Shopping for Running Shoes

I’ve always opted for normal, run of the mill running shoes.  You know, white and black, maybe a little gray or a dash of color — nothing bold or exciting. Just cheap, bland, and nothing that draws too much attention.

That’s all about to change.

I’m looking for gawdy stylish bold running shoes.  I’m not a brand loyalist, they can be Nike, Adidas, Reebok, etc.  These are the two I’m considering:

NIKE Air Zoom Katana Star

nike air zoom katana star1 300x227 Shopping for Running Shoes

Or… Nike Air Max 360

nike air max Shopping for Running Shoes

What do you guys think?  I’m leaning toward the red, white, and blue Air Zooms in celebration of tax day — maybe I can wear them into the post office on April 15th as I send off my check to Uncle Sam.

I’ll be careful not to cry on them.

35 thoughts on “Shopping for Running Shoes”

  1. The Zoom, for sure. In fact those look so good I may get a pair in a couple of months. By the way, great job loosing the weight maaan.

  2. Neither, unless you’ve tried on 37 different pairs first. Never buy a pair of running shoes based on reviews or anything but your own fit. Go to a few stores and try on lots and lots of shoes. Buy based on fit. That’s 15 years of running experience talking.

  3. I would make sure to try on each shoe if possible. I have always argued with my wife over this because she would choose function over fashion.

    If the fit is the same, I would go with the Katana stars.

    For some reason, I have always loved New Balances. You may want to look at these shoes: http://digg.com/u1IPo I don’t know if they are as bold as the shoes that you are currently looking at.

  4. I came to find your site through BuzzFeed and I too am trying to loose weight like you, in fact from a similar starting point. Firstly let me say that I think you are very brave to put it all out there and show what your doing and how it is affecting you as well as totally owning your own s%!t. It is hard for many overweight people to do that as we do tend to like to put ourselves down and make ourselves feel less worthy.

    I am being inspired by reading your blog and have subscribed to it to give me some extra motivation in my own personal fight.

    I think your right that small changes make big differences. After all I didn’t sit one night and eat 50 double cheese pizzas and suddenly I was fat, it was a slow and gradual process and I think removing it will be a similar process, so each small change matters, even that walk to the mailbox or parking the car a few lines back.

    Thank you again for being honest and putting your story out there, I for one appreciate it.

  5. I like the air max 360 myself, Congrats on the weight loss but the way, Just found this site and am really inspired by it. Keep up the good work.

  6. I’ve worn Nike runners for years and they make ‘em good and some are even good looking. If you’ve got an Academy Sports nearby compare their prices with others. They beat Dick’s and Sports Authority by a few bucks on just about everything .

    Keep up the good work!

  7. My brother runs track, and he goes to Fleet Feet for his shoes. They make fun of you if you try to buy shoes based on color. What they do is put you on a treadmill and take pictures of you running and walking and they pick out the best shoes for your particular feet. If you don’t like the color, too bad! :)

    I don’t know if you have a store like that nearby, but it’s definitely worth it when you’re paying big bucks for shoes.

  8. You may want to check out the adidas megabounce shoe line – i have a pair and they are the most comfortable pair of sneakers i have ever worn. I’ve convinced three other friends to try them out and they agree.

    Also, I have wide feet and Nike’s seem to always be on the more narrow side.

    KEEP IT UP!

  9. Hey man – I think either of these shoes will just leave you with knee, ankle, joint pain, etc. You need a shoe for a big guy (like me). I’m a 235-pound Irish dude who celebrates the end of a run with a beer and a slice of pizza, and I can’t buy a shoe built for a 160-pound Kenyan. Go to a store that knows something about running and have them fit you. Google around on Runner’s World’s website and read up on “stability” shoes, which is what you probably need. The Brooks Beast is a classic for big dudes, I’ve worn them myself. Seriously man – if you buy the wrong running shoes, you will regret it.

  10. I’m curious why you’re looking for bold looks and not comfort and quality.

    I’ve been a New Balance customer for many many years (probably going on 15 now), buying a new pair about once a year. I wouldn’t buy another brand.

  11. Given your weight, I would get properly fitted for running shoes. I was at 285 lbs and have dropped to 220 lbs. When I was at 285 I was told by fitter at a store (they video taped me running to evaluate) that because of my weight I would need extra support to steady my foot. They are not pretty, but I used a pair of very supportive New Balance 993s. Good luck and keep up the good work. One of my happiest days was when I could get into a pair of 36 pants- for the first time since middle school and down from a 44.

  12. Like some other posters, I’m partial to New Balance Shoes. Personally, I find that the Nike shoes don’t support the back of my foot well enough, but they do make excellent running apparel.

    I’d wander into a running store for a proper fitting. You can always buy those shoes online later if the price is too high (buy some socks if you feel bad about the salesman’s lost commission). Otherwise, between the two, I like the Air Max.

  13. i like the nike katana.
    if you’re getting the 360, don’t get them off ebay.
    you probably would want the new balance 993s.

  14. They are both fun-looking running shoes!

    Have you been to a running store at all for a foot analysis? I did this years ago and realized I was wearing the wrong shoes for my very flat feet. I highly recommend going to see what they say, it changed how my feet felt during and more importantly-after I ran.

  15. Listen to Boston_Big_Runner above. I am in the same boat, 6’4′, 250, runner and need stable shoes. You will too. Your weight right now will stretch your arch and cause you to get plantar faciitis – a painful injury that will end your workouts. Get a strong stable shoe! I for one, use the New Balance 993′s like the guy above; great shoe, great confort. I use inserts for additional support as well.

    Good luck on continued health!

  16. I recently found the MBT shoes. That are made to burn more calories while even standing. I have been wearing them for exercise for just over 2 weeks and I can tell yeah it does access muscles my normal shoes didn’t. Still not sure about the calorie burning but I am willing to give them the opportunity.

    I agree with Runner750. Try on all kinds of shoes before you pay. I always try on at least 10 pairs before I do. Although I almost always end up with one of the first 2 I tried.

  17. I second the suggestion for Fleet Feet. It is really important to get a shoe that fits correctly, or you’ll end up hurting yourself. Find a store that focuses only on running – Fleet Feet is fantastic, but I’m sure there are others. They will watch you jog and give you a couple of options. Tell them you’re new to running, and what you are planning on doing (5 miles a week, three hours a week, whatever). I’ve never had anyone laugh at my tiny mileage or even my complete inexperience the first time I walked in and said “I don’t really run, but I’m starting to train for a 5k. I need shoes.”

  18. I am with boston big runner. I am 220 and i tend to kill nikes in quick form.

    I would go with some brooks, sauconys or asics. I currently run with Asics kayanos and they have plenty of cushion which is what we need. Buy more than 1 pair to switch off with to keep the shoes from getting too much wear too quick and giving your joints problems.

  19. I’m nth-ing the comments about trying them on. Go to a running store and let them evaluate how you run and recommend you shoes. This is extremely important! Running shoes aren’t like normal shoes – they have support and bumps and ridges in different places that can either make or ruin your experience.

  20. I found your blog on consumerist. I’ve worn a variety of running shoes, but I have to say that I’m now a devoted New Balance fan. Other brands seem to lose support after a few months and fall apart after about a year. New Balance shoes lose support after about a year and don’t really fall apart at all. They’re not as loud or flashy, but they often have reflective surfaces for night running safety.

    For consideration, I’m really small. I can’t say NB is better than a shoe fit to a bigger guy. That sounds like it could be something good to look into.

    Good luck!

  21. I didn’t realize I had a lot of shoe connoisseurs reading my blog, I HAVE to get to know my audience better :)

    I didn’t intend on buying these shoes JUST for style, I figured they’d be comfortable too, considering they’re $60 and $100 respectively. I will definitely have to look into a local place that sells shoes and can custom fit a shoe for me.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  22. I agree with all the people who suggested going to a running store and getting fit for shoes.

    Also, I agree with all the people who love Brooks.

    Good luck with the running.

  23. If you want a system that will help keep you on a run/walk schedule, where you can easily time your workouts and chart your progress, look into the Nike+ system. Advantage is its based on the iPod for music too.

    The Nike+ way completely changed the way I looked at exercise and progress.

  24. Tyler,

    Very relieved to hear you will go to a running store to be fitted! It makes all the difference in the world. Running in shoes that are not selected to accommodate your unique stride and foot stability upon hitting the ground can actually injure you. And injury would set you back on your progress to your goals!

    When you go to the running store, ask them how many miles they think the shoes will last for you and tell them what sort of surfaces you plan to run on. running surface, stride and weight all make a difference in how long they will actually do their job of protecting your body!

    I would guess that they will put you in a ‘stability’ shoe. Don’t be surprised if you have to go up a half size or even full size in running shoes, either. Also, generally speaking, the taller or heavier you are, the lower the life expectancy of the shoes for their intended purpose. Keep a log of your miles so you have some idea when you should get new shoes. If you aren’t sure whether it’s time, go to the store, try on a brand new pair of the same shoe–if it is noticeably cushier, it’s time! And it’s fine to wear your old running shoes for casual wear–just don’t run in them.

    Once you know what shoes you need, there are lots of place to get them discounted online!

    Best of luck to you!

  25. Should have added-once you know the ‘type’ of shoe you need, try that ‘type’ on in several brands. I’ve found that Asics fit me the best, but that’s me and my crazy feet. Par t of most people’s brand loyalty comes from the way the shoes fit their feet.

    A running store will let you return the shoes if they don’t work out and help you find something better for your individual needs.

    One other recommendation–stay away from cotton socks. They absorb sweat, and then chafe your feet to give you blisters. You can ask about socks at the running store as well.

  26. Personally I wear Adidas Supernova Control. They changed the name to Supernova Sequence… I went through many brands and a LOT of money to find the right running shoe for me. If you have a running shoe store available, I highly suggest getting properly fitted and getting the right shoe the first time. I now have many pairs of very expensive “wearing” sneakers!
    You need to spend your money on diapers and cute baby girl dresses ;)

  27. i don’t think nikes are good running shoes i tride running in them and they made my feet hurt so bad i love asics running shoes they very nice. i got to admit nikes have way better dyzines then asics though but i am a fast runner.

  28. Don’t go by how they look — that’ll get you in trouble. Go by how they feel when you put them on. I caused a small fortune’s worth of ankle injury from wearing “pretty” running shoes for 6 months. And that ankle injury? It was three years ago — long term damage that still affects me. So go into a store, put em on, and take a jog around the block. Then do it again, at least three more times with three more pairs of shoes, and see how they feel. Good luck!

  29. P.S. thought I’d share. I don’t know what my shoes are called, but they’re Nikes that are silver with the checkmark in pink. They are so comfortable! And are made for wider feet, which is good for us bigger people.

    1. Okay, so I am a year late. You probably made your choice and have replaced them by now. I actually purchased a pair of Katanas last year as well (based on looks). I am a bigger guy too. I typically wear Brooks and have been fitted for shoes at a local store and purchased another pair of Brooks based on that – but often I found myself going back to the Katana. They fit well, actually a little snug. I wear them on the treadmill and running. I find they feel great in zumba and other cross training sessions. They felt good on my feet for short distances. 5Ks were no problem, even running up to 6 miles I felt fine. I wore them in a half marathon and after 9 miles couldn’t feel my feet. I wanted more cushion, so I went back to Brooks Beasts. But many times in a 5K or zumba I still grab the Katana. Now they are dead – my feet burst through the top meshing on both feet like the Incredible Hulk. When I go back to the Beasts, my feet feel more lose in them and the shoes are heavier. My knee feels tired after running. I am trying to find something that has more cushion than the Katana for longer distance, but isn’t as heavy and bulky as the Beast. Good luck to you – I hope your running is continuing and you are doing well.

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