Would You Wear New Running Shoes In This Situation?

Our etiquette expert addresses what to do when a friend buys you a new pair of race-day shoes, just a few days before your race.

race-day shoes

Etiquette expert Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, knows a thing or two about the rules of the road—and the descendant of the famous decorum diva is a runner too! 

Q: My sweet friend, who doesn’t run, bought me a new pair of shoes to use in my race, which is a week away. I don’t want to use brand-new shoes, but I don’t want to hurt her feelings.What should I do?

Wow, this truly is a difficult situation. Your friend is so incredibly kind—new running shoes aren’t cheap! At the same time, a runner’s footwear is such a personal (and sometimes medical) choice.

Focus your reaction on how nice and thoughtful your friend’s gesture is, but also be honest about the use of the gift. “Chrissy, this is incredibly generous of you! Thank you so much! Because my race shoes need to be broken in, I won’t be able to wear them on race day, but I’m really excited to try them out!”

Whether they become your favorite new shoes or not, you have a wonderful friend and expressing your gratitude for her will always be in good taste.

Have a question for Lizzie? Email or tweet @womensrunning with the hashtag #ProperForm.

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