Can you trust a specialist running shop?
Wow - thats not good. I go to Run and Become in Victoria and have found the opposite. You go in and its not the £90 of asics or the £100+ nike you leave with but rather a pair of £65 / £70 shoes that are actually the most appropriate after watching you jog up and down outside the shop.
Not defending the shop mentioned in any way, but have found from personal experience that a fair number of runners (not including you in this NLR) are adamant that they are a certain size, only to end up buying shoes in a different size. They were obviously wrong to not tell you it was a different size from the start, but often it can be worth trying half sizes up/down as different brands have varying standards of fit.
The classic example is someone asking for an adidas in a uk 9 ending up with a 9.5 or 10 because they come up smaller than every other brand...
I dont think its worth righting off the shop because of one guys fitting on one day.
I'd have tried his reccomendation, but at the end of the day - they are your feet and you have the final say on what size you want.
It would have been silly to not try on the shoe - for some people it could have been a perfect fit.
I wouldnt bother complaining - the guy was doing his best.
NLR - yeah I'm sure the shop deliberately ran out of the popular sizes = because thats really sensible for them to do.....
Coughie, by the sounds of it the guy was doing his best to get a sale and probably a bit of commision. The whole reason we go to specialist shops is for the advice they can give.
I wouldn't write the shop off either however I would be inclined to complain. If this guy is selling shoes based on what he has in the stock room rather than what is best for the customer then that's just wrong.
Well, just for the sake of fairness, whilst I tink this salesman was doing completely the wrong thing, I think I should mention I have bought shoes from Runners Need 3 times now, and they have always been great with me, very happy to take time with me, explain everything and watch me on a treadmill and talk through what they suggest. They've also been happy to suggest shoes which would not be 'in their best interest' if they were soley commissioon searching - they basically tried to downsell me (when my heart was set on Asics) to a NB pair which were nearly half the price, and in fairness felt pretty good.
I think Cougar's right, they offer advice, it should be taken on board, but the decision & responsibility is with the customer.
Oh, and finally, I would phone and ask to speak with the manager, and explain your recent experience. I'm pretty sure that when he hears your story, and hears you are not a newbie and you are a club member with lots of running buddies with ears, he will be more than keen to listen and speak to the salesmen (not assisitant!) about his approach.
I would always trust my own experience and moreover my own instinct over anything said in a 'specialist' running shop. I've heard some complete nonsense discussed in running shops over the years!
In fact, while we're at it, I've always suspected that Asics gold dealers sell so many Asics because they are particularly well versed in talking them up to the detriment of other brands! (just my experience)
I'm pretty sure I can safely say that no sales assistants at any specialist running shops operate on a commission basis, otherwise we'd all be running in overpriced marshmallowy Asics, surely?
The shop probably doesn't hold a huge stock of trail shoes (since road running has more mass appeal) which is why they were sold out of the popular sizes.
As for the hard sell? Well, that's never happened in my experience at Runnersneed.
I think the phrase is 'buyer beware'. As I am sure that sales staff will nudge you in the 'right' direction through most walks of life, you cannot always brand the outlet as a bad'un based on a single experience. It could just be an over zealous or inconsiderate assistant in that single instance.
However, listen to the ones that most runners would recommend from personal experience and ask why they feel so positively about the assistance they were given. My vote is with Dudemeister, Run and Become in Victoria is one of the best and lately I was with my wife who had some great service and advice from the staff in Sweatshop at Harrods [don't knock it until you try it].
I am sure runners Need would respond if you let them know of your experience but I can well understand your annoyance.
I've never had problems with Runners Need & if the shop is fairly quiet they can spend a fair bit of time with you. I stopped using Run & Become when I heard one of the assistants say something on the lines of "the more you pay for shoes, the better they'll be for you."
In terms of giving you the wrong size, sounds like they were trying to pull a fast one. Should have been honest & told you that they only had 10's in but no major harm done is there?
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