my Hubby and exclaim with much excitement “They are more affordable than I thought! I should’ve asked for this on my birthday instead of the ipod you gave!” Biting the bait, he replies “Yeah, if the budget permits then why don’t you get one?” I want to tap myself on the back for a job well done, but before I can celebrate my victory, my authoritarian conscience whispers “Isn’t it preschool enrollment next week?” Shucks, I nod in forced surrender.

So being the good mother that I am (don’t laugh), I shall patiently wait for the right time (read: Christmas) to buy my Polar Watch. In the meantime, I shall drool over and dream of the Polar that shall be mine.

Polar RS200

– the Polar RS 200 with the option to connect to the foot module (when I get it for my birthday 2008 haha!) –