The age-old question of whether to buy running shoes in-store or online has been a source of debate among runners for years. Each option has its own set of advantages and drawbacks, making it a decision that depends on individual preferences and priorities. In this article, we'll delve into the pros and cons of both in-store and online shoe shopping and provide insights to help you make the choice that suits you best.
Finding Your Fit
When it comes to buying running shoes, finding the perfect fit is paramount. In-store shopping allows you to physically try on multiple pairs, increasing your chances of finding a comfortable fit. However, this approach can be time-consuming and limited by store stock.
One innovative solution to the fit problem is the Volumental in-store foot scanner. This device swiftly scans your feet, creating an accurate 3D model with measurements that are then matched against a massive database of foot scans to recommend suitable shoe models and sizes. Several running retailers, such as Fleet Feet and New Balance, have integrated this technology into their stores.
The advantage of the Volumental in-store scanner doesn't end there; your scan can also be used for online purchases. It's stored on the retailer's webstore, making it easier for you to find recommendations and purchase shoes online.
If visiting a physical store isn't your preference, Volumental has introduced an online-first scanning tool. This tool utilizes your phone's camera to scan your feet, though it may not be as precise as the in-store scanner. Still, it significantly improves your chances of getting the right size when buying online.
Knowing Your Feet
Understanding your unique foot shape and size is crucial, especially when shopping for running shoes online. Ordering without this knowledge can lead to wasted time and money on returns. To avoid this, consider getting your feet scanned in-store and consulting a knowledgeable store clerk. At the very least, you'll have a 3D model to use for future online purchases.
Another effective approach is to engage with the running community on social forums. Platforms like running-focused Facebook groups and Reddit forums, such as /r/RunningShoeGeeks, often feature users sharing their Volumental foot scans and seeking advice from others. However, it's essential to exercise caution and consider multiple opinions.
Snagging A Great Deal
Price is a significant factor when choosing between in-store and online shopping. Runners often seek the best deals to make their hobby more budget-friendly. Online shopping offers the advantage of easy price comparison, access to deals, and discounts. However, in-store shopping provides intangible benefits such as expert assistance and the opportunity to test shoes by running in them.
Specialty brands like Fleet Feet pride themselves on helping customers find the ideal shoe for their feet. Whether you decide to make a purchase in-store or online, their expertise and free Volumental scan are valuable resources.
The choice between buying running shoes in-store or online ultimately depends on your preferences and priorities. While both options have their merits, we recommend at least visiting a brick-and-mortar store before making your final decision. The expertise and in-store technology offered by specialty brands like Fleet Feet are unparalleled and well worth the visit. Happy shopping and even happier running!
If you're interested in getting your feet scanned, Volumental scanners are available in all Fleet Feet locations in the US. For those outside the US, feel free to reach out via the provided form to locate the nearest Volumental-equipped store in your area.