A newbie runner went into SweatShop in Finchley yesterday looking for first pair of running shoes.-

The shop assistant just pointed them at a few shoes saying "these are stability, these are cushioning" etc- No attempt to explain what the terms mean. Assistant wasn't really keen to use the FootStrike pad, and said not to worry about over-pronation/under-pronation etc. She didn't explain the results of the FootStrike, all in all, not very impressive, and nothing like the Analysis I had when a SweatShop representative came to work.


  • I went to the Sweatshop in Teddington on a busy Saturday and they were very helpful and patient. When I told them I was new to running they were happy to test me on the footstrike pad and explain which trainers are best for me.
    I would try visiting them again, it may be that the shop assistant was having a bad day.
  • Sweatshop seem to blow a bit hot and cold to me. In my local shop they also seem very reluctant to actually use the footstrike kit. Are they charged for how many times they use it? However, they were very patient with me once I had gained a bit of knowledge myself and was able to go in and talk about things a bit more specifically. Not ideal for complete beginners I admit. The most help I got was when there was actually a guy from adidas in the shop. He really seemed to know his stuff about adidas and other makes and was very helpful.
  • Don't believe all the advertising about Footscan - it's really not all it's cracked up to be. A reluctance to use it could actually be a sign of good service...

    Someone who knows what they're talking about can find out all they need to know just by watching you run for a bit and having a look at your old shoes.

    I've generally had pretty good service in all the Sweatshops I've been to. Finchley did once sell me a 90 quid pair of shoes that I quickly discovered that I loathed, but they're apparently really good at exchanging in that case. Wish I'd known that at the time...
  • She didn't ask him to do any running up and down at all. Or give him any better advice than you'd expect from a JJB sports..

    - I'm glad to see that it seems to be a (more or less) isolated incident though.

  • I dont want to get AnnaJo in here all angry, but I have had good and bad service as well. I think the staff in the Fulham shop are complete crap, but I had excellent service in the covent garden shop. I live in Fulham so that shop would be very convenient for me, but I would never set foot in there again.
  • I got excellent service from Sweatshop in Finchley. I'd been having injury problems and they found me some really good shoes that sorted the problem out, and they were even reduced. They were so good, I ordered another pair by mail order. This was a few years ago when they first opened.
  • I agree things are really hit and miss. I bought my new trainers in Finchley last week and the girl was really unhelpful in her attitude, but when I persisted in asking questions, she really did know her stuff. The manager there is lovely though and really helpful, so I always try to get him.

  • Jose.Jose. ✭✭✭
    My experience says:

    Harrods never bad service.

    Covent Garden always good service.

    Teddington, depends on the shop attendant. Brilliant service some times, careless and completely lack of enthusiasm a lot of more.

  • Jose

    You trying to get a spanking from AnnaJo?
  • Jose.Jose. ✭✭✭
    if you are not up for it, then I should find somebody else to do it :o)

    seriously, most of the times I'm very pleased with my sweatshop experience, a couple of times I've been serviced by teenagers who were not really customer favourites.

  • Sweatshop at Next Generation club in Glasgow gave excellent service to my wife carefully explaining the different types of running shoes and watching her run on the treadmill.Spent well over an hour in the shop and never once felt hurried or forced into a decision. Also had first hand experience of Sweatshop in Milton Keynes - again superb,enthusiastic,friendly service. I would hope Finchley experience a one off !
  • I can echo Meep-Meep's sentiments about Sweatshop MK - friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    I was really pleased with the service I got from Finchley SweatShop. The guy who served me was extremely patient - did a Footscan, watched me run up and down the shop and on the treadmill, and checked my old shoes. I also tried on virtually half the shop's stock I think - I was in there for about 2 hours! I eventually bought a pair of shoes only to find that within two weeks they'd caused bruising all round the arch of my left foot. The manager agreed to swap them for me for another pair of shoes, which were more expensive than the ones I'd first bought - and didn't charge me for the difference.

    I would go there again, but I think I'd also be wary of tempering the advice they give with my own experience. It's too easy to assume that other people are more 'expert' than you and that you should therefore take their advice. At the end of the day you're the one who has to run in the shoes, so make sure you feel comfortable with what you're buying.
  • annajoannajo ✭✭✭
    Thanks for all the posts, I have been keeping an eye on this thread and passing the feedback on, good and bad, to the relevant managers. Hugh, the managing director of Sweatshop, has also taken interest in your comments.
    In the cases where people have received less than the high quality service we would expect you to receive at Sweatshop, please accept my apologies on behalf of the shop, and feel free to contact me further if you would like to.
    I'm glad to read about all the people who have praised the service they have received from Sweatshop staff, thanks for posting your thoughts here.

  • the best running help i've ever had was in the runners need by liverpool street in london. the guy who helped me had infinite patience and actually video-taped my feet in about 6 different shoes. it was fascinating and i got a fantasticly-fitting pair of shoes for my difficult feet. i'd recommend it to anyone who wants good advice in london.

    and, no, they didn't put me up to this. i'm just very happy with my shoes!
  • ps. very bitter about an internet order with sweatshop that didn't arrive after a month of waiting and inquiring and apparently isn't on its way, ever. i cancelled the order after waiting forever.
  • annajoannajo ✭✭✭
    jennster, would you be able to email me the details? I would like to investigate into what happened there. sorry you didn't have good service
  • Annajo.-
    It's great to get such personal service :-)
    I'm torn between not wanting to get people in trouble, and wanting to make sure that beginner runners get all the advice and support they need...

    Thanks for taking this up for us

  • Tend to agree on the mixed reviews.

    Only really been into the Milton Keynes shop.

    Can't really say the service was good or bad it just seemed to be missing something which I can't quite put my finger on.

    Agree Runners Need in Liverpool Street is good. Just behind where I work but took my wife in to gets some shoes as I couldn't work out what was best for her (typical).

  • I can only sing the praises of Sweatshop Chorley, always get excellent service and advice!!

    Well done sweatshop chorley, keep up the good work!!
  • My nearest Sweatshop is Woking & I dread going in there as I always feel the staff look at me and think "It's her again". Feel that they don't have time for me (though they are not outwardly rude). I feel awkward asking them questions (I feel I'm asking too many - they are not very forthcoming). I have to go in there to get my son's bits and pieces for his running, and for advice and sometimes I just want to browse and not buy. It is awkward. Having said that, the last time I was in there, the man (new to me) was very helpful and suggested alternatives and gave advice without me feeling bad. Very patient and didn't mind when I just came away with one pair of sale trainers. That's how it should be. A smile and welcome greeting wouldn't go amiss really (and I know they know me!)
  • have to agree that runners need is by far and away the best running shop i've ever been into. loads of patience. helpful, technically very competent and actually appear interested in your running and how you are getting on.

    fantastic - just a shame its in london really :-(

  • Sweatshop in York was spot on as of course was Up and Running in york

    However Sweatshop is much more convenient for me !

    The last time I was in there the assistant footscanned me without being asked and analyzed my sweaty old NB's at great length

    couldnt ask for anything more and I will be returning there soon to replace my 764's
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    Bought new shoes in Sweatshop in Finchley yesterday. I was served by the manager, Tim, who is fantastically knowledgeable and seemed interested in my previous experience of running shoes. I'd gone in specifically to try the new Nike Perseus, and he reiterated my feeling that these would be a good shoe for me. However, he also suggested that I try a couple of other models, just to be sure.

    He took the time to explain the difference between the various models I tried and how these differences would affect the motion of my feet. He also watched me run in each pair of

    All in all, 40 minutes well spent and I felt I again received the high level of service I have been given each time I have been to Finchley Sweatshop.
  • I regularly go to Sweatshop in Teddington. Although they do look young, they still know their stuff about running. I've only ever had friendly service from them. And they were great when I was buying new shoes recently. Very patient with loads of forthcoming info.
  • sweatshop , who are in my gym in brierley hill are very friendly

    but they did tell me i no longer overpronate
    find this hard to believe
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