Hi “try this?”,
I understand that you are a really really elite runner. No, like you’re really fast and you deserve the space on your local trail more than the average Barbara on her morning walk. Sorry if I’ve ever gotten in your way. You probably have a pair or two of running shoes that you stick to, and you can easily find them in abundance online. Same goes for apparel and accessories but I get the sense that you’re a no-frills guy, so you need very little of that and can find it online as well.
However, the other 99% of people who buy running shoes are not as certain about what will be a good shoe for them. In fact, the majority of people who walk into a run specialty store will approach an employee and apologetically begin with “now I’m not a runner”. Some just go to the gym or only walk. Some run a few days a week, but are intimidated by the elitist gatekeepers of distance running who have convinced them that “runner” is a label restricted to a specific training level or body type. Some need new shoes as they recover from a serious injury or surgery. Over the last few months, tons of people have decided to pursue personal fitness goals as a result of COVID and they have no idea where to start with shoes. So “If you know your size and the make and model of the shoes you want” is actually a huge qualifier and only represents a tiny percentage of active people.
The majority of people who wear running shoes really could use an expert opinion on what to buy for their fitness needs. When someone purchases from a local running store, they are paying for the fitting process, the knowledge gained, the chance to try on a bunch of shoes and actually take them for a jog, and the experience of human connection, as well as the shoes themselves. You can’t get any of that from buying online. This type of guidance really is necessary, as demonstrated perfectly by an ONLINE info source like Flotrack, who, while claiming to be experts in all things running, do not understand the basic but pretty crucial difference between cushion and support (read their article “5 of the best running shoes on the market” for a laugh/gross misunderstanding of running shoes).
Yes, I work at a run specialty store. To answer the initial question about Nikes, they have held off on sending shoes to us until the new year. The reason that most running stores dislike Nike is because they really do not care to establish any sort of relationship with the stores because they don’t need us. There are no Nike reps who come into our store and teach us about their products. As a result, we know less about the selling points of their shoes, and we do not pull them in fittings as much. Also, their shoes tend to be very narrow and pointy so they are not accessible to many people. We also do not carry as many Nike models as we do for Brooks because in my opinion the Pegasus and Structure and kinda the Vomero (version 14 was a BIG step down) are their only well-built daily trainers.