Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Best Shoes For Walking, Running, And The Gym

Hey, it's Jason from Runners' House in River Vale, NJ to talk about how to choose good shoes for walking, running, and the gym. 

Sometimes I come across posts and articles titled, "The Best Shoes," or people come into the shop who have seen articles like this when they research online, and these posts actually list specific shoes as being the best. 

In my opinion this is misleading and not very helpful. There isn't a best running shoe. There might be a category or type of shoe that's working well for you, but there isn't a best shoe.

The person writing that post might be sincere, but the the reason I say it's misleading is because I help people try on shoes all day, and everyone's a little different. People might not like what I like. For instance, there's a pair of neutral shoes that I love, and I pull them and say, "Hey I just ran a personal record and qualified for Boston in these shoes-- they're great." Then the person tries them on and says, "I don't like these." And I say, "Okay, let's try on the next ones."

THAT'S how you find good shoes for walking, running, and the gym--you try on a pile. The American College of Sports Medicine also suggests trying on a pile of shoes.

Now where you go to try on a pile of shoes is your local shoe store. I realize I am biased because I own a running store--I have a passion for it, and we are invested here in helping people who walk through the door. But I'll still argue that it's the best way to find good shoes.

Now there are different categories of shoes, and obviously you want to go to a shop where the staff knows what they're doing, knows some of the science, and knows all of the shoes, because shoes have different structures and offsets and work your tissues in different ways. But you get a sense when you talk to people whether they know their business. I'll still argue you're better off going to a shop than reading and purchasing online.

On that note there are also articles that promote shopping online for discounts. These shoes are most always older shoes, because the vendors have rules about pricing for current product online. So it's really no different from going to an actual shoe store. Every shoe store like ours is also going to have older shoes on sale.

So to sum it up, there is no best shoe. But if you visit your local shop then they can talk you through the shoe wall, pull a pile of shoes, and you can take them down the block. Then you say, "This one is more comfortable than that one," you get a great shoe at a great price, you leave happy, and you don't  have to go to the highway or worry about the stuff fitting right buying online :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Maybe Ignore Pace In More Extreme Temps

On hot days, maybe go by effort level instead of looking at your pace. Wanted to add a couple of faster miles in middle of run today (usually around 6.5 pace for me) but when I looked at my watch later they were a minute slower. Makes a difference.  And of course hydrate and go out at cooler times of day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Running Shoes: The Drop or Offset

The drop or offset of the shoe is something to consider. When you look at the foamy midsole, you'll generally notice more of the foam at the back of the shoe as compared to the front--so you are basically on a ramp of foam rising from toe to heel, and that's the drop or offset, usually noted in millimeters of height difference. A shoe that has no height difference (no more foam in back than front) would have zero offset--a zero drop shoe.

I don't know for certain that one type of offset is better than another. I favor a lower offset, feeling it might be easier for me to clear the heel (with less of it there) and land/strike more midfoot with my knee more flexed  at impact. I think most agree that using shoes of different drops or offsets will work your tissues in different ways, stressing different muscles. It's recommended that you ease into mileage in a lower drop shoe if your tissues are used to being in a higher offset, as you will feel more in your calves and Achilles when working in the lower drop shoe.

Some have a collection of shoes of different drops and therefore work different tissues on different days. If you have shoes with different drops then you will probably find that you favor one type more than another.

It can be hard to tell by looking with the eye.  The Brooks shoe below has an offset of 10mm while the Newton has an offset of 4.5mm.  Ask us about different drops when you're in the shop--we know them all :)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Running As Therapy

I've been telling everyone who comes in the shop that running has always been my therapy and how it helps me think and breathe.  So many therapeutic runs in my life.  It's not as much running away from my troubles as running into them. Maybe with a yell, or a prayer, or cry (a long run when my dad died comes to mind).  The below post by Kristin Armstrong shares a similar and interesting notion.  See what you think.