New Shoes: An important event in my plodding... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

111,446 members144,137 posts

New Shoes


An important event in my plodding history. The running shoes that carried me through C25K and almost 50 parkruns, between which were numerous runs that masqueraded as training, have to be replaced (I'm not sure why, other than the km that they have covered). I like the toe hole. It's personal proof that I wore them.

I have gathered that buying new shoes involves things like gait analysis and is a great occasion. So when I went to the runner's shop that was highly recommended I was disappointed to find it was like buying shoes from a shoe shop. 'Plenty of toe room in these, walk around and see how you like them'. I left with a pair of Mizuno Wave Legend 4s, very lurid. Tried wearing them around the house for some time and found them comfortable. Did a few interval plods on asphalt in the park and it seemed the soles were thinner and there was less resilience than with my now old New Balance shoes. The knees were not sure about them and protested a bit - though they felt reasonably content with this brief trial after a night's sleep.

The question is: how can you be sure that shoes are going to be OK? At present, they could be taken back to the shop, on a suspicion that they might possibly turn out to be unsatisfactory, but they won't be returnable after a few parkruns. How do you judge a pair of shoes?

7 Replies

I always buy from the same running shoe shop and they let you return the shoes after two weeks. They actually say that it can take a few runs to break them in so naturally you can only really know if they work for you after running in them.

The last time I bought a pair I was in the shop for at least an hour I think. The shop assistant picked out 4-5 shoes and I ran around the shop and on a treadmill (for the analysis) in each pair.

Maybe you could return them and go to a different shop where they take more time to find the right pair for you?


I kind of made a mistake by going to a store that was not a "Running" store. They were good there and I have had no problems with my shoes that I can discern...but I have always had a nagging feeling that I might have got a better pair if I had gone to the Running store rather than the 'Sports Shoes' store...


Buying new running shoes can be a bit hit and miss. Shoes that are perfect for you might not work for me.

Aside from general fit and feel one of the key characteristics of a running shoe is the 'drop' from the heel to the toe and, generally speaking if you were happy with the old shoes you should look to get new ones with the same or similar drop.

In terms of research before buying new shoes, I tend to have a good look at which gives good info on the drop, sizing discrepancies etc.


I've taken at least 30 mins both times I've bought shoes in my local running shop. They've done a gait analysis on the treadmill with me in neutral shoes, then given me several pairs of 'stability' shoes to try (cos that's what I need). They check those with their gait analysis kit, and see if they're doing the job properly, and if they're comfortable for me to run in. So far the two pairs have felt completely different, and I don't think either is what I'd have picked if I hadn't had advice - but since the first pair worked so well, I'm very happy to take their expertise! If you're not certain, give them a run or two, and take them back if they don't work out for you.

I'm quite surprised at the suggestion that you should just walk around and see how they feel; surely the reason to go for a specialist shop is for specialist help and advice! The whole point of running is that it's not the same as walking... :/


When I bought my last pair from Sweatshop I had gait analysis and tried 3 different brands running around the shop, took up to an hour, will have to do that again soon, as about due a new pair.

But if you don't like the service and feel rushed then make your excuses and leave...If the shoes you've bought on the shops recommendation turn out to be unsuitable for you after 1 or 2 runs then take them back..


My local runnng shop does something they call a bio mechanical assessment, rather than a gait analysis. They look at your feet and ankles, the way you stand, what happens when you roll in and out, stand on tip toes. They look at the tread wear on your current shoes. They watch you walk, they watch you jog outside. It takes a good half hour. They do have a treadmill with some gait analysis software but I think they only use it if the answer isn't obvious from the above or if the client specifically asks for it.

I therefore wouldn't be worried about not going though a treadmill programme, but I would be worried if I hadn't been properly looked at.


Can you return them and get a newer version of your old shoes? If they've done you well to this point, I wouldn't bother changing the model.

You may also like...