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2689 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Jan 31, 2007 10:59 AM by Guest 1 2 Previous Next
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Dec 27, 2007 8:59 AM

Are you self conscious when going to a pro shoe store?

I would love to hear from the larger runners who it felt the first time you went to your shoe store or a local specialty store and told them that you wanted running shoes?  You tell your story first and I will tell mine then   !|src=|border=0!


The Iron Clydesdale

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[http://This message has been edited by gripperm (edited Jan-28-2007).|http://This message has been edited by gripperm (edited Jan-28-2007).]

  • pcsronbo006 Legend 1,323 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    No, I was actually amazed and pleased with my experience. They immediately recognized my issues and TOLD me some I was going to have soon. The girl who did the fitting was a sweetheart about it and did not flinch when I told her I wanted to run. She asked a great question, "ok, so where are you at right now and how does it feel on your feet". We discussed it, she watched me walk (CRITICAL) barefoot. She then gave me a primer on getting the proper socks, the KIND of shoe I needed (was greek to me, took me a year to catch up on that), and then talked about clothes. She immediately brought up getting something to protect my thighs. She also said most of the clothes there wouldn't fit, as running clothes run SMALL, but she suggested a CasualMale store which wasn't too far away.

    It took me 3 pairs to figure one that didn't kill my shins/ankles to run in. They took back the others no questions asked and special ordered replacements.

    Even though I could have bought online, that customer service is worth the small premium and I continue to buy from them. Support your local running store!

    p.s. I actually buy most of my consumables from them, I just email the owner and they email me when they are in and I pick them up.[/URL" target="_blank">

  • kristine25 Amateur 530 posts since
    Aug 17, 2007

    OK, well this isn't a running shoe story but once went into a NIKE outlet store looking for tech material underwear since I was running in cotton and they were always soaked in sweat by the time I was done.   The woman that I asked for help said this to me:

    "The only drifit underwear we have come only in thong. I wear them and they are comfortable for me (she was very tiny) but someone your size probably would not want to wear them."

    I would be offended no matter what size I was cause even if I was 250lbs the comment would be inappropriate.  But here I am 5'8 and 160lbs.  WTF!!!!

  • jkv135 Amateur 143 posts since
    Oct 11, 2005

    My first venture was into a tri shop.  Not good.  I even went in in January and asked How do I get started training.   The guy basically laughed at me.  I ignored it, and left with a Sally Edwards book - I was on my way with out that jerk.  Fast forward a year and 5 triathlons under my belt.  I run into this same guy at school selling shoes to the track team.  Again - I am beneath him.  I walk away.  Never go back.  And tell everyone I know that guy (who is actually the owner I find out) was aweful.  Is my money not as good as a skinny persons? - If he had handled it anything like the girl who helped ron, I would have been dropping cash there all the time.  I wear out shoes fast.  Too bad for him.

  • jkv135 Amateur 143 posts since
    Oct 11, 2005

    I forgot to add that the shoes I was in for years were not the right kind either.  They looked at my weight and assumed the biggest baddest motion control you can get.  I couldn't have stong feet or ankles with the weight I was carrying.  Come to find out after a stress fracture scare and some PF - I have been in the totally WRONG type of shoe.  I need a neutral.  The PT has been a great help to assess what type my feet actually are (I forget the foot names but I WAY roll on the outsides and have super high arches).  My new orthothics should be here this week, then I am off for some new shoes after that.  With the information I have now, I should be much better informed in case the guy/girl at the store is not informed.

  • Francesca24 Expert 124 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jan 29, 2007 11:30 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: Are you self conscious when going to a pro shoe store?

    when i first started i was wearing some new balance shoes, but they were wearing out, so i decided to FINALLY (after lots of blisters) venture to the running store.  i was nervous, but the salesguy was helpful, but i think he could have been better.  it was almost like he thought, i couldn't really be running.  told me i was an overpronator and found 3-4 different pairs of shoes for me to try on.  i picked a pair i thought were comfortable and then he asked if i was running more than 5 miles at a time, which i wasn't.  i wanted to ask why, but he made me feel like if i wasn't running that much then i wasn't really serious.  anyway, i got the shoes, and then asked about socks.  he was NOT helpful there...he was like i'm sure what you're using now is fine.  well, i said that i wanted a pair anyway, so he picked a pair of wigwams off the wall and told me to try them.  i haven't been back but since i'm now running more than 5 on my long run, i guess it might be time for some new shoes.  plus, i just finished hhst and new shoes are going to be my reward.

    can any tell me why i need different shoes to run more than 5 miles?  i'm currently wearing brooks adrenaline.  thanks.

  • fatmantrying Amateur 42 posts since
    Oct 8, 2006

    My first trip into a real running store was actually to pick up my first race packet.  It was a 10K. 

    I walked in and I felt like a buzzer must have gone off somewhere that signaled a "fat guy in the store!" alert. It was probably more the way I felt than anything else, though. I really felt out of place.

    There was a discount coupon to Fleet Feet in the packet, and I decided to stop by there on the way home. The guy went above and beyond to help me out, IMHO. I was totally clueless too. I had been training for months in cross trainers.

    I wondered why my ankles were always hurting! ouch.

    He fitted me and demanded I wear the new shoes in the race the next day. I thought he was nuts... everything you read says never ever... well, you all know the drill by now... but everyone in the store basically said the same thing so I wore them. Their store was manning an aid station for the race and when I went shuffling by he yelled out "Hey, how bout those shoes!!" lol

    There are a$$holes in all walks of life though... you'll find lots more support in th running community than you will disdain.

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  • girlwithcurl Rookie 3 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    Well, now I'm a little paranoid, LOL.  I'm about to make my first trip into a real running store (our local running store is a Fleet Feet, too) to buy shoes, and it didn't occur to me that the salespeople would be less than helpful because of my size.  Here's hoping they don't bust out laughing when they see my 185 lb. self coming through the door.

  • mmoonhead Rookie 432 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007


    Originally posted by girlwithcurl:

    Well, now I'm a little paranoid, LOL. I'm about to make my first trip into a real running store (our local running store is a Fleet Feet, too) to buy shoes, and it didn't occur to me that the salespeople would be less than helpful because of my size. Here's hoping they don't bust out laughing when they see my 185 lb. self coming through the door.


    You'll find jerks in every facet of life, unfortunately. However, my experience with Fleet Feet employees have been pretty positive overall.

    As an ex-Clydesdale, I remember that day as well (BTW, this was not a Fleet Feet store.) The running staff was professional about it, if nothing else. They examined my gait, and pulled out a couple of pairs (Mizuno Wave Creations & NB 1060s) to try on and take them for a sample run around the block (I settled on the pair of NBs at the end.)

    I guess my only beef was the way a couple of what must've been repeat customers walked in; the sales staff were really friendly with them - not surprising, but if they'd just inject just a touch of that friendliness with newbie customers like me, they might earn a little more loyalty.

  • jmc9mm Amateur 33 posts since
    Oct 3, 2006

    Hey Guys, I'm 5 10 and weigh 229 (down from 257).

    I have run into it all. My local guy from Fleet Feet was really cool. I went in in the middle of the day, there was no one around and he spent lots of time with me. Had me on a treadmill, had me barefoot taking all kinds of measurements.

    I find the TRI and bike people to be a little more rude.  Like I can't be serious about this stuff at my weight.

  • iwilldoit Amateur 20 posts since
    Jan 19, 2007

    You know, I was really anxious when I went in to the local running store last week, I am short and heavy, and just started running.  But I built up the nerve, and they were... nice.  Didn't make my weight an issue at all.  I wasn't fitted properly, it turns out (the guy who worked with me was about 12, I think).  Went in a few days later to return the shoes, and the owner of the shoes was VERY helpful, and did a great job.  So overall, it was a good experience.  But I didn't even bother looking at the tech clothes.  On that note, bought some tech wear on clearance at Kohl's this weekend, and what a difference it made in keeping me warm and dry!

  • RCL043 Pro 180 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007

    I’m a 14D.  I’ve been ordering New Balance from RRS for more than 14 years, and haven’t had a problem with sizing in that time.  Prior to that, buying running shoes was nightmare. I was once told by a clerk I couldn’t be picky. I had to call one store on almost a daily basis for two weeks to see if an expected shipment arrived with my size, only to be disappointed. I will give the store credit because the owner called me back upon hearing of my dismay, and found me a good pair of New Balances at another one of his stores; they were a hybrid though – 999 uppers and 1500 soles for the price of 999s. I think that could have the last time I went to a store for running stores.

  • Mad European Rookie 3 posts since
    Dec 9, 2006

    If I could read the clerks mind it would of went something like this. " Poor SOB is gonna drop 100 bucks and use them once or twice but hey I work on commission anyway" and then get pidgeon holed into the stereotypical "Big runners" shoe-Brooks Adreniline. I bought them thinking that they knew best but returned them five days later because the problem is most of us aren't sterotypical. They didn't ask alot a questions so I started asking. I Finally walked out of there with a pair of Asics and some education. At 230, I don't look like a runner and I'm only trying  to better myself. I just responded to Kentucky Gent and didn't see this thread unitl after but I'm sure he'd like this.

  • jkv135 Amateur 143 posts since
    Oct 11, 2005

    Hey jcm,

    Speaking on behalf of the tri community - I am sorry you got the impression that tri folks are rude (in general.) I am a tri peep first, runner because it is part of a tri. I have found that community to be very accepting once they see you are trying your best, no matter how slow you are. A guy at a shop - well that is another story (see my above post). We consider anyone who has done a tri to be a triathlete. no question. I hope some good tri peeps can help change your mind about us!


  • Maloyo Amateur 29 posts since
    May 19, 2002

    I've had experiences that range from great to indifferent, at a few different stores, locations.  Most of the time, they're indifferent, though.  I get this "you can't really be a runner" look that is annoying.


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