The old me used to get my running sneakers just about anywhere, you know those stores in the mall, or the giant shopping center in your town. You know the drill: go when there's a sale, pick out a cute color and move on. Boy was I clueless...
That is until my hubby introduced me to Jack Rabbit. It was about 6 years ago, he had just taken up running (you can add that to a list of fitness hobbies, boxing is the latest). I went with him and naturally scored myself a pair (thanks hubby!!). Here's what makes Jack Rabbit everything I didn't know existed:
First you sign up your name (OK this was new, my usually routine involves walking over to the cute ones). Once your name is called (wait-time is never more than 5 mins) the sales person asks you all sorts of questions on your intended use for your new kicks. Let me stop right here and change "sales person" to Running Shoe Experts, really they've all ran a ton of marathons/triathlons and have put more miles on their shoes than you dare to imagine.
OK, so now that you and your expert are acquainted it's time to get on the treadmill, no really they make you run. Nothing crazy, but avoid wearing those new skinny jeans that you can't quite bend in yet.
There's a camera hooked up to the treadmill and after snapping a quick video (don't worry about any jiggles crazy, they just get your feet in the shot) your Running Shoe Expert analyzes your running style and how you plant your feet in motion. Based on this they recommend specific sneakers and it didn't stop there. My guy also pointed out that I was over pronating while I ran, asked if my knee was bothering me--- yes! I'd been starting to wear a brace while running (slow jog would be more accurate). Therefor the shoes he was recommending for me had more stability and support. He also suggested squats to strengthen my knee to fix the over pronating.
The only disappointment I had here was they really don't get the whole pick your shoes based on cuteness. So you might not get your first color choice. (hubby says I was insulting the guy with my color requests "Susan, this guy is helping you pick out a shoe to help you run better, he's not a stylist" Still, my guy went out of his way to get me an assortment of color options... and you know what? I loved those shoes. And now I only go here when I need a pair, and not to mention they have a Great selection of clothes for all types of sports (love my running jacket).
When it's time to get a new pair of running shoes this should be your only destination.
Also check out Jack Rabbit Training. They have all sorts of classes to improve your running, swimming or biking at every fitness level. If I ever get myself to do a full marathon (doubt it) I'll join the beginner's team.