Runner's Shop/Store...?

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#1
I'll make this cycling related by saying that I'm finding my running is making me stronger on the bike :p

I've been doing this program called "Couch to 5K" (C25K) that is designed to get a couch potato from the couch to run 5 kilometers in 10 weeks. I'm redoing week six right now, as I want to up my pace before I move on to the longer runs. I'm doing this all on a good quality treadmill I bought a while back from a guy that was stuck with it hours before he was to leave the country, I did not really want it, but the price was too good to say no to, and the guy was in a real bind. I've never been a runner, but I'm finding I'm really enjoying this. I like running on the treadmill, as I can set my pace and stick to it, and the treadmill has a bit of give, which is important as I'm still rather large :eek: (down to 113Kg today from a high of 136Kg, goal below 90Kg) and I don't scare the locals by staying inside. Remember they do still hunt whales here :eek: but I am wanting to move my running outside, honestly the treadmill is BORING :rolleyes: I do fear for my knees and ankles, so I think it is worth the money to go to a good running shop and get properly fitted with shoes that are good for me. Of course one that has some staff that speaks English would be great, but not really that important, so if you know of a good shop, I'd sure be happy to hear about it.

Thanks!
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#2
For basic running, this is all much less complicated than bikes;

Go and try some on at a shop, get your size, then buy online if you want to save cash. Wiggle also do a lot of running gear; I bought some top of the range Asics a while ago as a gift for someone, and they cost me half what you would pay in Japan.

Other stuff you will need are shorts, maybe compression tights (but if you are only running 5km, that is not such a biggy), and a t-shirt. Something to prevent nipple and inner thigh rub would be useful too.

As for the actual location of shops, I don't see why the larger department stores, with a leaning to sports, will not have mid to high level shoes in there for you to try.
 

theDude

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Oct 7, 2011
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Tokyo
app.strava.com
#3
A good running store should have a treadmill to try things out on and perhaps even a camera to help look at your pronation.

I haven't seen these in Japan, but haven't really looked. I've have found them in London and in the US most recently. The treadmill was quite nice, was able to test run some new balance minimus shoes. Of course, once I tried them for a real workout, they hurt like hell and am now back to my normal shoes.

Personally I've always liked New Balance shoes. They have a big store in omotesando.... No idea if they have fitting folks there or any treadmills tho. Usually buy mine when I go to the US cuz they are cheaper.
 

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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#4
To me, shoe sizes seem brand-specific. So you should not only know your size, you should know your Nike size, your Asics size, your New Balance size, etc...
 
Jun 9, 2011
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#8
B&D. they have shops in yoyogi and ueno. a lot of the brand flagship stores, like the nike store in harajuku, have fancy fitting rigs. the asics store in ginza probably has the fanciest shoe fit and running form analysis options.

i can't really recommend any particular shoe as i haven't found any that really work for me. for the last few years i've given up on shoes and run around barefoot. there are plenty of people that are able to make shoes work for them, though, so you should be able to find something that works.

i'd advise against getting any kind of top-of-the-line-bells-and-whistles type shoe from any maker. look for as flat a sole with as few support features as you can find. especially for bigger folks, running with lots of cushioning is just asking for heel and knee injuries. you don't need to get something as minimal as the NB minimus but you'll want to end up having the muscles and tendons in you feet and ankles doing most of the support work rather than your shoes.
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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#9
So go and try some on in the shop, go online and save 50% of the cost.
Other people may see that different, but I find that kind of behaviour unethical though I can't say I had never done it :eek:

In general, I try to either keep the whole shopping experience online (get reviews, advice, specs from online sites before shopping online), or the whole experience offline (get a chance to touch the goods and ask the staff and then pay what it costs the store to provide that service in rent, salaries, goods in stock, etc) because that's fairest to everyone involved.
 

astroman

Speeding Up
Mar 19, 2007
264
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Shirokanedai, Tokyo
#10
x 2 on Art Sports Hibiya. They normally have great specials.

And as a runner, I find the price of running shoes in Japan to be generally cheaper that what I can buy on line or in stores in the USA or Australia. This is why I have eight pairs going at the moment. :eek: Asics are very well priced here and their 2160s might be good for you.

And if you want to get a little more serious check out: http://www.namban.org/
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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Yokohama
#11
One bit of advice is stay away from Air sole style shoes - go for proper running shoes. I was advised that the flater the better as your body was designed to run bare foot, not with all these air bubbles, springs, foam inserts between you and the floor - take it slow at first and let you body get used to and recover from the increased impact when running on the road.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#12
Other people may see that different, but I find that kind of behaviour unethical though I can't say I had never done it :eek:

In general, I try to either keep the whole shopping experience online (get reviews, advice, specs from online sites before shopping online), or the whole experience offline (get a chance to touch the goods and ask the staff and then pay what it costs the store to provide that service in rent, salaries, goods in stock, etc) because that's fairest to everyone involved.
I see it different, and so does pretty much everyone in the world with money to spend, hence the death of the highstreet. Not saying it is right, but it is the reality.
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#13
Again guys, thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it.

I was going to go to the New Balance store near Omotesando, but one thing about specific brand stores is they have only that one brand to sell you, I figure it would be better to go to a store that has every brand to sell you :D

I've done the online thing when I can, I've only done the "try it on here, go away and buy in online later" thing a couple of times, specifically the Shimano touring shoes, they were about 1/3 the price on Wiggle, so I tried them on at Y's wear and bought online, but I will say I've spent a fair bit of cash at Y's so that does not bother me, and I did not waste a bunch of the sales guy's time, and it was on a Tuesday morning when I was the only person in the shop, so I don't feel bad about it at all.

I'm going to try to go over to Hibiya Art Sports tomorrow and see what they have, if they give me some of their time and don't run laughing as soon as they see me and they spend the time fitting me and finding a shoe that is right for me, I'll surely buy the shoes there. Then if I really like the shoes, I'll buy a second pair online somewhere :D

Cheers!
 

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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#14
Another twist in sizing. After a return or two to wiggle, I've found my proper Asics size. (I'd also echo FE's comment above on avoiding air.)

Tokyo is kind of big :rolleyes:, and maybe the shops mentioned above do commonly stock 29 or 30cm shoes--I'd probably happily pay the price if I could shop that way in person. But over this way, bopping down to some branded store is just not an option.
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#15
x 2 on Art Sports Hibiya. They normally have great specials.

And as a runner, I find the price of running shoes in Japan to be generally cheaper that what I can buy on line or in stores in the USA or Australia. This is why I have eight pairs going at the moment. :eek: Asics are very well priced here and their 2160s might be good for you.

And if you want to get a little more serious check out: http://www.namban.org/
Yeah, I found that site, maybe one day when I can run at a speed that is not so slow :eek: :rolleyes: but thanks for the link!

I wanted to go to the Art Sports shop today, but my services are needed at the L shop, that building's interphone system is on the fritz, and the company does not support it anymore as it is 18 years old (National Panasonic) so now we have to get it swapped out with a new one. Thus my day is shot, I hope to get down there tomorrow!

Cheers!
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#18
I did it! I just ran 5K!!
Yes on the treadmill, but for me, a major accomplishment. Today is an off day from the C25K program, I slowed my speed to 8Km/h (I usually run at 9 Km/h) and just ran. I changed the display from time to kilometers, and soon I was over 3 Km, I felt great, so I kept going, next I hit 4 Km, so I thought why not go for 5 Km I did and I felt great! Yippee!
Tomorrow I'm off to Arts-Sports Hibiya to buy a good set of shoes that fit me. I did some looking around on how to fit shoes, and the various types of mechanics, I did something called a Wet Test, which shows your foot's arch, I have a normal arch, and from video I took of my running on the treadmill I have a normal pronation, but being heavy I should look for a "Stabilizing" shoe. Great info.

I feel healthier now that I know I can run a 5Km (at least on a treadmill!!) Now I'll work on some speed and extending that distance. The other thing that I'm really finding is that I am stronger on the bike, I can push a bigger gear longer and my average speed is way up, on the flats I have to hold back, as my speed limit with the trailer in tow is 25 km/h so I have to watch that. Actually I would frame any speeding ticket I'd get riding the bike with the trailer in tow, but who needs the hassle! ;) :D

Cheers
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#20
Thanks to TheDude for the shop recommendation, they were great! :cool:

I went when they just opened, and had the place to myself, I told the guy that I wanted some running shoes, they he started to ask me a bunch of questions, as it turns out the sales guy was about my age, and a few years ago he lost 30Kg mainly by running and watching what he eats, so he really understood where I was coming from. I took my old shoes with me, and he had me put them on and get on the treadmill for about 5 min running, then he did the wet test to check my arch etc. He agreed with my self diagnoses that I have a normal arch and a neutral pronation. He then suggested a bunch of different shoes, all of them I got to try on, walk around and then run for a few minutes on the treadmill. In the end I like the best shoes that he showed me, I did not know they were the most expensive, but they just felt the best to me. He said that I don't heel strike, that I am landing mostly flat or on the ball of my foot, which is good, so I don't need a shoe with a lot of heel, in fact a lot of heel will get in the way.

I ended up with these.....

Brooks PureFlow
proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sports4.ca%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2010%2F04%2FBrooks-Pure-Flow.jpg&hash=319f3d4b654618d57a877bfb9cab56e5

Runners World's review...

BEST BUY: Brooks Pure Flow $90

HEIGHT: 28.7 mm (heel); 24.8 mm (forefoot)
WEIGHT: 9.0 oz (M); 7.1 oz (W)

You know when something just feels right? That's how a number of testers described their first run in the Flow. Runners with normal arches and efficient biomechanics (they don't overpronate) seemed especially fond of the fit—six normal-arched runners gave the Flow their highest-possible performance rating. Our lab tests attribute the love to high-quality foam in the midsole, which provides a comfortable, cushioned ride despite the shoe's low profile. The shoe is built on an "anatomical" last, meaning it has a roomy toebox that is designed to let your toes splay out naturally, as if you were barefoot. But the Flow isn't nearly as wide as other "natural" shoes like Altra's The Instinct.

BOTTOM LINE: A lightweight yet durable shoe that's a steal at its price point.
After I decided I asked them if I could run in them for a few more minutes and if they could stand to look at me, if they could maybe give me some pointers on my running. They were happy to do so and the main thing the guy pointed out to me was that I don't use my hips enough, cool, I'll work on that. He said my stride was good, I was fairly smooth for a big guy, not rocking the treadmill at all, and that I had a fairly natural easy running style, who knew! :eek: He figured that once I lose more weight, I should be able to run long distances without much trouble, as I have what he called an eco stride, I don't waste a lot of energy and I not moving all over the place, he said that as I was running on the treadmill my feet where hitting exactly the same spot each time, and my upper body was not moving around a lot.

This might have all be BS, but I'd already bought the shoes and he was maybe only trying to make me feel good, but I did not get that vibe, I felt he was being honest.

Now I'm going to spark up the treadmill and give these shoes a good work out!

I paid 10,500 yen the list price, but I think it was worth it, I would have never picked these shoes myself from a list.

Looking online I can find them cheapest for $85, but with shipping they work out to about 1000 yen cheaper than buying them at that shop. Not worth the trouble, IMHO.

Cheers!