Posted by: jawsome | May 12, 2009

Does anyone else feel like an idiot when…

…you walk into a running store? Or is it just me? Maybe because I’m still a newbie at this – I’m overwhelmed by options sometimes. I go in looking for something simple – like a sports bra – only to find a veritable cornicopia of choices. Do I want a compression bra, or bra with underwire? Do I want a simple cotton/lycra bra, or should I go with the fancy tech fabric? What shade of neon pink will look best against my sweaty red skin?

Today I was looking for a new pair of shoes. Yes, sadly the old Mizuno waverunners are done in. They were my first pair since I started running (clearly, I should have bought new ones before now but I’m cheap). I walked into the running store with some trepidation. The running store I frequent tends to employ attractive but unhelpful male staff, who inevitably make me feel like a moron. For example:

Me: Uhh, do you sell compression socks?

Cute unhelpful salesperson #1, in a surprised tone: What do you need those for?

Me: Uhh, compression? I think they’re good for your legs?

Cute unhelpful salesperson #2: What, are you running a marathon or something?

Me: Uhh, no – I just think they’d feel good. I think. Maybe. But maybe I’m wrong?

Cute unhelpful salespeople, in unison (give me the once over): you probably don’t need them.

Me: Uhh, but do you have them?

Cute unhelpful salesperson #1: no.

I leave, feeling like an idiot and irritated at the same time. What kind of business model is that? So today I went into the store prepared to be made to feel like a moron. Yes I would like a new pair of running shoes. No, I don’t have any idea what kind – can you help me? I think I need a neutral shoe. No, I’m pretty sure I need running shoes, not walking shoes.

Ugh. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I can’t wait to move and find a better running store. All these employees look like they run Pikes Peak for giggles every other day. I feel like an outsider – like my 25 mile weeks are not good enough to deserve the term “runner.”

Screw them. My new Nike air’s and I will do just fine together. If all I ever run again is local 5k’s, I’ll still call myself a runner. Stupid cute unhelpful salespeople.

PS – Matt and I took the Vibrams out for a 3 miler this afternoon. I can tell my runs with him tailing me are numbered…



  1. I’ve never been in an actual “running” store….ahhh! I found one pretty close to me that’s supposed to have a lot of good products and ‘expert’ help. The plan is to go…sometime…Soon!

    I hope you like your new shoes !! I have Nikes right now and love them! But think I might need something more stable for my arches. Ha, obviously I have no idea (Need Running Store help!), but thats my theory.

  2. LOL at your conversation! I hate it when they don’t know what they are talking about and don’t actually provid you with any help! The chain of stores I used to go to in Nebraska was awesome–super friendly, knowledgable, real runners but not condecending. I also have a decent small one near my home that is good for odds and ends like socks or a tech shirt or Gu.

  3. PS: I finally went to a Runner’s Roost store here in CO last week and I am happy to report that they are helpful, friendly, and don’t make you feel stupid. This is what you have to look forward to in Colorado. 🙂

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