Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

Buying new running shoes: My experience at Marathon Sports April 29, 2012

Filed under: Boston,Fitness,Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 4:01 pm
Tags: ,

Many of you know I’ve been getting more interested in running.  And going to the gym.  And just plain getting in shape.  I’ve still got a long way to go!

I came to the realization that I needed new running shoes after a few things happened.  I looked at the soles of my sneakers and saw that they were pretty worn away.  Then I read a few articles that said that even if you don’t run much, you should replace your shoes every 6-12 months.  And seeing as I bought the last pair in 2009, I was WAY overdue for new sneakers!

I checked with friends, including my resident Fitness+Boston expert Elizabeth, on where to go to get a proper fit.  Everyone said to go to Marathon Sports.  So, I finally did.

The employees were really knowledgeable about what kind of shoe I’d need.  I’m not a superstar runner.  I want to be able to walk and run in comfort.  So they helped me out.

When I went there, a woman named Suzanne helped me out.  She watched me walk without shoes on, and determined that I have a neutral gait (rather than having over- or under-pronation).  She found a few pairs that would work for my feet and my fitness plan (i.e. lots of walking and running).  She watched me as I ran in the first pair I tried on, to confirm I was in fact in the right kind of shoe.  I tried them all on, and she let me run down the street and back to try out each pair.  I had trouble deciding, which is a common problem for me.  So, even though she said “pick the shoes that feel the least like anything”, I did the opposite, and picked the ones that I actually could “feel” the most.  I figured I’m paying good money, I might as well have shoes that were “doing” something.

Happy with my purchase, I wore my new shoes around the house to test them out.  It was at that point that I realized that I should have listened to Suzanne.  The new shoes were squeezing my feet!  I wasn’t sure if that’s “normal” for a new pair of sneakers, so I tweeted @marathon_sports with questions.  They said I should come back in and try a few other pairs…squeezing isn’t normal!

So, I took their advice and came back in.   Showed the pair I had bought to one of the employees there.  Nick, I think.  He saw just how tight those shoes would be.  Whoops!  So he brought out a few pairs he knew would fit better (probably some of the same ones I tried on before) and I took a quick run in all of them.  Settled on the Saucony Progrid Ride 4.

Say hello to my new shoes!

Source: via Stephanie on Pinterest

So far I’ve worn them for a few trips to the gym. And they’re working great!

I’m glad I went to Marathon Sports. They’re really good about wanting to find you the shoe with the right fit. So even though I made the mistake of going with the wrong shoe the first time, they made sure I got the best shoe for my feet and running style. Their return policy is geared towards people like me who need to try out their shoes to make sure they’re the right pair!

Since this is a personal finance blog, let’s talk numbers. Total cost of my new shoes? Just shy of $100. That’s not cheap (in my book). And I did find out later that they’re going for $70 on Amazon. Then again, I wouldn’t be able to try on shoes or get expert analysis and advice from Amazon, and they’d probably be less lenient on returns (if I’ve tried them for a few days). And I’m guessing if I want these shoes again, next time I can buy them online.

And I guess I bought them just in time (i.e. a few weeks ago) to break them in.  With the Walk For Hunger next week, and the Tory Row 5k a month after that, I’m very happy I’ve got the right shoes for my feet!

Where do you shop for your running gear?  Have you tried Marathon Sports (my fellow Bostonians)?  Are you running in shoes that are WAY TOO OLD like I was?  Do you think I paid too much for a pair of shoes?  Do you spend a lot on athletic gear?


7 Responses to “Buying new running shoes: My experience at Marathon Sports”

  1. Brian 4nash Says:

    Congrats on your active lifestyle! I might win on the cheap-o contest. I have a pair of shoes that are from high school (8 years ago!) and a pair of basketball shoes that my roommate abandoned when he moved out.

    After reading “The Barefoot Book: 50 Great Reasons to Kick Off Your Shoes” and “Born To Run”, I’ve decided less is more. I bought some minimalist shoes online ($120!) but my feet were just too wide for them, so I shipped them back. Now, I’m walking around the neighborhood BAREFOOT in the evenings. I went for a barefoot sprint the other day and it felt incredible.

    Our feet aren’t sensitive for tickling, they’re sensitive so we can feel the ground and adjust.

    Happy running! I guess I don’t spend a lot on gear… 🙂


    • Stephanie Says:

      Where do you live? I’m pretty sure I don’t think I could handle walking/running without shoes. Between going to the gym (where they probably wouldn’t let me use the equipment without shoes, and I don’t think I’d want to go barefoot in those germy conditions) and running on rocky roads with a decent amount of debris, I don’t think I could do it!

      Maybe I’ll check out those books. I have heard good things about barefoot running. I guess that’s why there are now a lot of shoes meant to mimic barefoot running!


      • eemusings Says:

        I adore barefoot running. But only on grass. I never used to bring shoes to school for PE – I did all sports things barefoot.

        Doesn’t work so well as an adult, though.


      • Brian 4nash Says:

        I live in the Detroit area. You’re right about it not being practical to go barefoot all the time! I take a bootcamp class at the gym and wear shoes when we’re inside and kick them off when we go outside.

        In “Born to Run” they reference a study where they found that the more expensive the shoe, the more likely the participants were injured. I wish I had the book handy to cite it, but I checked it out from the library (yesss).


  2. Kristin Says:

    My sneakers were really beat up when I replaced them in January – I think they were 2.5 years old. I went to a place like that here in Boulder, called Boulder Running Company. I do have some pronation-type issues b/c my body is every so slightly lopsided and one leg is longer than the other. They fit me for some heel lifts for one shoe. My knees have been feeling so much better since then! Whenever I wear my older shoes, like flip flops or heels, I definitely feel it in my knees. I will need to find some business-casual shoes that I can do the same thing with for this summer!


  3. belowhermeans Says:

    We have the same running shoes! I’m really happy with mine.


  4. eemusings Says:

    No way, that’s dirt cheap for good shoes! (I bought my cheapies from the Warehouse for $20 but they aren’t good for long distance – not that I’m into LD). Here good branded shoes cost more like $200 and up.


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