If you're like me, the first running shoe buying experience was pretty awful. You go to the mall, find a place with a name like Sportmartcenterwarehouse and walk in to be assaulted by disco music, some of the ugliest shoes on earth and sales staff who quite clearly don't work on commission because you can't find them if you try.
So when my first pair of shoes had lost their spring, and I found myself longing for that feeling of springs and marshmellows at my feet (antelopes, gazelles...), I dreaded the possibility of having to return to Sportmartcenterwarehouse. As it turned out there's a running shoe store near my apartment called Fleet Feet (241 W. North Avenue in Old Town). I walked in and found a courteous staff who were interested in selling you a pair of shoes that actually meet your needs. How's this for cool: You don't just try on a pair of shoes to see if they fit, the salesperson takes you outside and watches you run in them to make sure that they are supplying the support that you need for your running style.
Even better, I walked out spending no more than I had at Sportmartcenterwarehouse, so the cost of such service is negligible.
BTW, Fleet Feet has a twice-weekly fun run, leaving their store Mondays and Wednesdays at 6.30p. I'm planning on hooking up with them as soon as I get my Monday and Wednesday evenings free again at the end of June.