Couch to 5K
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Different running shoes for Parkrun?

I'm only on week 5 of C25K but am thinking of doing a run/walk Parkrun in the next couple of weeks. I figured that once I am running 10 mins regularly then I can split it into 3 or 4 runs with a walk in between. I have registered and chatted to a few runner friends who all think I should go for it. But I have just spent a small fortune on my beautiful Brooks trainers which I am using for my road runs and are very definitely a road shoe. Do I need to be buying different trainers for Parkrun?

I also want to do a local colour run later in the year to raise money for charity but have been told my trainers will get mucky, so don't really want to wear my bestest beauties so early in their running career. My dodgy knees means I already wear a orthotic insoles so a second pair is likely to be an expensive business.

Any tips from Park runners or ideas for a cheap second pair?

9 Replies

Very unlikely that you'd need a different pair of shoes for parkrun unless it's a real trail park run with lots of mud - which is probably unlikely. I bought trail shoes especially for a couple of off road events and ended up wearing my road shoes as the ground was dry and very hard. If you know the route (you can check it on the local park run site) and you have any concerns, I think you may be able to contact someone from the local team for advice. My hunch is you will be absolutely fine with your road shoes. And yes, I would wear old trainers for colour run :-)


Thank you. I will have to go and check out the route but it's good to know that normal trainers are likely to be okay. I'd much rather wear my regular ones that I am doing C25K in to try to avoid injury. Will investigate some second hand trainers just for the colour run though!


Hi N, I have a colour run in Sept and hadn't thought about footwear. I only have one pair of trainers, my Asics, not sure I want to get them grubby... :-S

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If the insoles are durable and expensive, then maybe you'd be better off getting yourself a second pair of the Brooks shoes now instead of later? Then just alternate the shoes, and wait twice as long before you start replacing or adding in a third change of shoes.

This would probably be a perfectly adequate way to handle the case where the shoes get a bit dirty on the Parkrun. Just wash them afterwards, and you've still got another pair ready to run, while you wait for the ones you washed to dry nicely. Parkruns are short, so even if you get some sand in your shoes, you could even just take them off and walk barefoot to the end, if it's nice and grassy.

If you feel like you're going to be running for the long term, extra shoes are more of a cash flow problem than a cost problem. Eventually you'll get your money's worth.

Oh, and good on you for going for the Parkruns. You'll see, it's fun. It's something more to look forward to, and something that can keep you going when you've reached the end of the programme.


That's an interesting point that I will look into. Thanks for the advice.


In my (limited) experience, buying expensive shoes on sale is much better than buying cheap shoes. I bought my New Balance 1080v3s from an outlet store at about the time the v4s were being replaced by the v5s and I've had hundreds of happy miles in them since.


I'm sure you are right. I will keep an eye out for sales and investigate whether there are any decent sport shops at the nearest outlets. Thanks for the advice.


Definitely go look at the route, it will be detailed on the park run website and you can then go explore it, if you don't know the area already. My own parkrun is all on paved surfaces, they are quite variable.


Thank you for the tip. I have had a look on the website and it seems to be tracks and grass but there was a section that looks like it might get a bit muddy. I'm quite looking forward to being ready to run it!


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