Marci Files: Choosing The Right Shoe


Spending the Money

Choosing a shoe is one of the most personal decisions one can make when it comes to running. Just because this athlete wears that specific brand or your friend wears this brand and your trainer swears by that brand it doesn’t mean it’s the right shoe for you. Running shoes are a really great investment if you plan to run more than a mile a week so I would highly recommend spending the money on a really good pair. I know $95-$130 seems like a lot of money to spend on running shoes, but think about what you spend on normal shoes or purses or clothes or even food. If you plan to run to stay in shape, look good, feel healthy or even train for races, trust me, spend the money. There is nothing worse than buying a cheap pair at your local sporting goods store and ending up with some kind of injury.

Local Running Stores

Look for a local running store near you (a chain is ok!) and go in to get properly sized and fit. People who work at running stores are super nice and knowledgeable when it comes to any questions you may have. They will look at your feet, watch you walk and run to see if/where you pronate, and some will even test you on a machine to see where your arches are! You get to try on a bunch of different shoes and most of them come in fun colors! (My philosophy is the brighter the color your shoes and clothes are, the more fun you’ll have. Bright colors make me excited to work out.) Make sure the shoe fits comfortably, that you have enough wiggle room in the toes, nothing is rubbing, and nothing should feel squished. Your feet will swell when you run so you want them to feel a little roomy in the toe area – a good guideline is to buy your shoes a half size or a full size larger than your regular every day shoes. Another great thing about running stores: You have some time to run in the shoe and return it for full price if they cause blisters or sores or anything! So please, find a local running shop and stop on in. You won’t regret it! 


Don’t feel like you need to run in the same brand you’ve been wearing forever either! Explore what is out there. You never know, you might find something new! Since I have been running, I have worn four different brands of shoes. The first brand I ever started out in I can’t wear anymore because it causes blisters for me. Shoes will change and so can your feet so don’t feel discouraged if that store doesn’t carry the brand you normally wear or think you will like. Try something new and you might surprise yourself and find that it’s better than your other brand.


A shoe is good for about 300-400 miles and then it is time to get a new pair. Even if your shoe still looks to be in decent shape they will probably start to hurt in areas that never hurt before or rub in areas that never rubbed before. Pay attention to your body and get to know the signs. When your feet start to feel tired or you’ve trained for and ran two races, it’s probably time to get a new pair. 

Ease Into Your New Shoe

When you buy new shoes, don't go out too far too fast as you could hurt your feet or cause blisters.  Start with 1-3 miles for a few days to a week and then move up from there.  If possible, walk around in them for a while too (at work, out on errands, etc).


For longer runs or even on race day Vaseline is your best friend!  It may sound and feel gross, but it will feel amazing while running.  Slather it all around your toes and the balls of your feet and then quickly put your socks on.  Put it under your arms where rubbing might occur and under your armband if you wear one.  Put it where your waistband hits your skin on your shorts and for ladies, put it under the bottom part of your sports bra.  After a few minutes you won't even be able to feel the gooeyness, and believe me, on long runs it totally helps from anything rubbing or chaffing.




Marci is a contributor to The Aloha Files. She is Amy's long-distance training partner and motivator (aka - the one girl who doesn't take any excuse from Amy to NOT run).

Links to Running stores:

Road Runner Sports - you can get an annual membership that includes 10% of all purchases

A Runner's Circle - Los Angeles based store - has lots of Groupons!

Running Warehouse - online store, once you know what shoes fit you best, this place has good discounts