8 Running Shoe Buying Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to stay in shape? Think about it.

Most of us have sedentary jobs. Most of our entertainment options (especially since COVID) are also sedentary. Worst yet, we have a wide variety of overly processed, high-fat, high-sugar foods available to us at all times.

It’s no wonder that nearly 75% of Americans are either overweight or obese. Yet, there are simple hobbies like running that you can get into to stay fit. But first, you’ll need some running shoes.

Keep reading for eight running shoe buying mistakes to avoid to ensure you get the best possible pair of shoes for your new hobby.

1. Not Knowing Your Proper Shoe Size

Not knowing your actual sizes for shoes for different brands is one of the worst mistakes you can make when buying running shoes. If you buy shoes that are too big, there’s going to be too much space inside for your foot to slip and slide around. This will ultimately lead to blisters on your toes and heels.

Conversely, if you buy shoes that are too small, your foot will feel cramped and uncomfortable. This will make it difficult to run naturally and will also lead to foot cramps.

Follow this guide on how to find the perfect shoe size.

2. Not Looking at Customer Reviews

One of the most common running shoe buying mistakes is not looking at customer reviews. This is especially important when buying shoes online. You need to see what other runners have to say about the shoes you’re considering buying.

For example:

  • Are they comfortable?
  • Are they good for outdoor running?
  • Do they hold up well over time?
  • Are there any common complaints?
  • Do most buyers think the shoe offers adequate value for the price?
  • Etc.

Answering these questions is a great way to find the best possible running shoe for your needs. Additionally, look for reviews that note any size discrepancies. For example, some brands fit differently, despite being labeled the same size.

3. Trying to Save Money By Buying Generic

You might wonder, “Do I really need to invest in popular shoe brands?” The simple answer is no, you don’t have to do anything. However, we encourage you to prize quality over savings, particularly where running shoes are concerned.

While comparing shoe prices and shopping within your budget is a good idea, avoid buying generic, knock-offs, or counterfeit-brand shoes. These are almost always lacking in quality, comfort, and durability.

Furthermore, brand-name shoes, like the Jordan 1s typically offer superior performance, style, comfort, and longevity.

4. Not Buying a Shoe That Complements Your Running Style

People new to running often make simple, yet impactful running shoe buying mistakes. One such mistake is buying shoes that aren’t made for your particular style of running. For example, if you plan to do a lot of outdoor trail running, you need shoes with treads made for that type of terrain.

However, you must also consider your running form. Some people run on the balls of their feet while others are what’s know as “heel-strikers.” While you should always strive to improve your form to run as efficiently and ergonomically as possible, you need to buy shoes that provide proper support.

Depending on your foot and running technique, this may mean:

  • High arches
  • Low arches
  • More support
  • More heel cushioning
  • Etc.

We recommend going to a specialist to help you determine the exact type of shoe you need to keep you on the road longer. 

5. Not Verifying Online Buyers

Many consumers choose to buy shoes online because it helps them save money while simultaneously providing them with more options. While we don’t discourage you from buying shoes online, you must verify the credibility and legitimacy of the company before making your purchase.

First, check out their customer reviews. Do they seem genuine or falsified? If they sell popular shoe brands, is the company a certified retailer?

You can also Google the company to ensure they are properly licensed. If the online store offers shoes for insanely low prices, it’s probably a red flag.

6. Confusing Cross-Trainers With Running Shoes

If you didn’t already know, not all athletic shoes are made equally. We already talked about the difference in quality between brand-name shoes and off-brand shoes.

However, we also need to take a look at function and purpose. Many people have a pair of athletic shoes for working out, or shoes they use when they know they are going to be on their feet all day. However, general athletic shoes like cross-trainers are not the same as running shoes.

In most cases, they’re stiffer and offer too much support. This also makes them heavier, which can increase the impact of each footfall. Buying these types of shoes or using cross-trainers you already own to avoid spending money is one of the worst running shoe buying mistakes.

Running in shoes that aren’t made for running can lead to shin splints, knee pain, heel pain, and more. If you plan to run frequently, you should only be using running shoes.

7. Focusing Too Much on Appearances

Next, when looking at your running shoe options, don’t get too hung up on appearances. While we can appreciate wanting to look stylish and feel confident in your shoes, you should never compromise function for aesthetics.

The running shoe that looks the most attractive to you might not be the one you need for your running style and technique. It might not provide the proper support based on the structure of your foot.

While there are custom insoles you can buy to improve support and comfort, you need to start with a base (the running shoe itself) that offers what you need. 

8. Not Trying On Shoes Before Buying Them

Finally, one of the biggest running shoe buying mistakes is purchasing a pair of shoes without trying them on. And we know what you’re thinking, “How can I try on running shoes if I’m buying shoes online?”

Good question. We recommend going to a local athletic shoe store to try on various running shoes. Here, you can get a good feel for what works and what doesn’t. Then, if you want to save money by shopping online, you can return to your online store with a better idea of the type of running shoe you need.

Are You Making Any of These Running Shoe Buying Mistakes?

We couldn’t be more excited about your new hobby. Running is such an amazing way to get fit, get fresh air, and improve the quality of your life. Just make sure you aren’t making any of the running shoe buying mistakes listed above.

And if you want more fitness advice, health tips, or consumer guidance, stick around. Look through some of our other articles to find more valuable information.