Girls Run Wild

Buying Running Shoes in San Francisco

Posted on: June 29, 2011

The average running shoes can clock about 300-500 miles before needing replacement – which can be anywhere from a few months to even years.  Working out on cardio equipment such as an elliptical machine does not wear as quickly on a pair of running shoes either – each mile on these machines wears down your shoes at only a fraction of the rate of actual running mileage.  As someone who probably logs about 80-100 running miles and a few dozen hours on cardio machines each month, my rule is come about 6 months, it’s time for a new pair of kicks.

With so many styles and types of running shoes out there for every foot “condition” possible, how does one find the best shoe for his or her feet?  Well, that really depends.  If you’ve been running for a while now and know what brand of shoe you like, it’s easy enough to walk into any shoe store (or even online) and walk out with a new pair pretty quickly.  I don’t spend too much time thinking about how a particular shoe may or may not help with my overpronation or if it really will give me more energy when I run  – I usually stick with what feels comfortable and what, after years of experience, won’t give me blisters.

The debate is out there over whether more cushioning or none at all is better for runners.  I don’t see myself running barefoot anytime soon – or even in these hideous monstrosities (sorry to offend) – but I’m also not going to spend too much time focusing on how my running “equipment” is going to make or break my performance.  However, I do know that a good pair of running shoes need to actually fit or they could just be a waste of $100.

For those of you looking for a little more guidance in the running shoe purchasing department, San Francisco has a few stores that specialize in selling all things running. also has an online “shoe finder” and their monthly magazines often offer reviews of the newest shoes out there.  If you feel like you would benefit from a more high level evaluation of your stride and foot placement before purchasing your next pair of runners, California Pacific Medical Center offers a Running Clinic in which physical therapists provide gait analysis, individualized exercise programs, and recommendations for achieving running goals.  If you are new to running or are curious about what your body really looks like when you run, this clinic can be a great way to evaluate your form and possibly address how your technique may be contributing to pain or injury.

For those of you just looking for a store to find your next pair of running shoes, below is a list of the best stores for doing just this in the City.  If you’re not looking to spend upwards of $100-$120 right now, don’t ignore the sale rack.  You can often get last season’s styles for half off (and the difference in shoes between seasons can often be unidentifiable) or try shopping online at where shipping on returns is free.  I know running shoes sound like an investment, but just remember that they are going to get you through 300-500 miles.  That’s a lot of wear and tear for $100.

Running Shoe Stores in San Francisco:

  • On The Run (1310 9th Avenue x Irving – 415-665-5311)
  • See Jane Run (3910 24th Street x Sanchez – 415-401-8338 )
  • Fleet Feet Sports (2076 Chestnut x Steiner – 415-921-7188)
  • Sports Basement (2 locations: 1590 Bryant – 415-575-3000 & 610 Old Mason – 415-437-0100)

Have a favorite running shoe store in the Bay Area?  Please share!


1 Response to "Buying Running Shoes in San Francisco"

Great post! Changing the demands placed on the body is often the cause of injury. Changing demands can involve simply changing the surface you run on, or changing the shoes that you run in. Large changes to activity can often lead to problematic episodes of injury.

Here at ProGait we advocate having your gait analysed before you embark upon any of these changes, so that you can get some sound professional advice to reduce the risk of injury.

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