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Buying Running Shoes – How Specialized Retailers Can Help

19th November 2021

Anyone who has ever wanted to buy a running shoe knows that finding the right shoe is not that easy. No wonder, after all, the Internet is packed with thousands of models from a wide variety of brands. New ones are added almost daily. Anyone who wants to buy a running shoe for the first time gets overwhelmed quickly. Tips can help you find the right model, even online. But in many cases, going to a specialist retailer makes the most sense. We will show you what good customer advice looks like.

Content:

  1. Why we should wear running shoes before buying them

  2. How a consultation in the running specialist store works

  3. Finding the right running shoe – running analysis and personal running shoe test

  4. Four good reasons to buy running shoes in the store

Users search the Internet for running shoes over 40,000 times. Every month. The choices seem endless – and many runners are overwhelmed when they see what’s available online. It’s hard to find the right shoe – even if you already know your running shoe size.

In many cases, it helps to seek advice from a specialist retailer before buying new running shoes. After all, running shoe specialists offer a wide selection of different brands. In addition to the well-known running shoe brands, they also carry niche manufacturers and new products. “Specialty retailers have the perfect overview of the current running shoe scene,” says Andre Kriwet, co-founder of True Motion.

Most are or were runners themselves and have analyzed and sold thousands of running shoes over the course of their professional lives. This experience is unique, and customers benefit from personal advice to find the perfect running shoe. This is something the Internet can’t offer.

Thanks to product training, the experience of their customers, and many of their own test runs, retailers know the advantages and disadvantages of all the models they sell in their running store. As a result, good retailers are up to date with the latest developments in the running shoe industry.

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How we always find the right running shoe size

Why we should wear running shoes before buying them

In addition to the retailers’ product expertise, there is another advantage for runners when they choose a new running shoe in the store: they can test it. “It’s incredibly important to try out running shoes before you buy them,” says Andre Kriwet. At home, that only works to a limited extent.

While we usually only order one or at most two different models in different sizes online, specialist retailers select several running shoes suitable for us right away. We can then test the different models either in the store or even outside in front of the door.

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How a consultation in the running specialist store works

Buying a running shoe from a specialty store makes perfect sense. However, it may take a little time. After all, a detailed consultation takes between 20 and 40 minutes. How long we actually end up being in the running store varies from person to person and depends on what we already know about running shoes, what experience we’ve already gained, and what our goals are.

In a good consultation, the retail specialists aim to find out which running shoe might be suitable for us. To this end, they ask the following questions, among others:

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How runner's knee develops - and what can help

  • How long have you been running?

  • How many times a week do you run?

  • How many kilometers do you run per workout and per week?

  • What surfaces do you run on?

  • How fast do you run?

  • What are your running goals?

Long-time runners are also asked about their personal experiences. For example, whether they have already had running injuries or whether they suffer from any discomfort while running.

In addition, they ask which models we have run in the past – and what we liked or disliked about them. The price and design can also play an important role.

Once the most important points have been clarified, our running shoe size is determined. It is one to two centimeters larger than in our everyday shoes. The reason is simple: during the course of the day, our feet expand and grow. The same is true when they get warm which happens especially during sports. The movement increases the blood flow in our feet, they become larger and expand.

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Finding the right running shoe – running analysis and personal running shoe test

Before we slip into new running shoes, a running analysis will be carried out first. Sometimes the retailer uses a treadmill or a running track and a camera for this purpose. However, the most modern technology is not absolutely necessary. An expert can usually recognize from experience what the running analysis is all about, even without a camera or other tools: our running style.

About 95% of all runners touch down with the heel first. However, people who run fast tend to land on their forefoot or midfoot. In such cases, it can therefore be useful to have runners test certain models.

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For our personal running shoe test, retailers will then offer models of various brands. Usually, that’s three to a maximum of four pairs of running shoes. There are reasons why we don’t get more shoes for testing. On the one hand, the experts in the running store know the current models well. They know which running shoes are most likely to suit our running style.

On the other hand, with more than three or four different models, our brain will find it difficult to recognize and remember the differences between them. “If we have a good feeling when we test a running shoe, it’s usually the right one,” says Andre Kriwet, explaining the personal comfort filter.

Four good reasons to buy running shoes in the store

But it’s not just the expert knowledge of the specialist retailer that’s a good reason to buy new running shoes in the store. Going to a running store always involves social interaction – and that has advantages of its own.

  1. Make shopping an experience: When we enter a running store, we see running shoes lined up against the wall on almost every side of the room. Not only can we look at them, but we can also touch and test them. The good thing is that once we have found the right running shoe, we can start running right away after buying it.

  2. Exchange ideas about our hobby: Talking to retailers and other customers, we can exchange ideas about running. In this way, we always learn about new running routes or even training methods.

  3. Get tips from experts: In the running store, we meet real experts. Most of the retailers are enthusiastic runners themselves – and have tips on how we can prepare for our first marathon, for example. They know all the technologies and modes of action of the many different running shoe models and can pick out the best pair for everyone individually.

  4. Become part of a running community: Real running communities form at specialty stores. Retailers often organize running events or invite customers to test events. At these events, we can be among the first to test the latest models.

Good retailers are not only recognized by the fact that they respond to the wishes and needs of runners. They also build a community. “A good running store is well-assorted, carries the latest models, takes care of its customers’ concerns, has well-trained staff, and provides a great atmosphere for shopping,” Andre Kriwet says.

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