Buying my first (expensive) pair of running shoes at Fleet Feet

The weather is getting warmer and my last semester of undergrad will be coming to a close on Monday! :O I’ve got a lot of studying to do this week and a huge report that I have to start finish, but I’m so excited about being done with school. I’m mentally planning all of the things that I want to do after our move back to St. Louis is complete and I have some more free time. One of those things that I’m excited about is running.

On the track

Every summer, I get back into running. It’s like clockwork; once winter arrives, it becomes too cold for me to run outside. Since I’m not fond of treadmills or gyms, the running ceases until the weather becomes warmer again.  My first run of the year is always like greeting an old friend.  It felt really good, but my foot was hurting a little bit afterwards and I was pretty sure it was because of my shoes.

The tennis shoes I had been using were ones that I’ve had since my junior year of high school. I looked back at some pictures taken during tennis season and saw I was wearing the same shoes! They were really starting to fall apart – and no kidding after almost six years.

So I went out and bought a new pair from Kohl’s. I really like New Balance, so I picked out a pair that seemed comfortable and were a pretty reasonably price. But when I went running in them later, the shoes really hurt the arch of my left foot. I’m assuming they must have had some built in correction for pronation, but since I have a pretty normal gait, it just really hurt – and more so than my old shoes!

If there is one piece of advice I hear over and over from experienced runners, it’s that it’s worth it to invest in a pair of good running shoes. What’s kept me from doing that in the past is how expensive they can be. My sister-in-law used to work at a running store called Fleet Feet, so I knew that a good pair could be anywhere from $100 and up. The price tag is a bit scary, but I knew if I wanted to keep running,  a good pair of running shoes would be worth the price. There is a local Fleet Feet in Kansas City, so I figured that would be the place to go since they offer professional gait analysis for free.

The store was empty when I first arrived, which was nice because I got the attendant’s full attention. She was really friendly and asked me what kind of mileage I was doing and what shoes I had been using before. She flipped my shoe over and showed me the wear on my shoe; I tend to strike on the inside of my heel and then midfoot. She then took some measurements of my feet and then analyzed my arches while I was standing and while I was walking. Apparently I have pretty normal feet.

Side View

Since I tend to like New Balance shoes, she brought out three different pairs; each had a different size cushion and heel, and she suggested the two that had more of a cushion. She also let me use socks that were designed for running while trying on the shoes, since I just had plain cotton socks with me, which was nice. I tried them all on, but the one that felt the most comfortable was the mid-sized cushion. They felt very light instead of clunky, which I liked, but they still provided enough support. It was a bit tight in my toes, though. I was wearing a 9, which I normally wear an 8 or 8.5, but I know that with running shoes you tend to get a size larger. The 9.5’s felt really good, but they were a bit loose in my heel. She tied the laces using the second eyelet so that it would bring the back of the shoe forward and that helped.

She wanted to show me a few more brands to see if there was anything else that I liked better. They were all lighter shoes, so they were very comfortable, but they just didn’t fit as well as the New Balance. I have a really narrow heel, so on some of them my heel kept slipping, even with the laces tied to bring the back forward.

I kept going back to the New Balance shoes. I walked around in the store with them on and they felt very comfortable and secure, but I wanted to make sure they felt right while I was actually running and didn’t cause any pain.  She said it was perfectly fine for me to go outside and run in them, so I took her up on the offer. I jogged down the sidewalk past the other stores in the shopping center, and they felt very light – and best of all, no pain!

Posing after my run with my new running shoes.
Posing after my run this morning with my new running shoes.

That confirmed my decision for me. These were the shoes! I was very excited to have found a pair that fit so well, but also were pretty cute. Oftentimes runners have to picks shoes that are comfortable and fit right, but don’t come in colors they care for. So I lucked out on both.

I went in and nervously asked the price. She said they were one of their more affordable shoes at $100, so I was really happy to hear they weren’t more than that! I also ended up buying the pair of running socks she let me use while trying on shoes, but I only bought the one pair because they were $12! That’s a bit much for one pair of socks, but they were really comfortable and I know they will help with blisters. It will be nice to have a good pair for races and for a couple runs a week (depending on when I do laundry).

Overall, I was really happy with my experience at Fleet Feet. The service was great, and even though the shoes are a bit pricey for me, I think the shoes I bought are really worth the money I paid for them. Plus, I think this will motivate me to keep running past the summer months. My sister and I signed up for a 5k in September, so I am already envisioning super runner Becca. ;)

Note: I was not paid or compensated in any way for sharing my experience with Fleet Feet Sports or my New Balance running shoes. All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.

15 thoughts on “Buying my first (expensive) pair of running shoes at Fleet Feet”

  1. Very cute shoes! I don’t run at all, but it does sound like a nice way to let off steam and such.

    I’m with you with prices though. I’m not fond of spending a lot on shoes. Usually I try to get them on sale, but I will pay more if they’re super comfortable. My feet are picky!

    1. My feet are really picky too! I did die a little inside when I paid my total, but I know it will be worth it. I’m hoping they last a long time!

  2. Thats cool that you’re going to start running! Runnings good for you! How old is your sister?
    Do you have a job lined up yet? I’m going to be a camp counselor at my old school for the summer. :) I need to start running; I’m thinking about going vegan!

    1. I always look forward to summer so I can start running again! I always feel so much stronger and healthier. My sister is 28 so there’s a bit of a gap between us but I’m really excited to be able to see her more often!

      Haha no. I have unemployment lined up for me lol. I haven’t started applying anywhere tho. I’m just trying to focus on getting through finals and this move. Just thinking about moving is seriously stressing me out! And then after we’re somewhat settled I’m gonna apply errywhere. ;) I really want to take a bit of a break because I’m so exhausted. So we will see what happens! That’s great you have a summer job lined up!

  3. Niiice! I had to recently go shopping for new workout shoes, and I chose a Nike running shoes for about $70 because I couldn’t justify paying anything more than $100. Heck, I can’t ever justify paying that much for a pair X_X. But I’m glad you found a pair you like. I really like the colour! :D Have fun with the new shoes and all the running you plan to do! ^_^

  4. It’s great that you had such good, and knowledgeable, customer service… seems like you made a good choice store-wise. And hurrah for good shoes – I hope the stand you well

  5. I can’t justify a purchase over a certain amount for shoes, because I find great shoes at great places at flea markets and thrift stores. I make sure to inspect shoes and whatnot before buying them. I even got new shoes recently, a new pair of blue converses :D You can find great shoes at great prices in just small shops. I’m glad that you’re happy with your purchase, though :D If you think it was worth it, that’s good =) It helps you move forward with your life and your running, then I’m proud of you!

    1. I normally don’t buy shoes half as expensive as these ones either, which I mention in the post. As a college student, I normally just can’t afford to spend a lot on things like that. But these were more of a graduation present myself, and as all the other shoes were hurting my feet, I felt the price was worth it if it meant I wasn’t injuring myself.

  6. I like the color pattern of your running shoes! It looks cute and stylish~

    Wow! I can’t believe how long your previous pair of shoes lasted! Mine usually has a lifespan of ~1.5 years XD. New Balance makes some great shoes, so you made a good choice ;).

    The attendant from the store sounds really skilled with knowing the type of shoes you need based on your feet!! The thing about shoes is that sometimes, you really need to spend over $75 if you want something that will last. Especially with this case, you’re going to be doing some activities so you need the proper cushioning to prevent any long-term injury. (eg. Why people shouldn’t run with sandals/heels/etc). I’m glad to hear that you’re satisfied with your purchase ^__^.

  7. Awhile back, I purchased a $50.00 pair of Skechers. Those shoes were incredibly comfortable and believe it or not, I still have them! The pair I bought are actually running shoes, which I used for my P.E. class and my upcoming P.E. class YOGA! Just like your old ones that you had to give up, mine are also falling apart. However, I still wear them from time to time.

    It’s always good to invest in a pair of shoes or running shoes that will be worn more than 5 times. IF you buy a pair of shoes that’s cheaper, per say $20.00 than you will get $20.00 worth of shoes. Believe me, I’ve purchased shoes from Payless Shoes Stores, and they wore out half way through the semester when I was in high school.

    I’m glad you’re able to start running again. It does feel good to run. I had an Intermediate Walking class that I took a semester ago, and I was the Professor’s most improved student because I opted to run half the time, and it also helped to have other classmates to help you along the way.

  8. I was like that too with my running habits! Except for me, it was autumn when the weather is just perfect in Texas. Even though I prefer running outside, I ended up getting a treadmill to keep up the habit. No more excuses related to the weather for me, haha.

    I’m glad you had such a good experience at Fleet Feet! That sounds like a really good idea to get advice and make sure you have the right running gear. Otherwise, you could risk injury. I love the way the shoes look too. It’s a nice color, and I like the hints of bright colors. If they feel and fit great, then I think it’s worth the price!

  9. Those shoes look really nice too. I’m glad you found some that don’t hurt your feet. I have such a problem with finding shoes to fit my feet – especially when it comes to tennis shoes. I do want to go and not worry about a price tag but I also don’t feel like I exerciser enough to justify it. Plus, I’m not a runner, I tend to work on an elliptical and do some very light weights – haha! I will have to keep that brand in mind though. I know of them but I can’t remember if I ever had a pair from them. Thanks for the info!

    1. I used to think that I didn’t use my shoes enough to justify the price tag, either. But I also had shoes that held up for quite a long time and I know I’m going to be using them more than my old pair, so I’m hoping they last a long time, too!

      I’ve never been very fond of the elliptical for some reason. I’m hoping to hit the gym more often this summer though to tone up, so I’ll have to fit that into some of my routines.

  10. Nice shoes! It’s always worth investing in things you’ll use a lot. My dad said to me once that “you can’t afford to buy cheap”, and it’s generally a good rule! Unless you’re buying something like tinned tomatoes, hah.

    I always see skincare as an investment – as in, I’d be willing to pay more because I feel like the difference between a £5 cleanser and a £15 one is often pretty big in terms of quality. But not always!

    Hope you’re well & yay for almost being done with college!

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