Obviously, this will be one of your most important running gear purchases, so take your time, do your homework, and buy a good pair. In fact, ALL of your shoes should be good shoes. After all, your feet will be carrying you around for a long time! Do remember that expensive does not necessarily mean good, safe, or healthy for you. Do your research. Try on not just several, but lots of pairs, and find out what works best for you. Many running stores will evaluate your run and help you determine which type of running shoe is best for you. Also make sure you have the right fit. Do not worry about what the number says. Worry about what your feet say when you try them on. It just so happens that my very first job at the age of 16 was working in a small family-owned shoe store; the kind with a personal touch. I’m by no means an expert, but I do know the importance of a good pair of shoes.
Several years before I started running, I read a review about that year’s best running shoes. It was part of a whole ‘best of the year’ series in a health and exercise magazine. One of the shoes that was highlighted as best for marathon running was the Asics Gel Kayano. It caught my eye because I had been wearing Asics athletic shoes for a good 8 to 10 years at that point. They just fit the shape of my feet very well. I snapped a picture of the write-up about the shoes, and kept it on my phone. The October, 2016 issue of Chicago Athlete mentions these shoes in its Fall 2016 Shoe Guide, and points to a more detailed review of these shoes here.
When I signed up for my first marathon, I decided to give these shoes a try. I found them online, on sale, and with a 30% off coupon to boot. Sold! I bought the shoes in two sizes, just to make sure I had the right fit. I wound up loving the shoes, and have bought several new pairs since. I love them so much, in fact, that I have two new pairs waiting to be worn. So far, Asics Gel Kayanos have taken me through four marathons, seven half marathons, and a few other smaller races without so much as a blister. I tend to find what I love and stick with what works. Are there better shoes out there for me? Maybe, but as in life, if you find something that makes you happy, stick with it.