Scene: A shoe store. Every sales person inside is beautiful, fit, and dressed to impress. This store is exclusive. When you walk in you are greeted with a handshake and walked around with a personal guide who answers every question you could ever think of.
Is this a boutique in New York?
A fashionable shop on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago?
Nope. This is your local, family-owned running store. The staff are all trained to analyze your gait, your feet, the wear patterns on your old shoes, factor in how many miles a week you run, and your racing/running goals for the next six months.
Here's the kicker (heh heh)... it doesn't matter what the shoes look like. I know! Right??? Women are buying shoes every 6 months (or 500 miles, whichever comes first) with almost NO regard to color or style.
"Does this come in any color other than yellow and grey?"
"That's ok. I'll buy that grey jacket over there to match."
And then... and THEN?? They put the shoes on (with their jeans and whatever top they have on from work) and go outside and take an easy jog up and down the sidewalk. It looks so weird. But it's so cool.
Getting fitted for your first pair of running shoes is akin to buying your first training bra: a little uncomfortable, but a sign to the world that you want to be taken seriously.
Giant shout-outs to the local shops I frequent in my area:
Runner's High N Tri
Dick Pond Athletics