I have a confession. I buy sneakers based on the color. Sometimes this works out great, like the time I bought a pair of the Brooks Pure Connect because I thought they’d match perfectly with my purple tank top (and they did!) and to this day, they are still one of my favorite pair of sneakers.
I have a thing for bright flashy sneakers, which is a double edged sword because I’m on the slower end of the running spectrum and bright colored sneakers bring attention to my slow moving feet. But whatever. They also make me “run happy” and that’s what really counts, right?
Well, not all the time. Because sometimes, I end up buying very happy looking sneakers, but they feel awful. This has happened more times than I’d like to admit and I have learned that while the color of your sneakers is important, it’s not the only thing to look for when buying new sneakers.
Here are 4 tips to help you find the perfect fit:
#1 – Get Your Run Analyzed
Getting my run analyzed was the best thing I ever did for my feet. Road Runner Sports offers a free gait analysis and you’ll learn SO MUCH about your stride and your feet. They make you a pair of custom insoles, which you don’t have to buy, and then they recommend some different sneakers based on your analysis results.
I’ve gotten my run analyzed twice and I bought the insoles the first time and they were good, but honestly, not worth the money. I think that if you have the right sneakers, then you don’t need a fancy insole… but that’s up to you.
Here’s a video of what you can expect when you get your run analyzed at Road Runner Sports.
#2 – Get The Right Socks
Seriously. Socks make a HUGE difference. Even if you find the perfect sneakers, the wrong socks can cause blisters and chaffing.
We LOVE FitSoks and wear them all the time for triathlon training and we also wore them during our marathon training and for all 26.2 miles and never get blisters. Read our Fitsok review here. Also, did you know that a new pair of socks can help get you out of a workout rut?! It’s true.
#3 – Go For A Test
Here in Nashville, we have an awesome running store called Fleet Feet.
Not only are they super knowledgeable about running and sneakers, but they also let you run around in the parking lot to test your sneakers out. AND they have a 30 day return policy.
They are so committed to helping you find the perfect sneakers that they’ll let you return them for a full refund even after they’re dirty because you’ve run in them for the past week.
I think it’s SO important to find a store like that offers a return policy like that so you can really test out your sneakers to make sure they’re a good fit.
Feet Feet (as well as many other local running stores) also organizes a lot of group runs, so not only can you go for a test run in your new sneakers, but you can meet other runners and triathletes and maybe even find a new training buddy!
#4 – Ebay is A-OK!
So, after following steps 1-3, you’ve finally find the perfect sneakers. They feel great and you love them. But then tragedy strikes and the company changes them somehow (or makes a really ugly color) and now you’re back at square one.
This has happened to me multiple times and it’s SOOO frustrating. I used to swear by Nike Lunarglies, until they changed this amazing neutral sneaker to a stability shoe that had much more cushion than I needed.
In search of the perfect new sneaker, I tried FIVE different pairs, but none of them were “the ones”. My problem is that I tend to like last season’s sneakers better and so that’s where Ebay comes in. Ebay usually has new or lightly used sneakers that you can bid for at a insanely cheap price. I paid only $40 for these beautiful purple Brooks!
Just be choosy if you’re shopping on Ebay, and even if the listing says they’re new, ALWAYS look at ALL of the pictures and if there is a picture of the soles of the sneakers, make sure they’re not worn out on the bottom.
Ebay tip: decide the max price you want to pay for your sneakers. Depending on how fast your internet is, put your bid in with 5-10 seconds left in the Ebay auction and you’ll most likely win!
* * *
We hope these tips will help you find the perfect pair of sneakers and that they’ll make you run really, really fast!
Disclaimer- We were not compensated in any way by the companies that we mentioned in this post. These companies and stores have helped us find the perfect sneakers and we hope that these tips will help you find your perfect pair too!