Specialty Store, Department store or online???
We can argue whether runners need GPS devices and heart monitors, but few would disagree about the necessity of proper running shoes. The question is: Do we visit a local specialty store, or do we shop at a department/big box retailer, or log online?
My definitive answer – SHOP LOCAL! It benefits the consumer AND the community.
There is a lot of talk about why we should shop local, but what are the benefits?
- Relationships. When I go to my local running store, I’m greeted by name. They have a history of what shoes I’ve purchased and when I bought them. They know what type of shoe I should be wearing and if I pronate, supinate, or if I’m a neutral-footed runner. Could you imagine going into a big box retailer and asking a sales clerk if they’d keep track of this information or could make such recommendations based on your running history and goals?
- Newbie? If you are new to running, or maybe it is your first visit to a specialty shop, you will be given extra attention. Stores often provide gait analysis and will examine the wear on your current running shoes to determine shoes that would meet your needs.
- Testing. Many stores also have a treadmill for you take a test run.
- Resource. Most of the salespeople at local running stores are runners. If you have any question related to running, they can find the answer – from where to run, who to run with and other tips.
Buying running shoes from a local specialty shop also benefits the community! Not only do running stores employ your neighbors, but they also support the running community through donations, races, volunteering and running groups.
A few words about department stores: Often, their selections are based with fashion or comfort in mind, not running. Getting the proper shoe and fit is key for injury prevention. It might be tempting to save a few dollars, but you get what you pay for.
I get most of my running shoes at Flying Feet in York, PA. We are blessed to have this store in our community, not only for the products available, but also for the services and knowledge they provide. Click below for driving directions.