When I first met with my trainer back in March '06, I used a crappy pair of shoes. They weren't running shoes... I don't know what they were but they never should have been used in a gym. But I wore those suckers every time I went to the gym for about two years. Not sure why I never invested in a new pair of shoes but I didn't.
Finally in early 2008 when I started to run regularly, I did invest in some running shoes. I don't quite remember why I settled on Asics but I did, and of course I did what any first-timer who knows nothing about shoes should do, and I bought them online. I wore those shoes in my first 5K, my first 10K, my first half marathon and my first (and second and third) Camp Pendleton Mud Run.
After joining the Lopers, though, I found out about these things called running stores. I never imagined actually looking for a running store but they have 'em. I went to one, tried on a bunch of different shoes and settled on Asics. I'm a creature of habit, what can I say? I bought the GT-2140 and ran my first marathon in them, and my first sub-2 hour half marathon in them as well.
I bought a new pair of shoes at the same running store there last March, and - SHOCKING - went with Asics, the GT-2150. Those shoes lasted much longer than they should have - I ran two marathons, two half marathons and a few other assorted races. I don't keep track of how many miles I put on my shoes but it's safe to say this recent pair has more than 1,000 miles on them. Probably more than 1,200. I know, I know, what was I thinking?
Well, not to get on too much of a tangent here but I read the book Born to Run and while I'm not ready to run barefoot quite yet, that book did make me think about running shoes more and about how more injuries occur now than ever before and how before the advent of the running shoe, some injuries that are common now weren't really common then. I just kind of soured on running shoes a little, to the point where as long as my shoe was in one piece, I felt it was fine.
So at Surf City, I did realize that my shoes needed to be replaced as I felt every single rock and pebble on the beach path. And while everyone needs rocks and pebbles under their feet at Mile 23 of a race, I figured that wasn't all that great.
On Saturday, I finally dished out the cash and bought a new pair of shoes.
Went back to where it all started, Zappos.com.
I actually got a good deal. I bought the GT-2150 again, but instead of it costing me more than 100 bucks like they did a year ago, I got them for 76. And the shipping was free. And they got to my house on Monday, about 48 hours after I clicked the "submit order" button.
Why online? Well, I know the GT-2150s I had before worked well, so if I don't need to change it then why change it? I have faith in Asics and that works for me. I know if I would've gone to the running store again I would have asked for Asics and probably would have bought some similar shoes to what I ended up with.
I would recommend Zappos.com for running shoes if you know what you want and have bought shoes from actual physical stores before but even though I got lucky the first time, I wouldn't recommend buying 'em online if you're just starting out. You could buy the wrong shoe and feel uncomfortable, maybe even get injured and you might not realize it's your shoe. But if you're an experienced runner, save yourself some bucks and get it at online.
Also, if you want to invest some time, go to the running store, try on a bunch of shoes you like, write down all the pertinent info and then go to Zappos and buy them from there. I don't know that I would do that, time isn't something I have a lot of, but they do have some shoes for under 50 bucks on Zappos, so you never know how much you can save.
* While it may seem like Zappos.com paid me to write this blog post, I did not receive any compensation from them whatsoever, aside from great customer service. However, if they would like to give me a new pair of shoes in order to write a similar post or perhaps even host a giveaway, I'm all ears.