2 Local stores that offer free stride analysis (video record you running a few steps on a treadmill), advice from actual runners, and a 10-15% discount when you tell them you're on a high school running team. We will have special FHS team night at each store.
Pacers Running Store, 10420 North St in old town Fairfax, (703) 537-0630 Team night: Tuesday, 7/31 from 6-8 pm
Potomac River Running, 11895 Grand Commons Ave at Fairfax Corner, (703) 988-9700.
For x-country training, we recommend that athletes wear distance running shoes designed for training on roads and trails. This means they’re made of lighter materials than basketball or tennis shoes, and have strong shock resistant properties to protect against leg injuries. Running shoes are adapted to 3 kids of feet/running styles. Those with high arches (requiring more flexibility), those with flat feet (requiring more stability), and those with severe pronation (rolling of the foot). Most running stores can watch you run a few strides around the store or on a treadmill and assess your running style. Then they can recommend shoes according to your style and foot strike. Most training shoes are designed to provide proper shock absorption and wear for 500 miles which equates to 3-4 months for our veteran runners and 5-6 months for our newcomers.
I recommend training shoes which are moderately priced ($70-100). Popular brands are Asics, Saucony, Brooks, Nike and New Balance. Nike tends to run more expensive.
For x-country races, athletes can wear one of many special racing shoes:
X-country spikes – have rubber tread, removeable metal spikes (1/4-5/8”), ¼ inch of cushioning, and no plastic spike plate.
Distance track spikes – usually a lighter, thinner sole than x-country spikes, , removeable metal spikes (1/4-5/8”), ¼ inch of cushioning, and sometime a plastic spike plate
X-country spikeless racers – similar to x-country spikes but without the metal spikes.
Road racing flats – very light weight, blown foam, very little rubber, ¼-1/2 inch of cushioning, flat or very little tread on the sole
Athletes should consider whether they plan to run track and if so may want a racing shoe they can use for both types of races. Those only running x-country, may favor option 1 or 3.
Racing shoes range from $50-100+. The $50 models are ok for most high school runners, though some top runners prefer some of the more expensive models.
Here are 3 models of moderately priced x-country spikes which Pacer’s Running Store carries:
Saucony Kilkenny XC 5: rubber sole, metal spikes, $60
Nike Rival XC: rubber sole, metal spikes, $65
New Balance XC 900: rubber sole, metal spikes, $85
Most of our x-country meets are run on grass, dirt and light gravel surfaces which can accommodate ¼-5/8” spikes depending on how wet the ground is. Everyone will run at least 2 races and maybe 3 at Burke Lake which includes 1 mile of asphalt road. For this course, runners usually remove the metal spikes and put in blanks or run in spikeless racers (option 3 or 4).
If you know your sizing in a specific model, you can look for discounts from the following websites: