Author Topic: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?  (Read 7308 times)

shelivesthedream

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I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« on: June 04, 2016, 02:11:10 PM »
I want to take up running but I don't own any trainers so I need to buy some. However, I am somewhat overwhelmed! What should I be looking for and how much of a difference is there between cheap trainers and expensive ones?

forummm

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2016, 02:47:46 PM »
Since you're just starting out, I would say just find a good pair of shoes that you feel comfortable running in. Run around in them in the store and make sure they feel good. People's feet differ so you might find that you need more arch support or get bothered by some other particular thing. Sometimes you only discover that after running around for a few weeks. If you're not planning on doing a crazy amount of running, less expensive shoes should be just fine.

bobechs

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2016, 03:10:33 PM »
Right,

1. Buy some comfortable shoes that aren't too expensive.

2. Start running.

The chances that 1. rather than 2. is the limiting factor in your plans are close to nil.

Suit

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2016, 04:39:05 PM »
How far do you intend to try to run on a regular basis? If it's only a couple miles every once in a while you may be ok with a pair of running shoes that you pick out and walk around a store in. However, if you are planning on running regularly I would highly recommend going to a store that specializes in running shoes, you want somewhere that will evaluate how your feet land when you run (most likely by videotaping you running on a treadmill). You will spend more on shoes in a place like that BUT you will also have shoes that will handle your foot's landing style and it will greatly reduce injury in the long term so overall money and health savings. Another thing I did that was helpful is after being fit and buying a pair of running shoes that I ran in for a long time and really liked I went online and found online retailers who were selling the same make/mode/size of shoes that I liked and bought them for cheaper than in the store.

Good luck!

lbmustache

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2016, 04:54:30 PM »
I would determine your arch + pronation:

See this image: http://share.upmc.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/SPORTS414992_RunningShoeFit_WetTestGraphic_FINAL.jpg





These will help you get shoes that are supporting your feet and ankles correctly. There are A LOT of running shoes, but the easiest way for me to break it down personally is:

A lot of support (super cushiony, think some of Asics designs)
Little support (akin to barefoot, Vibram fivefingers, or some Nike designs)

Short-ish distances
Long distances (getting into marathon territory)

I personally like Nike Flex and Nike Free because I prefer a shoe with less support (I like a more "barefoot," running experience) and I run about 5 miles a week (not a day). I started with the super cushion ones (Asics Kanyano: http://www.asics.com/us/en-us/gel-kayano) and moved to Vibram Fivefingers after about a year or two of consistent running.

Nike Flex is under $100 and they often go on sale at other stores, even Nordstrom Rack etc. I can't speak for other brands like Target's Champion sneakers - those may be fine for minimal running (?).
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 04:57:04 PM by lbmustache »

hodor

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2016, 05:37:59 PM »
I don't like the traditional foot model. I have a low arch and run neutral which can cause problems if you work off that alone, video fitting by a professional is ideal.

Kayano's are a great shoe as they seem to be suitable for a wide range of people, price can be off putting.

When you are starting and not doing huge miles the most important thing is to just get out there and run, get a shoe that feels comfortable in store after having a talk with staff. Once you have worn the shoe for a while you will have more to go off, you (or someone from the store) can look at the wear pattern on the sole of the shoe and spend more on a better pair if needed.

I try to have always have two pairs and alternate them as this is proven in many studies to reduce injuries, something to look at if you get really keen.

RonMcCord

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2016, 05:54:04 PM »
If you're a horrible person like me, go to a fancy running shoe store, have the staff figure out your gait and pronation and find a shoe for you.  Then go home, and buy last year's model online.

letired

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2016, 06:04:52 PM »
I bought my first running shoes from a running store. In retrospect, I could have picked them out myself, but it was helpful to have the store employee's knowledge of how different shoes fit so I could get ones with the arch in the right place, didn't pinch my toes, etc. I bought them from the store for their help, and in the future will just buy them cheaper online.

fitfrugalfab

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2016, 06:14:43 PM »
Do you have a Pacer's nearby? I love Pacer's because you can test out all the shoes on a treadmill that records the way you walk/run, that way you can get a shoe that fits your exact needs. Pacer's is pretty expensive but I go there to test out the shoes (it's free) the shop for that style elsewhere.

fishnfool

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2016, 06:21:29 PM »
I bought a $40 pair of Asics gel running shoes at Sport Authority,  most comfortable shoe I've worn!

The Happy Philosopher

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2016, 06:26:29 PM »
I've owned dozens of running shoes over my lifetime. I would say go to a dedicated running shoe store and try a bunch on. If you are going to run trails I would get a more trail friendly shoe. Anything sold in a running shoe store should be a decent shoe. Sometimes they have last years models they are trying to clear out which are usually a decent buy. Good running shoes are in the $80-$150 range retail, although I have never paid more than $120 for a pair.

Now if you are just going to jog 5 miles a week or so cheap shoes will likely be just fine, but to be honest I have never been happy with the shoes on the cheaper end. Life is too short to wear crappy shoes :)

Choices

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2016, 08:09:12 PM »
It will probably take a few tries to find some that you absolutely love with all your heart, but to get started you just need some that are fairly comfortable and in a pretty color so you'll be excited to wear them.

After you run a bit, you can figure out which brands of shoes or inserts are best and you can have a good shoe store look at the wear patterns on your shoes to help analyze your gait.

A lot of people swear by a particular insert much more than a particular shoe.

MgoSam

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2016, 08:17:40 PM »
Go to a running store! If you provide me with your zip code I may be able to google some good stores near you.

I'm frugal except when it comes to running shoes, there I'll buy what people at a running store recommend for me. Most running stores will have someone that watches your gait and see how you land your feet to determine which type of shoes, and from there it depends on feel. Most have treadmills that you can run on, and I recommend going for at least 5 minutes on the treadmill to see how it feels. Oftentimes I'll wear a pair that feels great until I run for a few minutes.

Quite a few stores offer 30 day returns (store credit) if you've worn them outside because they want you to love your shoes. Most offer returns within a reasonable period if you've only run on treadmills, if you aren't an outside runner take advantage of this.

Also I don't know if you are a runner, but if you are starting I would recommend Googling Jeff Galloway. He has a good plan for starting to run as when you start you will normally feel joint and other pains that he feels is unnecessary if you ease into it. He calls it Gallowalking.

bogart

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2016, 09:03:28 PM »
I'm of the buy-an-inexpensive-pair-off-the-rack-and-start-slowly school.  As you call them trainers perhaps you're in the UK in which case US pricing won't be much help, but I've found plenty of New Balance shoes for ~$40 and more recently a pair of Asics @ Costco for $20 and all have worked fine for me.  Best advice I've been given on the subject is to buy a half size larger than what you usually wear (before taking that advice, I bruised the heck out of a toenail just from the steady impacts.  And no, I'm not prone to wearing shoes that are too small). 

This strategy (inexpensive shoes a half size larger) has worked well for me so far, I run regularly, but not far and not fast (~3 miles, 3 days/week, in ~30 minutes per time).  If I were having foot (etc.) problems, I'd try the "more expensive shoe" (or more scientifically chosen shoe) strategy some others here are recommending.  But since I haven't (touch wood), I haven't.

Miskatonic

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2016, 09:17:32 PM »
Screw shoes, run barefoot!

bobechs

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2016, 09:34:18 PM »
Screw shoes, run barefoot!

Screw barefoot, run naked!

And bald!

shelivesthedream

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2016, 01:32:10 AM »
Thanks for all the advice. I haven't run since school and have crap knees and ankles so I was worried about making a really terrible choice and fucking up my joints, but it seems like there are no terrible choices and any pair I buy will be OK to start with. I'm planning on starting very slowly because of my joints, which I guess will help.

misshathaway

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2016, 05:52:56 AM »
This was a good (holy cow!) 30 years ago and I am still running.  I went to a running store for my first shoes. I think it was the Bill Rogers store no less. They did an analysis and put me in Brooks. A couple months later I ended up with a stress fracture. Maybe I would have anyway. It took 6 weeks to heal. I was told to get a shoe with more stability and more cushioning. I ended up with a Nike something or other and have just stuck with Nike since then. I buy whatever current running model has stability and cushioning and get a couple more of the same model right then if one is really working out well.

My point is that going to the running store does not guarantee no injury.

Suit

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2016, 08:20:51 AM »
Thanks for all the advice. I haven't run since school and have crap knees and ankles so I was worried about making a really terrible choice and fucking up my joints, but it seems like there are no terrible choices and any pair I buy will be OK to start with. I'm planning on starting very slowly because of my joints, which I guess will help.

I'm a bit confused, you have had problems with knees and ankles before but then you conclude that any pair of shoes will work. That is not a correct conclusion. If you've previously had problems with your knees and ankles I would strongly recommend against buying just any pair of running shoes. Go and get fit with a pair that fits your pronation style to reduce risk of injury, the cost is worth it. If you still have problems after running on the fitted shoes you may want to see a physical therapist, they can give helpful stretches if the pain is caused by IT band tightness, etc.

Jaguar Paw

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2016, 10:58:06 AM »
Also, if you struggle with ankle/knee pain it likely has to do with some muscular imbalance that you have somewhere in your legs/lower back. Shoes won't help this but stretching and some minor strength training could. That being said, the right pair of shoes can still benefit you. I currently use Brooks pure connect for road and Brooks pure grit for trails. Both are fairly minimal and let you feel everything, I like it. If I want to feel like I'm running on clouds, I'll toss on a pair of Hokas which have more padding than my old mattress.

Fishinshawn

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2016, 11:57:37 AM »
IDK maybe it is just me, but I took up running and just went to the Nike outlet store and bought a pair of comfortable Nikes. 6 months later I found another pair that said they were for basketball but they felt comfortable so I bought those and run in those as well.  I run and walk about 30milles a week, my long runs, 1x week, are up to 13 miles.  In the military guys run in boots, so I figure any running shoe has got to work better then that...

cerat0n1a

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2016, 12:14:29 PM »
Thanks for all the advice. I haven't run since school and have crap knees and ankles so I was worried about making a really terrible choice and fucking up my joints, but it seems like there are no terrible choices and any pair I buy will be OK to start with. I'm planning on starting very slowly because of my joints, which I guess will help.
Can I recommend the NHS Couch to 5k programme? I think they have an app too. I know a lot of people who've successfully used it.

Also, if your transport situation would allow you to get to a parkrun on Saturday morning, definitely check it out. It's free, run by volunteers, a lovely supportive environment, you will definitely not be last even if you walked the whole 5k. Great community feel and you can literally have an Olympic athlete and 80+ year olds or 5 year olds running in the same event.

I'm not really a fan of the whole gait analysis, under/over pronation thing - I think the evidence is pretty weak. I tend to buy shoes online at Wiggle, sweatshop or similar, but there is definitely something to be said for going to be one of the big superstores (sports direct, jjb etc.) and trying some on and making sure they fell comfortable. If you go to a specialist running shop, expect more attention (and to pay more), they're often pretty good at letting you try shoes for a day and bringing them back if you don't like them.

The idea that running is bad for your joints is one of these persistent urban myths that any amount of scientific studies have failed to dispel. People have been running for millennia, we are built for it. If you have an existing joint problem or injury, running can make it worse, of course. That said, it is very easy and very normal to get injuries when you first start - shin splints, calf strains and other over-use injuries, so you are right to plan to start slowly.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 01:53:46 PM by cerat0n1a »

cranilation

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2016, 12:58:37 PM »
I advise people to avoid anything but the most basic shoes.  They will get nasty and funky so you're not looking for a BI4L shoe.  Just something that is comfortable.

With regards to the science behind shoes, I believe that shoe stores are there to make money, not to sell you a good run.  Recent research has shown the science behind pronation shoes to be not as useful as they claimed: http://www.metafilter.com/141314/New-study-Pronation-does-not-predict-injury-when-using-standard-shoes

Miskatonic

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2016, 01:42:37 PM »
I was only half kidding about running barefoot. Proper gait is more important than your shoes. Run in place or in an open area that won't hurt your feet without any shoes. Focus on your gait while barefoot. Run the same way when you wear shoes.

boarder42

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2016, 02:02:41 PM »
Thanks for all the advice. I haven't run since school and have crap knees and ankles so I was worried about making a really terrible choice and fucking up my joints, but it seems like there are no terrible choices and any pair I buy will be OK to start with. I'm planning on starting very slowly because of my joints, which I guess will help.

Why are you taking up running. Walking as  fast as you can burns more calories per minute and is better for your joints

bogart

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2016, 03:15:14 PM »

Can I recommend the NHS Couch to 5k programme? I think they have an app too. I know a lot of people who've successfully used it.


I know a lot of people who've successfully used it too (at least if we count people we know on the internet...) but I couldn't stand it.  I found Dr. Mama's "Listen Up, Maggots!" advice much more helpful (short version:  buy a decent pair of shoes and, if applicable, a decent sports bra, and particularly when you start running, run REALLY SLOWLY.  No!  EVEN SLOWER THAN THAT!  Also, only run every other day.) -- readily findable thanks to google.

meghan88

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2016, 04:40:47 PM »
Thanks for all the advice. I haven't run since school and have crap knees and ankles so I was worried about making a really terrible choice and fucking up my joints, but it seems like there are no terrible choices and any pair I buy will be OK to start with. I'm planning on starting very slowly because of my joints, which I guess will help.
Please ... do yourself a favour and get fitted at a good running store with a good pair of shoes with lots of cushioning to start.  Maybe go to a few stores to get a consensus.  Depending on whether you have high or low arches and over- or under-pronate, a good shoe will provide the correct alignment.

A bad shoe will discourage you in short order and might even cause further injuries.

After that, you can purchase the same model at a discount online, but read the reviews first.  I've been wearing Mizuno Wave Riders for years.  Each year they come out with a new issue and I scope out the online reviews before buying.  The Wave Rider 17's were hated by all who loved the 16's and earlier.  Then Mizuno went back to basics with the 18's.  So I made sure to skip the Wave Rider 17's.

Also - please consider some resistance training for your legs:  if you build up your muscular strength, you will help support your joints.  Leg extensions, weighted squats and lunges, hamstring curls, plus lots of stretching.  Glucosamine + Chondroitin + MSM supplements might also help, and make sure you're getting enough protein in your diet.

Saving in Austin

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2016, 09:39:26 PM »
I buy my running shoe's in the clearance section at Marshall's. If they don't have any that are comfortable or they all fit poorly, then I just leave and come back a month or two later. When I try them on I run around the store to make sure they fit well. I usually end up paying $30 or $35 per pair.

The Happy Philosopher

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2016, 12:23:28 AM »
A few random thoughts on running:

1. Running does not cause joints to wear out when looking at large populations. The exception to this is a slightly higher incidence of hip arthritis, but only at very high intensity competitive running (probably nothing anyone here is doing). Although the caveat here is that this may be due to selection bias (runners are a self selecting population).

2. Some people have terrible bio-mechanics (severe valgus angulation at the knees, flat feet, tibial torsion, etc.). If it really hurts to run it is probably worth finding someone to watch you and see what is going on - like a running coach. Some people are probably not really designed to run in spite of what some authors would lead you to believe.

3. Running is statistically a very injury prone sport. Usually the injuries are minor and not permanent, but as mentioned there is nothing wrong with vigorous hiking, especially with changes in grade.

4. Barefoot/fully cushioned/stability/pronation, etc. is all very murky and imperfect data. Some of this stuff may work for select populations but I'm skeptical. I  say buy a comfortable pair and start slow.

5. Unless you work at it as a runner you will likely have:
     a. Weak glutes
     b. Poor hip mobility
     c. Tight hamstrings
     d. Weak core
Fix these things and a lot of running problems and injuries kind of solve themselves.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2016, 04:53:50 AM »
I used to work in one of those running shops with the treadmills and gait analysis.

Your gait will evolve as you run, some people have pronation that you can only see at a proper run, not a jog or walk. Don't get fitted for shoes until you actually have a running style. If you have seen that you get a inside/outside wear pattern on your walking shoes in addition to having previous knee problems you may need to do something different.

I'm seconding starting with cheapish shoes, BUT, they should be a neutral shoe (not meant to correct over or under pronation), and an old model of running shoe rather than the 'fashion trainers' sold by Sports Direct etc. If you run in the wrong corrective shoe you can cause damage to your knees.

If you have thin feet, the Asics Cumulus or Nimbus are a decent choice, if you have wider feet, New Balance can be really good (780, 910, 880 are all neutral).

To see if a shoe is neutral, turn it upside down, if the sole is broadly symmetrical (you are testing for the density of the material, but most manufacturers make the denser corrective material a different colour). If the shoe has holes through the bit under the ball of your foot, try to look straight through it - you can look through a neutral shoe but not a corrective shoe.

After running for a while, you'll get used to the difference between being sore from muscles and being sore from joints. Listen to the joint pain and stop. Also, if you've rested a joint for a while, it feels fine walking and then you run and it is sore within a few minutes, it is time to see a physio.

boarder42

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #30 on: June 06, 2016, 05:47:23 AM »
A few random thoughts on running:

1. Running does not cause joints to wear out when looking at large populations. The exception to this is a slightly higher incidence of hip arthritis, but only at very high intensity competitive running (probably nothing anyone here is doing). Although the caveat here is that this may be due to selection bias (runners are a self selecting population).

2. Some people have terrible bio-mechanics (severe valgus angulation at the knees, flat feet, tibial torsion, etc.). If it really hurts to run it is probably worth finding someone to watch you and see what is going on - like a running coach. Some people are probably not really designed to run in spite of what some authors would lead you to believe.

3. Running is statistically a very injury prone sport. Usually the injuries are minor and not permanent, but as mentioned there is nothing wrong with vigorous hiking, especially with changes in grade.

4. Barefoot/fully cushioned/stability/pronation, etc. is all very murky and imperfect data. Some of this stuff may work for select populations but I'm skeptical. I  say buy a comfortable pair and start slow.

5. Unless you work at it as a runner you will likely have:
     a. Weak glutes
     b. Poor hip mobility
     c. Tight hamstrings
     d. Weak core
Fix these things and a lot of running problems and injuries kind of solve themselves.

so you're saying if someone runs their whole life properly the impact caused by running wouldnt cause any joints to wear faster than someone who spent their whole life walking properly.  it'd bet this is incorrect.

cerat0n1a

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2016, 06:49:04 AM »
so you're saying if someone runs their whole life properly the impact caused by running wouldnt cause any joints to wear faster than someone who spent their whole life walking properly.  it'd bet this is incorrect.

All the scientific studies on this topic (and there have been quite a few) say that, on average, the runners' joints would be in better condition than someone who hadn't run all their life.

Of course, it's hard to disentangle (as Frugledoc says) the selection bias effect. Also the risk of arthritis in hips and knees is very strongly correlated with weight, so you have to remove the effects caused by runners being much less likely to be overweight relative to the general population in such comparisons. Even when you try to control for those two factors, it still appears that long-term runners have better joint health on average and that running is protective.

Of course, any weight bearing exercise, including walking, is good. Government medical advice here in Britain is that healthy adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise (brisk walk or cycling) or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (running) per week plus a certain amount of strength related exercise.

golden1

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2016, 07:28:34 AM »
I can give you my anecdotal experience if you are interested.

I started running about 6 years ago at age 37.   I bought a cheap pair of shoes at a discount store, Nikes I think.  I started the couch to 5K program and got to about week 6 or 7 and started getting severe shin splints.  I thought it was the shoes (it was more due to me never running before and not stretching/icing after runs) so I did one of those weird at home tests which said I over-pronated.  I bought a nicer pair of shoes (New balance) and still had the same problem.  At that time, the barefoot/minimalist running craze was in full swing so I picked up a pair of vibrams.  My shin splints went away, but my calves hurt like hell.  Then I went to a running store and got fitted for some Saucony Kinvaras which I stuck with for awhile.  I still got aches and pains though and had a lot of issues with sore and strained muscles and minor injuries.  As the minimalist craze died down, I decided to try a more cushioned shoe and got a pair of Adidas Sequence Boosts based on, of all things, a review from Runner's world.  These have been my best shoes by far.  They have lasted almost two years even though I put more miles on them than my other shoes.  The cushioning is just starting to wear out now so I bought another pair. 

boarder42

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2016, 07:35:13 AM »
so you're saying if someone runs their whole life properly the impact caused by running wouldnt cause any joints to wear faster than someone who spent their whole life walking properly.  it'd bet this is incorrect.

All the scientific studies on this topic (and there have been quite a few) say that, on average, the runners' joints would be in better condition than someone who hadn't run all their life.

Of course, it's hard to disentangle (as Frugledoc says) the selection bias effect. Also the risk of arthritis in hips and knees is very strongly correlated with weight, so you have to remove the effects caused by runners being much less likely to be overweight relative to the general population in such comparisons. Even when you try to control for those two factors, it still appears that long-term runners have better joint health on average and that running is protective.

Of course, any weight bearing exercise, including walking, is good. Government medical advice here in Britain is that healthy adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise (brisk walk or cycling) or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (running) per week plus a certain amount of strength related exercise.

yeah i can see running vs couch potato.  and i know that while i'm not far over weight (i'm 6/4 210) when i get down to 185 which is right in the middle of goal BMI (i know its a bad stat for most but it works for my body type well)  my knee pains go away.

i'd still love to see a study of running vs walking and its affect on joints b/c common assumption would be that similar exercise with far decreased impact would produce healthier joints. 

LeRainDrop

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #34 on: June 06, 2016, 07:48:49 AM »
Thanks for all the advice. I haven't run since school and have crap knees and ankles so I was worried about making a really terrible choice and fucking up my joints, but it seems like there are no terrible choices and any pair I buy will be OK to start with. I'm planning on starting very slowly because of my joints, which I guess will help.
Please ... do yourself a favour and get fitted at a good running store with a good pair of shoes with lots of cushioning to start.  Maybe go to a few stores to get a consensus.  Depending on whether you have high or low arches and over- or under-pronate, a good shoe will provide the correct alignment.

A bad shoe will discourage you in short order and might even cause further injuries.

After that, you can purchase the same model at a discount online, but read the reviews first.  I've been wearing Mizuno Wave Riders for years.  Each year they come out with a new issue and I scope out the online reviews before buying.  The Wave Rider 17's were hated by all who loved the 16's and earlier.  Then Mizuno went back to basics with the 18's.  So I made sure to skip the Wave Rider 17's.

+1 to meghan88 and all the other people advising you to go to a good running store and get the person to watch you running on a treadmill, etc.  Getting a well-cushioned, supportive shoe that is right for your stance/gait is especially important for you because you already have aches and pains with your lower joints.

Jane

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #35 on: June 06, 2016, 08:24:51 AM »
I've had good luck at DSW with running shoes. They have a huge selection, long aisles to move around in while you're trying shoes on, and very reasonable prices. I often get coupons in the mail from them.

It might be good to get fitted the first time around, but I never have and never felt the need to. I am a fan of Saucony shoes. 

DoubleDown

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #36 on: June 06, 2016, 12:33:42 PM »
Screw shoes, run barefoot!

I'm also in the barefoot running camp, I love it. I used to wear running shoes and developed repetitive stress injuries. Since switching to barefoot running 7+ years ago, I no longer have any injuries and my running has improved despite me getting older.

OP, I'd suggest at least giving barefoot walking/running a try. It is so much more enjoyable than running in shoes (not to mention free)! Start out slow with walking around your neighborhood barefoot, then you can gradually increase your speed and distance once your feet and supporting muscles toughen up. Wearing shoes is a lot like wearing a cast -- your foot and supporting muscles just atrophy.

Also, consider interval training. Research is proving pretty convincingly that short bursts of intense effort give better health results than prolonged, moderate activity. For example, you could walk a mile or two with just a few 30- to 60-second sprints added in and likely get better results than running 4 or 5 miles nonstop at a slower or moderate pace.

GuitarStv

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #37 on: June 06, 2016, 01:13:25 PM »
Thanks for all the advice. I haven't run since school and have crap knees and ankles so I was worried about making a really terrible choice and fucking up my joints, but it seems like there are no terrible choices and any pair I buy will be OK to start with. I'm planning on starting very slowly because of my joints, which I guess will help.

This is a reasonable approach.  If you're initially sedentary it's going to take a while for your body to ramp up to the kinds of distances where the shoe becomes more important.  Take it easy and don't push too hard at first, get lots of rest, and let your body adapt to the stress you're putting it under.

cerat0n1a

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #38 on: June 06, 2016, 02:48:32 PM »
Right on cue, the escape artist has a nice post about parkrun & FI.

https://theescapeartist.me/2016/06/06/im-better-than-me/

Brokenreign

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #39 on: June 06, 2016, 02:56:40 PM »
Just got a pair of Hoka One One shoes. They are extreme cushion shoes but very light weight. If you already have bad joints they might be worth considering. The sensation is similar to running on grass. Prior year models are frequently on sale. They seem expensive but have better longevity than normal shoes as they're less prone to foam compression.

fitfrugalfab

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #40 on: June 06, 2016, 04:42:59 PM »
Thanks for all the advice. I haven't run since school and have crap knees and ankles so I was worried about making a really terrible choice and fucking up my joints, but it seems like there are no terrible choices and any pair I buy will be OK to start with. I'm planning on starting very slowly because of my joints, which I guess will help.

I'm a bit confused, you have had problems with knees and ankles before but then you conclude that any pair of shoes will work. That is not a correct conclusion. If you've previously had problems with your knees and ankles I would strongly recommend against buying just any pair of running shoes. Go and get fit with a pair that fits your pronation style to reduce risk of injury, the cost is worth it. If you still have problems after running on the fitted shoes you may want to see a physical therapist, they can give helpful stretches if the pain is caused by IT band tightness, etc.

+1. Getting any old shoes and not the correct shoes to aid you where you have pains will make your knees and ankles worse. You should definitely get fitted for the right ones as well as the correct shoe for the type of support you need. If you don't have a Pacers near you running stores will fit them for you.

shelivesthedream

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #41 on: June 07, 2016, 04:19:48 PM »
Fucking hell. I don't have a commute to cycle any more so I'm not as fit as I was a few years ago, so I just thought I might go for a jog every so often, not suddenly turn into some marathon runner. It's partly for cardiovascular fitness and a small part because I thought doing some gentle exercise might help my joints in the long run. I've got to admit, I'm somewhat intimidated and overwhelmed. When did moving more get so technical??

GuitarStv

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Re: I've never bought running shoes before. Where do I start?
« Reply #42 on: June 07, 2016, 05:47:35 PM »
Fucking hell. I don't have a commute to cycle any more so I'm not as fit as I was a few years ago, so I just thought I might go for a jog every so often, not suddenly turn into some marathon runner. It's partly for cardiovascular fitness and a small part because I thought doing some gentle exercise might help my joints in the long run. I've got to admit, I'm somewhat intimidated and overwhelmed. When did moving more get so technical??

When marketers realized that they could sell it that way.  You just need any pair of comfortable running shoes to get started.  People are way overcomplicating this.  You knees will not fall off, your shins will not explode, and your lower back will not separate from your body regularly running for a couple miles in anything resembling a running shoe.

I wouldn't recommend boots though, they're a bitch to run in.