Recently I’ve had a few queries from friends asking me where I buy my trainers… I buy them as cheap as I can get them, usually online, but I’d always recommend getting your feet / gait checked out at a running specialist and taking their advice on the type of trainer you should buy to run in.
There is some information on it: here about choosing a shoe, a beginners guide to choosing a trainer. Beware that there’s no single ‘best shoe’, everyone has different needs.
Some people pronate, some people over pronate. Some people need more stability, some people don’t need any. Different makes of shoes and different types of trainers provide different levels of support. A trainer which is good for one runner, might not be the best for you.
If you’re an experienced runner (and you’ve run lots of miles in your old trainers) you can sometimes tell if you over or under pronate by looking at the tread on your trainers (see pic).
It can all get a bit complicated, and that’s why I think, if you are buying running trainers for the first time, or for the first time in a long time, you should visit a running specialist for some advice.
Specialist running shops
The running specialist shops know what to look out for and generally sell you the best shoe for your running type/foot type.
There are all different types (and makes) of trainers out there and the specialist running shops can advise you what’s best for you. It will probably involve you running/jogging on a treadmill whilst they watch, or record your footstrike. Then they’ll analyse your foot strike and find the right trainer for you.
I would always recommend Run 4 It, a scottish based running shop, they have shops in Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee. They aren’t on commission, but are encouraged to spend as much time with customers getting the right gear / trainers for them.
Run 4 It staff are generally specialists in some sort of sport or sports training/physio and in my experience always have a great knowledge of the right type of trainers for their customers.
I’ve always bought my trainers fro Run 4 It in Tiso, Glasgow, where the store manager Doug has looked after me before. He really knows his stuff. He knows about each make and model of trainer and is a really friendly guy.
They even advised me to go up a half size in my running trainer, so I now run in a Saucony size 7 (rather than a 6.5). Great advice, and great customer service.
Ask for a discount or a price match
I’ve been cheeky enough in the past, once I’ve had my gait analysis done, to ask for an online price match for the trainer they’ve suggested. So if you really want to get a good deal on your trainers, just ask. ‘I can get these for £X on sportsshoes.com (or where ever), what price can you do me them for?’
That kind of cheekiness got my first pair of Saucony Paramount 3s reduced from an eye watering £135 to £108. 😉
If you don’t ask, you don’t get – right? 😉
Other specialist running shop recommendations
- If you don’t live in Scotland, just go to a local running specialist and get their advice before buying your trainers.
- Based on a friend’s experience, I’d recommend Sweatshop, Anniesland in Glasgow too (I’ve never bought trainers from them, but Twinkle Toes always has good things to say about them).
Use google to get the cheapest price
Now that I know the type of trainer that suits me and my running style, I buy them from the cheapest place online: (most recently www.sportsshoes.com : £70 including postage.)
I still go back to Run 4 It every now and again and see what they have in. And I’d still buy trainers from them if the price was right. I also buy tops from them and visit them when they are at the running events in Glasgow (and got a free Gore bottle last time at the Great Scottish Run for my efforts / chat).
A few words of warning!
Whatever you do, if you are buying trainers and you haven’t had your gait analysed, don’t just go online or go into JJB Sports and buy a pair of ‘running trainers’ because they are cheap or because they look nice.
You’re (potentially) going to be running plenty of miles in you running trainers, so it’s important you get the right ones to fit your feet, frame, build and running style.
Buying the wrong running trainers could lead to injury and could waste any money you’ve spent on them.
For more information, you can see this page on Runnersworld for reviews of lots of different trainers. But remember not to buy based on just the reviews, go into your local running specialist shop and get their advice first. 🙂 Happy running.