I bought running shoes the other day. If you aren't a runner, you might not understand why I'm writing this like it's an accomplishment.
Running shoes are, to quote the Internet, serious business. Everyone's feet are different, and running shoes are designed to prevent injury and increase comfort depending on what your foot needs. You could just go to the store and buy a pair of sneakers and run, and if your feet happen to be the right kind, you might not end up in crippling pain.
Then again, you could be like me (and many others), and require a bit more attention. And if, like me, you haven't run in coming up on two years, you may not remember what your needs are, and guessing comes with a high potential penalty.
So buying running shoes, for me, requires going into a specialty store, trying on a handful of shoes, and showing off my clumsy stride and form for a couple of fit 20-somethings who thankfully manage to not project "oh my god look at this old fat guy," but instead seem legitimately interested in making sure I have the best chance of succeeding when I strap these on and go out the door.
So, yes, new shoes have been purchased, thanks to the kind folks at Northampton Running Company, which is where I happened to be when I had enough time to kill to buy shoes. I ended up with an update of the shoes I ran in when I was training for the 10K I ran a few years back. Hopefully they'll work as well this time around as they did then!
I tried them out yesterday with a 15-minute walk, because that's all I had time for. I'm still trying to make sure my hamstrings and back can handle the stress of running, but eventually I'm going to have to actually get out there and see. I'll take them for another walk today.