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Couch to 5K
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Advise needed on running shoes

I've just completed week 8 but think I may need new trainers. I'm feeling every bump and my knees have been getting a bit sore. I've had my current trainers for a while. I want to keep on running. I have flat feet so need a trainer to support this but don't want to spend a fortune. Any ideas

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Spending a fortune is all relative. The cost of a decent pair of running shoes that you would purchase after gait analysis is probably about 2 or 3 physio sessions more than the cost of normal trainers (and you don't have the physical pain or frustration of not being able to run either).

Not saying you WON'T get an injury, but it's much less likely.

Anyway, go to a specialist running shop and get your gait analysed. Sometimes if you plead poverty they will show you last year's models which are cheaper. I think the national chain that people rave about is Sweatshop - they will take them back even if you've been for a muddy run if you find they aren't right for you.

Personally, I think it's worth paying up and then once you know a style that suits you, you can get them online in the future.

Please don't be put off by the fact you're a new runner. Decent running shops will have well trained staff who will be only too willing to support and encourage you and give you a bit of advice on how your running style could be improved etc. They take a video of the back of your legs while you are running on a treadmill. Some let you run up and down outside a bit to check the running shoes really are comfortable.

DON'T go to somewhere like Sports Direct and expect good advice. You might get it, but from what I gather it's a great place to pick up clothing bargains but not a specialist running shop staffed by people who know what they're doing.

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I second the SD comment. They are OK for tops/shorts etc, but as for shoes NO, NO, NO. They will push Karrimor (who used to a great and highly regarded independent manufacturer, but are now owned by SD), to the exclusion of decent running shoe makes.

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Thanks for the advice not sure if there are any Sweatshops where I live but there are definitely some good running shops. My currency pair of trainers were good but they are just old now

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Thank you I will take your advice

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I just got a new pair of trainers from runnersneed as they were on sale and do free gait analysis. I got a pair of brooks and my previous pair was asics. From someone with a knee and foot injury, who theoretically wouldn't be able to run, I would say trainers (along with a sports bra if you're a woman) are really the only things worth spending money on, as you can always wear old tshirts and shorts without causing damage to your body.

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Thanks I will see if there are and runnersneed shops where I live. My current shoes are Brooks

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If you have specialist running shop in your area I would ask there for advice (I haven't been to one yet).

I got my pair online from Sports Direct, but as runningnearbeirut said, don't expect any specialist advice if you go in there. But they are a good place to go I think, if you know what type of trainers you need. I just bought mine there as I needed a cheap pair to get me started and really couldn't afford to spend much. Once I need a new pair, I hope that I can go to a specialist store and get advice on what ones to get. The ones I have were meant to be £110 and I got them in the sale for £16!

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Sounds like you got a bargain

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As has been said, price is relative. If you simply don't have £100 for running shoes, then you don't ~ but if you can scrape it together, then it is an excellent investment. Look at it from a smokers perspective - £8 per 20, which they can smoke in a day; that makes £56 per week. A smoker could 'afford' to by two pair per month.

I cannot overstate just how important a gait analysis is. The likes of Sweatshop will do this free and without obligation. There is nothing stopping you (except your conscience) from having an analysis done, a fitting carried out and then buying elsewhere. The chances are that you will end up back at Sweatshop in the future, so they will get your custom at some point!! Yes, I do speak from personal experience, and thanks SS for the Brooks Cascadias I bought.

Please, please, please do NOT go to SD for shoes. Tops etc, yes, but NOT shoes.

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I absolutely agree with SallyCycle. My father practically has ruined his knees after years of running in "cheap" shoes. He is in a lot of pain now from knee arthritis, which he probably would have got anyway but the doctor did say his running in unsuitable shoes did not help. Investing in good shoes will help delay/prevent future health problems.

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Thanks. I too have dodgy knees, but from lots of tripple and long jump training when I was at school in the 15th century. Good running shoes are a MUST, particularly if you are road/pavement running. I try to get off-road as much as poss, hence the Cascadias.

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I mostly run in a park.

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is that on tarmac or on the grass? It depends on what you are running on as to the best shoe. Don't worry, apart from choosing which outfit to wear, it's the most hardest part to get right.

Google Sweatshop or running shop and pop along. If you have some used running shoes, take those along for them to check the soles for running style.

Good luck, and happy running!

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Thank you

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I will definitely go for some advice thanks

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Thank you I've found a few shops which do gait analysis so will try those at the end of the month

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Yes - you absolutely MUST get someone trained who'll do the full blown gait analysis and you will be amazed at the variety of shoes and types available. Finding the right one for you is imperative. This is not something you can economise on. Regular runners will know what type suits them and perhaps buy cheaper on the internet, but for your first purchase of decent running shoes, you can't beat the advice you've been given. Let us know how you get on?

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Nothing more to add here (but I will concur with the others) - having someone who "knows running" and "knows trainers" who can do a PROPER gait analysis is key. Your shoes are like the tyres on a car - they are what absorb the impacts and counter your natural gait to help keep the rest of you in-line. Everyone is different in running styles - some of us lean in, some outwards, high arches, low arches, heel strikers, mid-strikers, etc...

Running shoes are now built to match your running style - having the right pair can really help with aches and pains and avoid injury... definitely worth spending a bit of extra time (and perhaps money) on ensuring the shoes are right for you... just knowing what "types" of shoes are right for you will allow you to then pick ones that match the budget... even the most expensive shoe for someone with a neutral gait won't be any good if you need something with more arch support... :)

Best of luck - and well done on getting so far in the programme. Keep it up! Happy running!

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