Cinnamon Rushes: Get Shoes Fast.

Be Prepared!
Image via art.com

The first and greatest principle of professional filmmaking is that efficiency and haste are not the same thing. It’s crucial to ensure that you get things right the first time, otherwise you’re going to have to spend extra time to do it all over again.  What’s great about having this lesson drilled into me time and again is that I’ve learned to translate my sense of urgency into many areas of my life. A little research can save a lot of hassle, whether you’re lighting a scene or shopping for running shoes.

Here’s the scenario: the Director of Photography (aka Cinematographer) asks me for a cup of coffee.  It’s a simple task, so I just rush off to craft service right?  Nope.  First I ask how he’d like it. Then I check with my boss to make sure it’s a good time for me to step away. Sure, it takes longer, but how much time would I need to re-make it if it’s wrong?  Or what if I’m needed to address a technical issue while I’m gone? In the movies, minutes can cost millions, so it’s important to be thorough.

This thorough approach can be applied to the selection of…well…anything really, but today I’ll focus on choosing a new pair of running shoes.  There is much to be said for finding a model you like and sticking with it, but we all know sometimes our favorite shoes get discontinued, sometimes they’re hard to find in stores and sometimes they just stop working for you. One way or another, when selecting the proper pair of shoes it’s important to have all the facts in place before you spend four hours visiting different stores to check out different models, driving the sales staff crazy trying on all the different kinds, speculating on whether you should choose form over function

Form or Function?
How am I supposed to choose the reliable but conventional sedan when the candy apple red convertible is sitting right next to it? Those Ravennas are HOT!

Luckily, the inception of the Internet in the early 90’s has brought us many fancy-pants ways to research and discuss our shoes.  The following are some sites that can make your research more fun.

  • The Runner’s World Shoe Finder. The mother of all shoe finders.  The old standby.  The first thing that pops up when you google ‘find running shoes.’  I’ve been using the shoe finder for years, curious about how answering just a few simple questions can yield me 45 different options.  The great part is you might discover something new or different – a friend of mine who works at Paragon Sports was just telling me about a K-Swiss shoe that he really likes.  K-Swiss makes decent running shoes? I had no idea – but the RW Shoe Finder did.  Other options include finding running shoes similar to a shoe you really like (great if your model is discontinued!) and an advanced search based on shoe properties like weight and heel cushion.
  • Mizuno My Precision Fit. This fun and flashy quiz will get you hopping on one foot, single-leg squatting and bending your pinky finger backward to help figure out the best Mizuno Shoe for you.  I run in Mizunos and really love them (attention Mizuno staff: wear tester opportunity!) so I’m partial to this one, but it’s a lot of fun to do no matter what brand of shoes you wear, and it gets you thinking about what to look for in the perfect pair.
  • Brooks Shoe Advisor. If you’ve ever thought about switching to Brooks but were puzzled over which shoe would match up to your current favorite then wonder no more, my friend.  Brooks has two ways to search for shoes – the more standard fit/form guide and a nifty comparison shopping guide. The way they say it, “Tell us what brand and shoe you sport. We’ll show you something better.”
  • Dummies.com actually has a great article called Finding the Right Running Shoes for Dummies.  It’s not as flashy as any of the above, and it won’t necessarily point you to a specific shoe but the illustrations are fantastic and it’s a great educational resource if you’re new to all this.

Once you figure out what you’re looking for in a shoe, you’ll be able to visit your local running store with a clear idea of what to try on.  Use the rule of three: narrow your choices down to three models, have three backups, just in case none of your first choices work.

Remember when you were little and new shoes were AMAZING? Yeah. this was like that.

Finally, armed with all your research you can visit your local running store!  Be proud to enter as an informed consumer rather than as a wishy-washy shopper who has no idea what she wants or needs! Know your shoe size and offer it to the sales staff with your list of three models to try on.  Marvel when one fits perfectly and you’ve found the perfect shoe in less than ten minutes!*

*actually happened to me last time I switched models

Dear reader, you may ask, “Shouldn’t I buy online? Isn’t it faster?”  Well, are you considering how long it will take to ship the shoes?  What if you aren’t home to receive the delivery and you have to pick the package up somewhere far away?  Have you considered how long it will take you to visit the post office or FedEx if the shoes are wrong?  The fastest way is not always the most efficient, grasshopper.

Now that you’re so efficient, you can budget in some running time!

Cinnamon made Salty Running, takes lots of pictures and drinks lots of coffee. By day she's a camera assistant for films and tv in New York, and by night she's on a quest for zen in the 10k. Her writing is a mix of satirical humor, finding wholeness as an average runner, cheering for runners at all paces and more.

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4 comments

  1. I think you still need to keep an open mind when entering the running store with your three choices, especially if it’s a store with a well-qualified staff (which should be your main criteria for settling on a running shoe store). I’ve often left with a completely different shoe than I had in mind, and once a second option that turned out pretty good when I bought it online a few months later. Often what sounds good in print or works well for other runners / reviewers feels completely different on our feet.

    1. I agree, Greg. However, if you don’t have an idea of where to start you could be in that store for a long time. The last time I went for shoes I needed to pick a pair of NIkes. I hadn’t researched them so had no idea. It took me over an hour to settle on one–I think I tried on every pair of NIkes they had and still felt uneasy about the ones I left with. I now really like them and would have have chosen them more readily had I researched in advance–on paper they are also the right shoe. Imagine if I was open-minded about all brands. I would have been there all day! But maybe I’m just too picky 🙂

    2. I see where you’re coming from, Greg. I do think it’s important to keep an open mind like you say, but if you’re trying to spend less than an hour on the project it’s pretty important to narrow down your options. Believe me, if I had all day to try on shoes I’d test out every pair in the store!

      1. I do agree with having some options in mind going into the store, no doubt. And since I hate shopping of nearly any kind, taking all day is not much of a risk for me, admittedly. I’d tend to just find the first thing that works and move on.