Even before I started reading this blog, I was skeptical of most running shoes stores. I remain skeptical.
As a backstory, I was always a mid foot to forefoot striker, but because I played football (and drank too much beer in college), I was, and still am bulkier and heavier than most cross country and track athletes. A shoe clerk would see me and put me in an overbuilt stability shoe (e.g. Brooks Beast). This caused recurring knee problems and shin splints in my late 20's. Once, I went to a high-end "marathon" shoe store, and the advice was to change my running style and land on my heels. After a few months of this advice I hurt my knee and quit running. Fortunately, a few years later, I was walking through some sort of outdoors show in Green Bay, Wisconsin (my cousin was racing there), and came upon a tent sale. I am not sure if the clerk was 18, but he was a cross country runner, and knowledgeable as all get-out. I explained my difficulties to him, and he asked me to run. At this point I was carrying an extra 60-70 pounds (still need to lose another 10 pounds). He watched me run, and scratched his head, "you have great running form, and should be in a neutral shoe."
"What about heels striking and stability."
"Those shoes will never work for you. No wonder you are always injured."
The kid was correct. Over time, I went from neutral shoes to minimal shoes, and have completed a few half marathons and a marathon. I currently use the Nike Free 3.0 v5.
So when I recently went into a highly regarded local shoe store and asked where the minimal shoes were, they said they were phasing out the shoes. They believe minimal shoes cause injuries, and directed me toward a neutral/stability shoe. I scoffed and left.
I find this blog and the information/reviews/forums invaluable. I have to thank Pete for his work these past few years. I have received more intelligent commentary and insight on these forums, than I would at most shoe stores. I hope this blog continues to skew toward minimal shoes.
So why are shoe stores, on the balance, so rigid in their thinking?