5 things NOT to look for when buying NEW RUNNING SHOES

So you’re retiring your old shoes, eh?

Top 5 things NOT to look for when buying new running shoes.

Author: Sean Rivers, Owner at Foot Traffic

We know the feeling. You’ve decided to head out the door and get more consistent with your running or walking. It’s the first day of hopefully many days of consistent cardio for you. But after about 6 blocks, you realize it’s not just cobwebs and stiffness that’s making your knees, hips, or ankles hurt. It feels like the cement is literally hitting YOU versus you gliding across it. If the last time you got a new pair of shoes was over a year ago it’s time to go shopping. Those shoes have a shelf life! The foams can get “stale” and lose their rebound just sitting in a closet for years. Plus, just casual walking eventually flattens them out. It’s time for a new pair so you can truly focus on what matters: the miles and fitness that lies ahead!

Without further ado, here are the top 5 things NOT to look for when buying a new pair of running shoes.


This is the easy one. Put the blinders on, folks! Those shoes are going to be pretty dingy if you use them like they’re supposed to. And, hey, it’s hard to even see what the shoes look like when your feet are moving so fast! 😉 Don’t get us wrong, a cute shoe is a cute shoe. But if you are trying to find the perfect fit AND the perfect look…well, the odds start getting stacked against you. Our recommendation: Just get the cute shoe for casual walks or workouts and find an AWESOME FITTING pair for all your main workouts.


Here’s looking at YOU Amazon and Zappos. Online shoe reviews are great and there’s some solid feedback to be found if you’re zeroing in on a decision between a couple pairs, but you need to find out if they are right for YOU. What someone else said isn’t always what YOU’LL say. There are flat feet, high arches, wide feet, etc… but your foot is like a fingerprint: There are so many subtle differences in not only your foot, but how your mechanics and body are built. It’s best to get the feedback and support from trained professionals that deal with shoes every day (ahem…Foot Traffic 😉).




This goes for both high price and low price shoes. If the shoe is $180, it doesn’t always mean it’s $80 better than the $100 pair. But, likewise, if a shoe is only $70, you’re not always getting a “great deal” if your knees hurt and you have to stop training or–worse–you have to go to a physical therapist and pay more money (and time) to get it sorted out.


Again, here’s looking at you Amazon, Zappos, and any shop that can carry running shoes alongside weight lifting equipment. You should be worried if you are getting chat advice or even in-person advice from someone that is expected to know all about dress shoes and maybe even fishing gear! You are going to save yourself a TON of time by just going to the experts who pick all the best running and walking shoes to sell and can help you sort through them. Time is money, folks!




Are you looking to do Zumba classes but also want to use the same shoe for running? Sure, you could use a running shoe for an occasional cardio class and be just fine. But running and walking shoes are primarily meant for linear movement, not the aggressive side to side movements of a crossfit or Zumba workout. It’s best to just get a great running shoe for NOTE: If you HAVE to get one shoe for all your workouts, we would recommend doing the following calculation: Is 40% or more of your workouts running or walking (including treadmills, elliptical machines and stair steppers)? It’s a good idea to just get a running shoe given they are–by far–the most comfortable and versatile option (especially if you choose a lower profile running shoe). If you’ve ever tried to go for a walk or a run in a shoe meant for court sports or lateral movement only, you’ll be very very sorry.

Well, folks. That’s it! Hope this helped. As usual, there’s lots of details in the margins of these conversations so the best idea is to REACH OUT DIRECTLY to us for advice or help. Email, messenger, and phone calls all work! Isn’t it GREAT to have actual real, live running gurus at your fingertips? What a refreshing change! See you on the trails and roads! GO BY FOOT!  www.foottraffic.us/shop-shoes

About the author: Sean Rivers has been running for over 30 years and has owned and operated his running and walking shoe stores for over 18 years. He ran competitively early in his career but mostly just enjoys running away from his problems and stresses for about 4-8 miles at a time. His true passion is getting as many kids as possible to be introduced to running at a young age (including his own kids!) so they can enjoy a lifetime of benefits and coping strategies. Contact Sean or his team of running gurus at any Foot Traffic location in the Pacific Northwest.

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