New Running Shoes! : Including A Review of A Local Running Store, My First Professional Shoe Fitting, and Joining the Ranks of Mizuno-Wearing Runners

I had an incredibly exciting weekend.  Well, exciting to me, anyway. Granted, it may not seem all that exciting to others . . . but I’m betting that at least some of you would agree that buying new running shoes is ALL KINDS of exciting.

And, to top it off there were also fantastic running clothes – ON SALE.  Actually, I would venture to say that it was beyond exciting.  The whole experience was down right jubilant!  Want to hear about it?

So let me say that as a relatively new runner still (I’m approaching a full year since I started), I had not yet bought running shoes from a proper running store before.  I’ve been shopping for other items at these shops for several months and have been patiently waiting for the right time to buy new shoes.  Having racked up many miles on my old shoes (which are great, but I bought from an outpost of a giant sporting goods chain) it was time.

Portland has several options for local running stores, but I decided to head to the Sellwood location of Foot Traffic.  Foot Traffic has four locations in the Portland Metro area and I’ve bought an item or two from them before, but never anything that required much assistance from a staff member.  I knew, though, that since I’m steadily increasing my weekly mileage, I wanted to get input from a knowledgeable employee who could help lead me to the right shoe.

My experience at Foot Traffic was fantastic and if any of you reading are in the Portland area, I highly recommend them.  There was one sales staff on duty when I arrived.  The store had a steady flow of customers throughout my time there, yet the staff person was very attentive and helpful to me while still attending to other customers in the store.  She considered the shoe I had been wearing, information about my running preferences, and took a look at my stride/gait in order to help direct my focus.  I tried on several pairs of shoes and after running around in each of them, I found myself returning to a pair of Mizuno Wave Precision 12s.  The sales person also chatted with me about the brand in general, since I haven’t worn them before, shared feedback from other customers who had purchased that particular shoe, and kindly saw my transaction through to the end.  She also made sure that I knew about the store’s 30-day return policy – if the shoes don’t seem to work for me once I log a few runs in them, I am assured that I can exchange them for another model.

Also, I mentioned sale-priced running clothes.  I was thrilled to snag a pair of Oiselle running shorts and Mizuno thermal running pants for the winter at 50% off!  All in all, I had a great experience at Foot Traffic and will definitely return for future running gear needs.

As for my new shoes, I took them out for an easy 3 mile run on Monday.  I am still breaking them in – they felt a bit snug – but I think once they log a few more miles they will be fantastic.  They definitely provide decent cushion against the pavement while remaining lightweight and flexible.  I’m looking forward to getting some more miles in them.

I also very much enjoyed the process of having some professional assistance with my running shoe purchase – it was a huge change from going to a general purpose sporting goods store.  Plus, did I mention SALE Oiselle shorts?!  It really doesn’t get better than that!

Are any of you Mizuno wearers?  What do you think of them?

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