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
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.
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!