If you have less than 2 weeks before your goal race…
Since you have little time to adjust to a new shoe, the key is to minimize the differences between your current shoe and your new one. This may be as easy as purchasing the newer model of the shoe. Usually, a move from a previous version to the latest iteration will require minimal adjustments.
If your shoe is totally discontinued, you have a few options:
- If your store cannot order any additional pairs of the discontinued shoe, you can always search online. Amazon, RoadRunner Sports and several other online retailers often have remaining stock you may be able to purchase for a discount.
- If there is no way to order an additional pair to get you through your race, then look for a shoe with a similar profile. Look for something close in weight, heel-to-toe drop and level of cushioning.
- No matter what shoes you end up with, be sure to break them in by wearing them on a longer run before your goal race. This helps ensure there are no hot spots or places in the shoe that may chafe—something you definitely don’t want to discover mid-race.
For some of us, finding the right running shoe is a Herculean struggle.
If you have 2-8 weeks before your goal race…
With a little more time before the big race, you don’t have to try and match your current shoe quite as much, but you’ll want to stick to pretty familiar territory, as you’ll be in the thick of training.
- Stick with a similar heel-to-toe drop—no more than a 2mm difference from your old shoe in either direction.
- Aim for a similar weight and cushioning profile, but try on several brands and models to determine which one feels the best. The key is to choose a shoe that can withstand your specific training demands. Marathoners logging 50-mile weeks may not want to choose a lightweight flat, for example.