One of the great things about working in a running store is that every day, you get to meet brand new runners. They’re excited, a little nervous, and veritable sponges for information.
If a new runner has made it to Rogue, they’ve probably done enough research to know the importance of getting fit for a good pair of shoes. But in that research, they might have found some conflicting information. Do they just need one pair of shoes? Do they need two pairs of the same shoe to rotate every day? Do they need two different shoes to “challenge” their feet? Do they need an insert because the liner of a running shoe is “useless”?
Okay, obviously the answer to that last one is “no”, but we HAVE had people come in who were told just that. Yikes!
So, in case you’ve ever wondered, here’s how we, the Rogue retail staff, typically answer these questions.
Do I Just Need One Pair of Shoes?
If you’re a true beginner, the answer to this is categorically yes. Sure, we could make more money selling you two pairs, but we wouldn’t feel super great about it. For the non-competitive runner going out for a few runs per week, one pair of well-fitting shoes is plenty. We typically encourage you to go for a pair that you could comfortably run 13 miles in, because it’s not uncommon to go from Couch to 5K to Half Marathon, and we want to make sure your first attempt at serious distance is as pleasant as possible.
Should I Rotate My Shoes Every Day?
Meh, jury’s out on this one. Sure, alternating 2 pairs of the same shoe will undoubtedly make both pairs last longer, but the difference in wear is small enough that you’re basically just extending the time between trips to the running store. Besides, if you’re going to get two shoes…
Should I Get Two Different Shoes to “Challenge” My Feet?
No, although it’s true that different shoes will cause your body to work in slightly different ways.
But really, you should get two different shoes because different shoes have different purposes. Travis, our Cedar Park retail manager, has no fewer than 4 different shoes he’s using regularly. Your long run shoe will likely be the “most” shoe you run in, because most runners are willing to lug around a couple extra ounces if they can stay nice and comfy over 18 miles.
Your everyday trainer might be a little lighter than your long run shoe, or it might be the same shoe. This is the shoe you’re doing your mid-week easy stuff in. Maybe some quality workouts. It’s flexible.
Your racer is just that – a racer. Typically, you’re going as light and responsive as you can for the distance you’re covering. As a general rule, the shorter your race, the lighter a shoe you can get away with. Have you ever seen a sprinter’s spike? Comfy? No. Light and fast? Heck yeah!
In short – YES, you absolutely need a long run shoe. Got that nailed down? Come on in, and let’s talk speed!
Chris MacLeod is a retail manager at Rogue Running Cedar Park, a [running and book] nerd and is inexplicably always cold despite hailing from Chicago. She has a love affair with the Windy-City Marathon and stokes that affair training with The Morning Show. You can find her and her expert opinions on shoes, gu’s and all things retail in the shop or at her blog, runningfiesta.com.