Running is truly one of the most inexpensive high school sports out there, as all a competitor needs is a good pair of sneakers.
Finding a pair of shoes for racing and training, however, isn’t something that should be taken lightly.
Sheri Piers, one of the country’s top marathoners who teamed up with training partner Kristin Barry to coach the Class A state champion Cheverus girls cross country team, offered some advice on finding the proper footwear.
1. As a coach, what do you look for in a running shoe? There’s so many resources out there these days. We didn’t have a store like the Maine Running Company who really fits the kids with the right kind of shoes that they need. For me, we tend to send the kids there because they do such a good job fitting kids for the appropriate shoe.
2. Is it difficult to find a proper shoe from a financial standpoint? It’s a hard one to tell the kids, you don’t want to send them out for a pair of shoes that cost $130.
3. Is finding a good pair of racing spikes or flats more difficult than locating a good pair of training shoes? The thing about flats and spikes and things like that is there’s not as many choices. Instead of the 150 pairs of shoes, there’s maybe 3-5 pairs. People who typically wear Nikes for training tend to go with a Nike flat or spike.
4. Certain kids have different types of feet. Is that a big factor in finding a shoe? Absolutely. Some kids have high arches, some kids have no arches. Not every person is made to wear Nikes and Asics.
5. In hot state championship meets, the heat on the track can go through the holes on a runner’s spike, which can cause blisters. Would flats or smaller spikes be recommended in these situations? You want to make sure you have the right spikes, the right inches on the spikes. It all depends on the race that they’re running.