Whether you’re on the lookout for a new pair of running shoes or some fresh kicks for everyday wear, the process of buying sneakers can be daunting.
While the fit and function are both crucial factors to consider, you’ll no doubt also want sneakers that look as good as they feel without breaking the bank. But when you start prioritizing style over substance, there’s a lot more chance of falling prey to some of the most common sneaker buying mistakes.
From sizing slip-ups to mistiming your trying-on sessions, keep reading to learn the errors to avoid when buying new sneakers.
1. Buying the Wrong Size
Although your shoe size might not change as much as your clothing size over the years, it’s not set in stone either. Shoe sizes can also vary a lot between different sneaker styles and brands so it’s a mistake to always assume you’ll be the same size.
And that’s before you consider international sizing. For example, a US female size 8 is usually somewhere between an EU size 40 and 41, but the exact size can depend on the specific brand. As such, even if you’re thinking of buying sneakers online, it’s always best to try a few pairs on in-store if possible.
Japanese sneakers make it easier by using measurements in cm instead of arbitrary sizes. So, while you can use the conversion chart to compare your usual US size with what you’d be in Japan, measuring the length of your foot gives you another, more precise, a reference point.
2. Not Considering the Activity
If you intend to use your new sneakers for running or any other kind of sport, it’s vital that you buy shoes designed for that activity. Doing so will ensure optimal comfort and help you avoid injury.
And, if you are looking for new running shoes, you’ll also need to consider the kind of surface you tend to run on as well as whether you prefer sprinting or long-distance running. At best, choosing unsuitable sneakers for the running you plan to do in them could seriously derail your personal best. At worst, you could be setting yourself up for a painful injury.
3. Ignoring the Importance of Comfort
Popular sneaker brands know how to market their latest styles to appeal to as many people as possible. But it’s a big mistake to set your heart on a new pair of sneakers without trying them on or doing your research first. And that goes double for those of you planning to use them for high-intensity sports like running.
Although looking stylish is always a nice bonus, you should always put your health and comfort first when buying shoes. Your feet need to carry you around all day so looking after them with a supportive, well-made pair of sneakers is the least you can do.
4. Trying On Sneakers in the Morning
Trying on sneakers is the best way to get a feel for how well they fit and whether they suit your needs and preferences. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to try on sneakers.
Your feet swell throughout the day, meaning you might find that you’re a whole different shoesize in the afternoon compared to what you are when you first wake up. With this in mind, make sure to try on new sneakers as late in the day as possible. Doing so helps you avoid buying sneakers that are too small and running the risk of blisters or sore spots.
It’s also worth noting that most people have one foot bigger than the other so make sure to try on both sneakers when comparing sneaker prices, styles, and fits.
5. Not Replacing Your Sneakers Often Enough
Wearing your beloved jeans long after they’ve become faded and full of holes is one thing. But continuing to wear your beaten-up old kicks long past their best is a big mistake.
Although you can get a few more miles out of your old running sneakers by using them for walking, we’d advise against this if the soles are worn in an uneven way. As for sneakers for running, you’ll need to replace these around every 300 to 400 miles to ensure they have enough shock absorption, cushioning, and stability to protect your feet.
6. Paying Too Much
When comparing sneaker prices, it can be easy to get caught in the trap of thinking that more expensive shoes are better. In some cases, brands have put in the research and development to back up their high prices, offering premium sneakers made for specific sports.
But if you work out regularly – and especially if you’re a runner – it’s often preferable to go for a solid but more economical pair of sneakers. This way, it won’t be as painful to replace them after only six months or so.
7. Not Staying True to Your Style
With so many different sneaker styles coming out all the time, it can be easy to get carried away by trends and hype, especially if you’re looking for streetwear sneakers. But it’s always worth taking a little time to consider new trends and whether they would fit in with your go-to looks. For example, if you’re a diehard fan of retro tennis shoes, would you really wear those multicolored chunky dad sneakers?
The same goes for sneakers for running, aerobics, or whatever else you plan on doing in them. If you tend to gravitate toward more low-key colors and styles, splashing out on a pair of neon green sneakers might not be the best plan, no matter how on-trend they are.
Common Sneaker Buying Mistakes
No doubt most of you have committed at least one of these sneaker buying mistakes at some point.
But, with our advice to guide you, you can be sure that errors like getting your shoesize wrong or hanging on to worn out old sneakers for way too long won’t happen again!
Want more informative insights and trustworthy advice? Check out our other blog posts for all the latest tips and tricks on everything from parenting to health!