Running Shoes: Top To Top

Top To Top is a top rated specialty running store that has been in business for the last 28 years with a belief that “Running is life. Pain is optional.” I agree!

If you are a runner, you know that the most critical thing to have is the proper footwear for the job! I am an avid runner and coin running as my “vice.” I listen to my body in terms of when it is sore or tired, when my joints are hurting or feeling great, and if I can push faster and harder through an extra ½-1 mile to finish my run. I always notice that my knees are the first part of my body to bother me when my shoes are “completely worn out” and I need a new pair! Actually, it is not just a need, it is a MUST; because the longer you wait to get new running shoes, the more damage you are doing on your body in the meantime and further increasing your risk of injury.

I ran Varsity Cross Country and Track in High school, incorporating approximately 50-60 miles per week, so I was very disciplined in getting new running shoes every 4-6 months. I still run frequently, however I am not as “in tune” to how many miles I have run or when I bought my shoes last (in order to estimate when I need new ones). I went into the Top To Top Running store on Wilshire in Los Angeles and brought my old shoes so that I could compare them to the ones on the market. The pleasant, knowledgeable employee told me that I had worn my shoes so thin that there was zero “gel or shock absorbency” left and that I was basically running with little to no support (on concrete-which is worse!). He said I had put about 4,000 miles on my shoes… I had no idea! He looked at my running biomechanics and fitted me in the Asics Gel Kayano 10 with soft top duomax shoes. I put the shoes on and felt like I was running on springs. I happily bought the shoes and ran or should I say, “Flew in them… the same day.” If you need new running shoes, here are some tips to think about:


  • Shop at the right time: Your feet swell throughout the day, so shop for shoes when they’re at their largest (either at the end of the day or after a workout).
  • Bring your socks: To get a proper fit, bring along a pair of the kind of socks you usually wear while running or working out.
  • Match your workout: Focus on one particular activity, whether it’s walking, biking, running, aerobics, or a court sport like tennis or basketball and get a shoe made specifically for that purpose.
  • Go for comfort now: Forget the idea that your shoes will stretch out or become broken in over time. Choose a pair that feels great the minute you put them on. Plan to try on several brands and styles to see what fits the best!
  • Check the fit: Pay attention to how the shoes fit. They shouldn’t pinch, rub, be too loose or too snug on the sides, or slide forward or backward as you move. When you walk, your heel shouldn’t slip out of the shoe.
  • Build in wiggle room: There should be roughly a half-inch of space (about the width of your thumb) between your big toe and the tip of the shoe. You should be able to wiggle all of your toes.
  • Move around: Don’t be afraid to walk, run, and jump your way around the store. The employees actually encourage it! Using your shoes is the best way to check for comfort, support, and fit.
  • Pay the price: While you don’t have to get the most expensive shoe, don’t skimp on quality. Good athletic shoes are designed to provide you with the proper support and cushioning to greatly reduce your risk of injury. Your body will be thankful and pay you back in the long term, believe me!
  • Replace your shoes regularly: Regardless of the quality of your shoes, they will take a beating if you use them frequently, and the most important part of the shoe (the support) will begin to break down. Expect to replace shoes every six to seven months.

*Treat your feet right, they will thank you later. Top to Top also has a weekly run club! Join the group that is nearest you!

If you would like to learn more about running, sport specific training regimens and and proper sports nutrition and hydration techniques, schedule an appointment with Courtney Walberg, Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer.