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I started a 15 week training program for my first 8K and went to a specialty store for running shoes yesterday and it was a tossup between a pair of Brooks (Adrenaline GTS 10) or Nikes (Zoom vomero +6).
My questions: How does quality compare and are these the same "grade" I'll find next year @ JCPenney's or Kohl's for about $45-$70??
Am I really getting a pair of shoes because I bought them at a higher price?
*Am I really getting a better pair of shoes because I paid more?
I wonder the same thing. My husband is a runner and told me to go in between the cheapest and the most expensive. He got me a pair of Asics for mother's day. They cost about $70. I think it's important to try them on and get what you think feels the best. I tried a pair of New Balance (what my husband wears) and hated them. They were just way too wide. The Asics seemed to fit my foot better. I'll be interested to read what everyone else says.
"Spectacular achievements are always preceded by unspectacular preparation" ~Roger Staubach
Started C25K - April 18, 2011
Graduated C25K - June 17, 2011
Started Hal Higdon's Half Marathon Program - June 19, 2011
First 5K - July 2, 2011 Time: 34:21
2nd 5K - August 13, 2011 Time: 33:18
Generally (not always) the department store shoes come from the "lower end" of the brand's line of shoes. Some people would tell you that's OK, because the shoes tend to have fewer "features" and are usually less cushioned - sort of an easy way to get closer to minimalist. If the shoes fit well, feel good and work well for your running, go for them. The "work well for your running" is how I ultimately decide.
Running shoes are the same as bicycles. You get what you pay for. If you choose to buy at a Department store (any store ending in the word "mart" for example) you get something mass produced with cheap components that wont stand up to any kind of punishment. Department store models are made for average people who are doing average things. When you started running, you stopped doing anything that was average and made the commitment to be more than average. If you are a new or inexperienced runner you should go to a reputable running store and allow them to evaluate your body type and running form to help you choose something that will prevent injuries down the line. The right shoe can fix flaws in your form that will prevent injury, you wont get that from any shoe you buy at a department store. In my opinion, that makes the additional expense worth it. Good luck!
I thank you all for your help! I do have an injury from years back in my left knee and don't want to take any chances.
I will take your feedback and go with what was diagnosed for me at the running store!
I have another question. If you go to the running store and get fitted for a specific shoe, there's no reason that when it comes time for your second pair you can't just buy the same shoe online from a major store right?
A.Lisa, there's another philosophy of running shoes that says something like "the more you pay for your shoes, the more likely you are to get injured." A good balance would be to buy the most moderate, comfortable shoe you can and spend the difference between their price and the higher price models on a book to teach you proper / better running form like Chi Running or such.
I hear that running shoe mfgrs love to discontinue models out from under happy customers in order to keep the market stirred up. "Sticking with" a model is historically a tricky proposition.
Barefoot / Minimalist Runner
...not maintaining this these days..
07/29/2012 Marsh Creek Raptor Run 10 Mile Trail Race
07/15/2012 Quadzilla 15K Trail Run, Trexlertown, PA 1:37 (2011, 1:49)
04/29/2012 Lehigh Valley / St. Luke's HM, 1:43:15 (2011, 1:54:20 )
03/19/2012 Kutztown Fool's Run 10 Miler, 1:18:15 (2011, 1:30:20)
02/26/2012 Ugly Mudder 7.2 Mile Trail Run, Reading, PA 1:20
11/27/2011 Dirty Bird 15K Trail Run, Birdsboro, PA 1:40
10/08/2011 Lehigh Gap Nature Center 10K Trail Run (6.38 miles), 59:20 (10/07/2012)
Started running (again) May 5, 2010
If you want to save money on running shoes without sacrificing quality, another option is to buy last year's models at a speciality running store. Either brick-and-mortar or online, stores will heavily discount those shoes in order to clear them out for the latest models.
P. S. When you buy department store or "big box" running shoes, they may feel fine at first. However, after you've put a number of miles in them, don't be surprised if they start wearing down fast or feeling a lot less comfortable.
Heart of the City Run, Los Angeles, CA, 24:13
Downtown Anaheim 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:32
Claremont Turkey Trot, Claremont, CA, 24:20
The Great Race - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 51:12
Fiesta Days Run, La Canada, CA, 49:31
LA Cancer Challenge, West Los Angeles, CA, 51:21
Long Beach International City Bank Half Marathon, Long Beach, CA, 1:54:31