Buying running shoes online

Hi all,

I currently run in a pair of Nike Air Max, but they're coming to the end of their life now so I'm looking for a new pair of trainers. I've been happy with the Nikes and I have a pretty neutral gait, I'm also on a budget. With that in mind I was hoping to stick with Nike and I was looking at the Pegasus 27s as an affordable upgrade. I can save a lot if I buy them online.

My question is whether there is uniformity in Nike sizing? The Air Max fit me like a glove, so does that mean I'm fine to order the Pegasus in the same size. If anyone has experience using both pairs and can give some kind of comparison I'd appreciate it. Thanks.


  • Steve, my 2 pennies - you can't compare someone else's feet to yours. It's close to irrelevant.

    It's worth paying that little extra if you're not sure about the sizing. Or purchase from a retailer that offers a return policy if they don't suit you.

  • I'm an Asics man not a Nike man, but I find that trainer sizing changes very little, as in every pair of size-8 Asics I've bought online or in person has fitted to within half an inch.
    Bear in mind this is only for trainers - If you want a wildly different shoe like a racing flat, always try first!
  • Thanks for the feedback. I managed to find a bricks and mortar place that stocks them for only a few pounds more than online so I'm going to get them from there to sidestep any risk of getting the sizing wrong.
  • Some people get annoyed if you suggest trying them on in a shop, then buying them online. Not saying it's a good thing to do... just putting it out there...
  • I think you misunderstood me, as I'll be buying them from the shop.
  • Peter yes, you're right - people with a sense of decency do tend to get annoyed by plonkers suggesting such things.

    If you're going to use the services of a running shop don't then cynically rip them off.
  • I think you're a bit over the top with the abuse there, RR. The running shops and shoe companies I'm sure make enough money to survive, given that a lot of their items are made by ten-year old kids in Vietnam earning tuppence-ha'penny every three years. I have certainly bought enough running shoes from shops not to feel any qualms about going down the buy online after trying route if I'm a bit skint at the time and need to save some money, however much of a purist saint you think you are. It's hardly 'ripping off'. It's simply one of the options the consumer has in this mad dog eat dog world. I'm actually a pretty decent bloke, so please read the words below ("think before you slam someone") and don't try to judge someone you don't know.
  • Peter, ok name calling isn't needed but I agree with RR's sentiment.

    I'm judging you - decent folks wouldn't do what you suggest. IMO.
  • You're right, I was too abrupt and I apologise.

    To expand on my point, I think it's only fair when trying out new shoes to buy the first pair from the shop that serves you - you're using their time, experience and facilities so it's only fair. If you then want to buy subsequent pairs online for the lowest price, that's fine.

    I like the fact that specialist shops exist where I can go and talk about running and try things on, so I'm happy to pay a little more.

  • I normally go into sweat shop, get measured, try some on, take advice, then get 1 or 2 model numbers and go find them online to buy, usually for a decent mark down.

     All I'd say is try to stay clear of air bags (might burst) or anything with gaps or wholes in the bottom (mud trap). And as others have said, different feet need differant sizes/types/brands. I've been fine with size 9 adidas for a few years now, but have lately had some injuries and have taken advice to go for more support, the adidas support shoes didnt fit or feel right, so im now in nike lunarglide 2's 8.5 after going to get fitted at sweatshop. 

  • If you feel guity about trying them at the shop before buying online just buy a pair of socks on the way out

  • Wasn't going to post in this thread again, but as been as there seems to be some active debate going on, I *never* suggested trying on shoes in a shop then buying them online, and quite frankly I wasn't expecting an ethical debate over the rights and wrongs of doing so.

    Thanks Sprint for the line and Pethead for actually answering the question I asked.

  • I wouldn't get to bothered about it Statto. Lots of people do it.
  • I work in a running shop. 

    I don't particularly mind if somebody want to try the shoes on in my store then buy them on line because they are not realy using anything.  

    What I bitterly resent is if somebody makes full use of the gait analysis service and takes up half an hour of my time that I could spend serving somebody who was serious about buying a pair of shoes from me. 

    Just the view from the other side of the counter.

  • I go into running stores and they are begging me to try the gait analysis even though I say I'm just browsing. You can't offer a free gait analysis with no obligation to buy then moan when people don't buy.
  • loulabellloulabell ✭✭✭

    hello NLR *waves*..image..i have never had my gait analysed-is it something worth doing d'ya reckon?

  • Thought I might barge in here image...

    IMHO if you're a regular runner I wouldn't bother with gait analysis unless you're having persistent injury problems. 

    Regular runners usually know what type of shoe suits them (stability, cushioned etc) and the degree of support they need (mild/moderate/severe) and if you're changing models then it's a case of finding a pair in the same category that feels comfortable and fits properly.

    If you don't know then it's easy to find out from the web what category they fall into

     I don't think that gait analysis is really going to to tell you what they'll feel like after a ten mile run.

    I'm not suggesting that finding a new shoe is easy or doesn't involve some trial and error but gait analysis is only going to give you a pointer and I suspect most regular runners already know where to start from.

  • Agree with all of the above. I think there is a conflict of interest with people who offer free advice and then want to sell you something.

    Loula-hello-I'm sure you have a lovely gait xx

  • loulabellloulabell ✭✭✭
    hi NLR....i think i DO need my gait analysing thoughimage...
  • your gait a yuffamism???image
  • North London Runner-

    If you are a retailer that offers gait analysis you essentialy have two choices.  You can offer the service free and take it on trust that people will pay for it if, or you can take a £20 deposit up front.  If you choose the latter approach then customers have to comit to paying before getting any level of service. 

    Unfortunately an increasing number of retailers are being forced to do the latter because they are not getting the benefits of the service they offer.  This means that all the customers are loosing out because of a handful of selfish people who abuse the system.  This particularly hurts novice runners who might want to get some guidance and weigh up their options without being forced to comit to a purchase. 

    At the end of the day, if everybody went in for a free gait analysis and then bought the shoes online there wouldn't be any shops offering this facility.  People who play the system depend upon the fact that the majority of people will pay for the cost of the service they use. 

  • Ben

    I recently had gait analysis but I didnt feel that i was under obligation to buy.I just wanted my gait checked cause I had been getting some knee pain while marathon training.

    I made it clear before I steped onto the treadmill and the chap seemed quite happy to analyse my gait even though he knew I wouldnt be buying.

    I do unerstand your frustrations but sometimes a customer just wants their gait checking to ensure their shoes are still suitable.

  • Susiebie1

    I often provide people with a gait analysis service without expecting people to make a purchase.  Somtimes I provide an assesment on whether their curent running shoe is correct, or whether it is the cause of a recent injury.  Of course in that scenario you are not going to get 45 minutes of my time as you would if I expected to get a sale out of the process.   

    Some people are quite cynical in using us as a free service for our competitors who undercut us by not offering this service, and nobody in the industry apreciates people like that. 

  • So if you thought there wouldn't be a sale you wouldn't do a proper job? I don't like the sound of your running shop Ben. Luckily the ones I use are much friendlier. They offer free training groups and marathon support and put on races..........
  • Don't knock it until you have tried it North London Runner.  I offer all the services you have listed plus a lot more besides, and I would come across as being very jovial and helpful.  I do have to respect the fact that I am here to make money for my employer however. 

    I think that if you spoke to the staff at your local running shop in a capacity other than that of a customer, they would probably say the same thing as me.  People who abuse the gait analysis are a force working against the type of customer service orientated shop that you obviously appreciate. 

    If everything boiled down to who offers the products the cheapest, then the good get undercut by the bad and the bad get undercut by the worse.  If people are using the good shops service and then buying their shoes from the worse shop, then the good shop really can't offer much of a counter except to demand a deposit up front. 

  • I will prefer Online shopping as it is the most convenient way to shop sports shoes though some of you may prefer to go at shops as online shoe shops do not provide touch, feel or try facilities for the product you are buying.
  • I have always bought any kind of shoes offline. I think you always have to try them on and the hassle of returning them is a pain. You also get to try on a selection of shoes also so instead of ordering five pairs which would be between £250-£500 and then returning them all you can walk in a try them on.

    Also, support your local independent shops! They may cost a little more but don't give your money to the big players.

    The only shoes etc I would buy online are flipflops!
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