First off - I knew I needed some good shoes if I was to be proactive about injury prevention and just enjoy the running experience more. So it was a no brainer to head to the best running store I knew about within an hour's drive... and that was Fairhaven Runners and Walkers in Bellingham, WA.
I walked into Fairhaven Runners on a somewhat busy day with 2 of my kid's in tow (ages 6 and 4). I was immediately greeted by a really friendly sales guy that asked if he could help me. Of course I said 'YES"! Almost right off the bat another salesperson asked if my kids could have fruit snacks. I said "YES" again. They quickly returned with 2 packages of fruit snacks for my kids to enjoy while I shopped. Win a mom's heart by thinking of her kids... good job!
The sales person asked what I needed and I told him I was a beginner runner and needed some running shoes. He asked me some more questions. Unfortunately I had not brought with me my current "walking" shoes. That would have been helpful but not a total loss that I didn't have anything with me but the spring flip flops I was wearing. I wish I could remember the name of the sales clerk that helped me that day. He was so nice and helpful! He NEVER seemed to talk down to me because I was inexperienced or new to running. He didn't seem annoyed that my kids were all over the place either. After asking me a few questions he sized up my feet to see what size I should be wearing. Then he dissappeared to the back room for a little bit and returned with several boxes of really cool shoes. It turns out that I had been wearing shoes that were too small for my feet - especially for running. Oh well - a girl does what a girl does.
I tried on the first pair and they were awesome... It didn't stop there... The sales clerk said to put the other one on and lace them completely up - we were going outside for him to watch me run up and down the sidewalk. Wow - really? Okay... so I did what he told me to do and then reapeated it for the other shoes he had brought out. I don't remember the different brands he had me try that day but I do know the shoes that I ended up with. They were dreamy comfy and reasonably priced I thought. I loved the chance to try them on a real street and was a little bit weirded out by him wanting to watch me run but it made sense so I did what he told me to do.
I ended up with Mizuno Wave 8 Women's size 10. Size 10? Really? I had always thought I wore a 9ish... but especially since having 3 children I needed a size 10. I trusted the slaes clerk and I love the shoes. It changed the entire way I felt when I tried to run. Please - if you are a beginner and you are struggling to enjoy running or feel comfortable. Go to a good running store and get fitted for shoes that fit you and are made for what you are doing! Please just go!
I have been running for months now and have recently completed my first 1/2 marathon. I completed the Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon on January 20th at DISNEYLAND and the Neverland Family 5K the day before! (Yeah for me!) My Mizuno shoes are tired and I need to replace them. My Nike + app is up and in the mid 700s now... it is time.
Here I am during the Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon wearing my Mizuno shoes from Fairhaven Runners!
I recently bought a pair of Nike Fusion at Kohl's with no help whatsoever from a sales clerk...
I bought them purely because I needed a new pair for a trip and price was a huge factor. They are comfortable and I love them for just plain old walking and wearing. I have worn them for running 2 - 4 miles outside and for all distances on my treadmill. They haven't bothered me at all. I have been switching them out with my old pair though and not used them exclusively.
The end of this shoe story is I just need to buy some new shoes. Soon I will be making a trip north to Bellingham to be greeted again by the wonderful staff at Fairhaven Runners & Walkers and sink some dough into some new kicks. Bonus for the trip is I may be able to squeeze in a visit to Trader Joe's ! The other store I want to fit a visit in to is Erin Baker's Wholesome Baked Goods ! The Best Breakfast Cookie's and Granola around!
I think I may write a review on their products that I have tried. Yum!
PS - What I really want are the new New Balance shoes that you can only purchase at runDisney events (or on EBAY for a bazillion dollars) - so sad that I won't be able to purchase until next January when I make the trip back for the Tinkerbell 1/2 Marathon 2014!!!
I have no idea if these shoes would be good for my running style but I would look awesome wearing them! (and isn't that what matters most?)