With our New Balance Boutique just opened, we turned to our Corporate Concierge and three-time marathoner (soon to be five) for her insights into what it takes to find the perfect running shoe.
While my life is dedicated to style, I have to say it: you can not pick running shoes based on color. Each shoe is designed with specific runner mechanics in mind. The prettiest colors may not always give you the right type of support or flexibility you need. Make up for it by buying fun running clothes or getting a great running buddy.
I recommend you go to a running shop and get fitted. A good place will analyze how your feet hit the ground, ask you about trouble spots (like knees), and recommend shoes based on these (and other) factors. The store should let you test the sneakers, and have a pretty good return/exchange policy. The fitting is free, and the time spent up front will avoid time spent at the doctor’s or physical therapy later.
After you get fitted, once you find the pair of your dreams, stock up! I now buy mine two at a time (yes, on Rue). My favorite pair of sneakers got an update after I bought them, and I was never able to find the older style again. I’m kicking myself as I write this for not buying four pairs when I had the chance. You can usually get 300-400 miles on a pair of shoes – once you start to feel old aches starting to resurface, you should already be breaking in a new pair.
Your running shoes should be about one size bigger than your street shoes. Feet swell when you’re running, and tight sneakers are a great way to lose toenails. Buy ’em bigger to avoid having to tip 50 percent on your next pedicure (and grossing out your friends and family).
To avoid blisters, wear a blended sock (cotton ones still rub) and break in sneakers a couples miles at a time. This will also help you avoid an awkward limp in your work shoes, or worse, a trip to the doctor’s. (I’ve been there. It ended with a lot of gauze.)
Our New Balance Boutique opened Thursday, August 25 at 11AM ET.