It’s September and in most parts of the US, race season has gotten under way. This also means that running stores and shoe makers will start to get low on stock, and you need to get the shoes you will finish the season with and wear for your race(s).
Anyone who got shoes in April, May or June should not, I repeat, should not, be using that same shoe for the remaining training runs and walks or their goal race. That shoe is DEAD and could allow you to get injured at a point in the season where your recovery and a return to workouts may not happen until after your goal race. Six months of training, wasted!
You should think about planning this Saturday or next, that you’ll join the group for a run, a quick group breakfast, and from there hit your favorite running store. (Bring baby wipes to freshen yourself if you’re worried about offending the staff.) You want to shoe shop after a run because your feet will be a bit swollen and your body will be more perceptive to how the new shoes fit and feel. This will help ensure that you get a shoe that won’t be too small on race day. If you can’t go after a run, go after work – many stores are open until 8pm during the week.
When shopping at this time of year, bring an open mind because as availability declines, you may find that you need to consider a different brand or model of shoe. Switching brands or models isn’t a bad thing, but it can be an adjustment. If you need to switch it up, by getting your shoes now, you have enough time to evaluate the new shoes and if needed, swap them out. Don’t be afraid to tell staff you have a race coming up, and ask them to hold your Plan B shoe, while the try to order your Plan A shoe from the vendor. You may need to leave a deposit, but a bird in the hand…
In addition to your shoes, get a couple new pairs of socks, wash and wear them 1-2 times and then put them on the shelf for race day. New socks on race day are a guilty pleasure, but they feel so good. Not only that, but if you compare the fluff and nap of the new socks to a pair you have now that you thought you’d race in, you will find that your current pair just isn’t as fluffy as the new ones. Fresh socks…the perfect complement to your new shoes.