We all can agree that shoes are the most important gear for runners. It’s the one thing that protects our feet from the ground. With all the choices and styles available, how do you decide which shoe is best for you?
Running shoes cushion and protect our feet from the road or trail surfaces that we run on. Not having the right shoes can lead to joint and muscle pain and can put extra stress into each step. The best advice for new runners is to visit your local running store so you can have your gait and form analyzed at as well as your foot type and arch. If you currently have a pair of running shoes, bring them with you so the store’s employees can look at your wear patterns.
Your local running store can help you determine which type of shoe recommendation is best for you. Runners that are flat footed will benefit most from a stability type of shoe that helps with pronation. The neutral arched runners benefit most from a motion control shoe. A high arched runner should be in a well cushioned running shoe. Knowing what type of foot you have will help you in making a selection from the right category. Sizing up ½ - 1 whole shoe size from your regular dress shoe may also be recommended. This would give you some wiggle room in the toe box and will prevent loss of toe nails when running downhill.
After you have been fitted for a shoe, try it out! Try running around the store to make sure it is still comfortable when running, not just standing. You want your shoe to feel good to you. Some shoe companies will let you test and return a shoe for up to 30 days! Be sure to check out the store’s policy before you purchase so you will be aware of return and/or exchange policies. You will also want to check the tread on your shoe every so often to check for wear. Your shoes will need to be replaced every 300-500 miles depending on your type of shoe, how often you run, and also what type of surface you run on. Worn tread and missing lugs can result in joint pain and aches. Monitoring the wear patterns of your shoes can prevent these annoying aches and pains.
Now that you know how to select a shoe, go visit your local running store and treat yourself to a new pair of running shoes! Many local running stores will accept your old running shoes. They clean them up and put fresh insoles in them to prepare them to be donated back to the community. You can feel good about purchasing a new pair and also helping others by giving back to the community.