Sole Man: Where Do You Buy Your Shoes?

A scene from inside Movin Shoes, a classic San Diego specialty running shop. Photo: Brian Metzler |

There are a lot of places to buy running shoes, including stores where actual runners are the sales people.

Where do you buy your running shoes? It might say a lot about what kind of runner you are. But it also might say a lot about your shoe-buying motivations. Maybe you just want the best price possible. Or maybe you really just want a batman motorcycle helmet and wound up at a site selling running shoes, but more on that in a moment.

RELATED: Vote here for your favorite running stores in the U.S.!

There are a lot of places to buy your sneakers these days, including specialty running stores, mall running shops, brand concept shops (like Niketown or a New Balance store), outdoor shops (mostly trail shoes), large “big box” sporting goods stores, factory outlet stores and, of course, online retailers. Each offers a different experience and vastly different products. Here’s a quick breakdown of each one with a hint of which one you’re likely to visit for your running needs.

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