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I have zero experience in running for fitness. I used to be in good shape simply from having a more active lifestyle and doing regular manual labor, but since moving to a different country, I've adopted a more sedentary lifestyle as a result of being jobless and lacking a social circle coupled with depression problems (and uh, being an avid gamer).

I would like to get started with the Couch to 5k running program. However, I do not own a pair of running shoes. I've read conflicting things about getting started as a runner. Some say that while you're just in the beginning of the program, it's okay to just use your regular everyday shoes until you decide you want to upgrade as the program intensifies. Others say you definitely need running shoes if you want to do any kind of running.

I'm not sure what the best advice is. I have no experience I can draw on to make a sound judgement of what I should do. Can I safely use my regular, daily use shoes for starting out doing low-intensity daily exercise or should I try to purchase proper running shoes first?

Edit: My current shoes are a pair of Men's Energy-3 Punisher shoes I purchased last December in the US (though I'm female, I usually purchase men's shoes for regular wear. I don't know if this makes a difference in running shoes). I've mostly used them for daily use and regular speed walking.

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What shoes do you already have? –  Dave Liepmann Sep 26 '11 at 14:55
    
@Dave I edited that into my question –  FAE Sep 26 '11 at 15:05

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

It looks like the shoes you have would be fine for running, but it depends on how long you've had them and how worn out they are. You don't want to be running in something that gives you no support, and if you literally wear them every day that might be the case with them. On the other hand, the Couch to 5k program has you running three times a week, and you don't want to get blisters from using new shoes without breaking them in gradually. If you want to get serious about running, I'd recommend getting a new pair of shoes (maybe going to a running store where they can recommend what to buy) and then alternating your old shoes and new shoes for first couple of weeks. That way you break in the new shoes gradually while starting off with something you're comfortable in.

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I would start the Couch to 5k program with the shoes you have now. After a week or two, you'll be familiar enough with the shoes to evaluate whether you need new ones.

You might be fine just using these for the entire program, but there's a concern that you'll dislike using the same shoes for running as for normal use. They'll get smelly. But for now, just wear what you have.

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