I’ve never been to a specialty store before, let alone a running store. I had always thought those were reserved for the “real runners” like marathoners and those who logged 25+ miles a week.
But I decided to go take a visit to this mystical place full of shoes and gear and people who know about running.
My journey began on a Saturday afternoon in Nashua, N.H., at Runner’s Alley.
When I first walked in my eyes were caught by the fueling racks along the wall. I had been looking up different options online in preparation for my trip, so I wanted to see what these things looked like in person.
As I looked through every single water bottle and belt you could possibly think of, an older gentleman was getting fitted for a shoe. I had never been before, and figured, why the hell not?
That experience changed the way I look at shoes. Before, my most important criteria were colors and fit, nothing about neutrality or stability. I explained to the attendant that sometimes when I run in my current pair of shoes my right ankle hurts, and how I was thinking of switching brands altogether.
Turns out, I’ve been wearing a stability shoe for the past year and that might be causing my pain. But, she also said that I’m right on the line of the two kinds of running shoe. I could go either way.
I didn’t end up buying the pair I was fitted for, but wrote down the name and vowed to come back and get them when my current shoes wore out. I bought a few gels, which I haven’t tested yet, a handheld water bottle for Boston and an armband for my phone.
Overall, a great experience and a learning curve when it came to running. I highly recommend all runners to get fitted for a shoe, and Runner’s Alley in NH doesn’t charge you for it, and there’s no pressure to buy the shoe you pick.