Many people consider running to be a cheap sport.  You simply lace up your shoes and go.  This is true (and one of the best reasons to pursue the sport), but there is one investment that you should make even if you don't go for all the essential gear: good shoes.
Those ultra-lightweight training shoes are going to hurt more than help.  When you drop your foot down, your body is absorbing three times your body weight in shock.  Imagine the detriment of doing that practically barefoot.  Ouch.

So what's an aspiring runner to do?  Easy.  Hit up your local running store, and follow three simple words:

Do you underpronate or overpronate?  If you don't even know what that means, have a salesperson check out your form.  A lot of stores offer a treadmill that films your run in slow-mo.  Based on what you're doing, you'll be "prescribed" a shoe that fits your needs.

If you run a lot, you should opt for a shoe that can withstand an apocalypse (or a ton of mileage).  The same goes for your typical speed, races your run, etc.  Have established running goals so that you know what works.

Some people refuse to buy anything other than Nike, Asics, etc.  Unfortunately, shoe styles and designs change - don't get married to a brand.  What might have worked a year ago in Brooks could work better in Saucony the following year.  Oh, yeah.  And if any shoe promises to make your run faster, don't believe the hype.  Only you can do that.

By the way, if you're in Chicago, I highly recommend Fleet Feet in Old Town.  They've nailed my shoes every time.  And if anyone knows the clutch running store in New York, let me know.  I'm in the market.


Author's Bio: 

Hannah is a business school graduate, New Yorker, and an avid marathon runner. To date, she has finished over ten marathons including the Boston Marathon. With over a dozen years of competitive running under her belt, she began a running blog called She hopes to give runners an honest opinion of what has worked and what hasn't by calling upon her own personal experiences.