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I'm taking an informal poll about running shoes for a project at work. I'm interested in a) where you all typically buy your running shoes from (e.g. from a specialty running store, online, catalog?) b) Do you tend to stick to the same brand for years, or change it up? and c) what are the most important factors for you in choosing a particular brand of running shoe?
a) I usually buy mine online (Zappos). I don't like going to "real" runner stores as I don't feel like I'm what they'd consider a "real runner" - that's more of a deep-seated inferiority complex than anything else!
b) I am typically very brand loyal and will only switch if something more improved comes along.
c) Factors: cushioning and price.
a) if I'm buying a brand or type of shoe I've never owned before, I always buy them at retail, usually a sporting goods store like Sports Authority or Dicks, etc...
But if I'm rebuying a shoe I'm currently happy with, I'll buy online at whatever e-tailer has the best overall price
b) I stick with the same model of shoe until the mfg eventually screws things up and fundimentally changes the shoe for the worse. This ALWAYS happens eventually, then I have to go through a long process of finding a new replacement. Once this happens, I have no brand loyality. My search will involve all brands until I eventually find a replacement that works for me. Then I'll stick with that shoe until forced to restart the process yet again.
c) #1) the shoe must keep me injury free. #2) price. And a very, very, very, very, distant #3) Style. (technology/marketing gimicks/techno-babble don't enter into my purchasing decisions because it's pretty much B.S.
When I first started running, I went to a running store and bought new balance 880's.
When I started back up again, I went to department stores for running shoes, but none would fit (too narrow), so I went to a running store, and the first pair I tried on were new Balance 883's,and I love them (2e for the width). When its time for new shoes, I plan on getting the same shoes online, assume the 883's are still current, so I can save some money. If the 884's are out, then I'll go to a running store and try them. If I like them, I'll buy them there, if I don't I'll buy the 883's online, assuming I can still find them.
If 884's suck and 883's can not be found, then I will have no brand loyalty, and try a few pairs until I find one I like.
a) Unless I am forced to change brands/models for some reason, I buy my shoes online directly from the manufacturer. I generally buy the "previous" model on closeout because you can get great shoes for a great price. I watch for the new model to come out & then order 4 pairs (that's how many pairs of shoes I generally go through in a year) of the previous model. If I have to change models, I go to a running specialty store to make sure I get fitted properly in a shoe that will work for me. Paying extra for that initial pair of shoes is well worth it.
b) Under the theory of "if it ain't broken, don't fix it", I stick with the same model shoe unless it's discontinued or significantly changed.
c) The ONLY factor I use when choosing shoes is COMFORT!!! I could care less what brand the shoe is, what it looks like, or how much it costs (of course I'm not wealthy, so I save money if I can (see "a" above )). By comfort, I mean that the shoe feels good and works with the mechanics of the way I run. I have no desire to have a preventable injury just to have "cute" shoes.
1) Specialty store (Roadrunner) initially if I am looking for a new shoe brand/model. Then after I find what works wherever is the least expensive (so far Amazon or Roadrunner waiting for a sale plus the coupons and VIP discount).
2) I do stick to the same brand (I've tried several) and love my Brooks Trance.
3) Comfort 100%.
a. I buy my shoes at either dicks or sports athaurity...
b. i am a loyal adidas guy and have been your as long as i been running (3 years) i do differ with models but for some reason they are always in black and i really dont know why that is????
c. for me i really like the lightest shoe possiable so i guess 1. weight 2. cushoning 3. styling/ color (black) 4. cost
excellence is obtained by those who care more than others think is wise...
who risk more than others think is safe...
and dream more than others think is practical
a) If I happen to change brands I buy them at a specialty running store. Otherwise, I get my previous shoe online, usually last year's model at a discount. If that isn't available then I go back to the speicality store or to Sports Basement in SF, which has good deals.
b) I changed brands a couple times this last year, but when these two pairs I have are worn out, I am going back to my original brand and shoe, which is Asics.
c) Most important factor is stability. I am an overpronator and have orthotics - show needs to be able to accomodate the orthotic and provide max. stability. Asics Gel Foundation seems to be the best for me. Wearing Mizunos and Brooks right now.
I see a pattern emerging.
What does this say about the running shoe market? Ummm, maybe that their shoes are overpriced? I'd be happy to buy all my stuff locally, and I'm not just taking about shoes. But when you can get the exact same product online at substantially less cost, especially in this economy, why wouldn't you?
a) I prefer to purchase my running shoes from a local, specialty running store. Locally owned and competitive prices.
b) Absolutely ditto for what EPMoto200 wrote for (b). I've been a repeat-buyer for Nike, Asics, and then latched onto the Mizuno Wave Rider for years. Got into Adidas Boston Classic, which comes and goes. (Always good, when available.) Am currently using Brooks Ghost, hoping no change is in sight since it is a new model. We'll see.. Bought the store out of my size last trip there, just in case!
c) #1 most important: fits well, keeps me comfortable. Price is also important, so I prefer not to do the "high end" model as I burn through running shoes rather quickly.
a) I don't buy from specialty running stores because my small town doesn't have one. Local sporting goods stores don't carry my latest favorite model (see b).
b) I've only been running for 1 1/2 years, and found my favorite shoe about 4 months ago, through Roadrunnersports.com: Saucony ProGrid Jazz 12. I don't need orthotics or have pronation problems, so I've been easy to fit. I ordered these based entirely on the description and user reviews, having never tried on a pair of Sauconys before. (horrors!) I loved them so much I tried to buy another pair, but learned they are discontinued. Finally found an obscure store (Altrec.com) that had two color choices in my size. I ordered both, and am holding them in reserve.
c) I am a neutral runner / slight underpronator. The ProGrid Jazz 12 is not the top of the line but Runner's World reviews say it's a good shoe for the money. MSRP was $85 or so, and I paid $60 on sale. Features I like and will always seek from now on: Roomy toebox, snug heel, and feels like a slipper. Very flexible; not too much support; heel isn't overly built up. Oh, and they came in a cool lime green color. When the time comes I hope to find a similar Saucony model below $100, because I'm loathe to pay any more. People with foot issues might need to, though.
a) I buy my shoes from a locally owned specialty store. They may be a little more expensive than buying the shoes online, but the locally owned store coordinates several area races throughout the year, sponsor running groups in our area, offer clinics, workshops, and plenty more. Considering all they do for the community, they more than earn my business.
b) While the local running store has earned my loyalty, I still play the field with the actual shoes. I still haven't committed to any brand.
c) I like cushioned shoes that tend to run a little wide.
A) I buy them at a local specialty store since, well my family owns the store and I've worked there personally before. No big deal, but we sell our closeouts at the same price or lower even sometimes then you can get them from the company. We may be a strange and rare breed of store for that but I can promise you that we are not alone completely in that approach because we see other local stores around us do the same.
B) I generally stick to the same brand now, I didn't use to because it was and really still is about what feels good on my foot. I know the fit of Mizuno's and Innov8's so I know even if my foot changes I can find something that feels good, and if need be I realize that I can change brands and find something that will feel good on my foot. I just like to stick with what works till it doesn't.
C) Like I said above is comfort but also on top of that is performance and overall fit. I don't want a shoe that even though it may feel good for the first 300-350 miles ends up ripping apart my feet after that point. Or in the same light that I want a shoe that I know that is made with a quality standard that I can respect.