Choosing Cushioned Running Shoes

Choosing Cushioned Running Shoes
Cushioned running shoes offer specialized flexibility and mid-sole cushioning that promote natural foot pronation while running, allow for improved shock absorption and can advance running performance. Cushioned running shoes are best worn by lightweight athletes with normal to high arches who require adequate cushioning and minimal foot stability.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Evaluate your foot shape. Cushioned running shoes will only benefit runners and walkers who require the special features in the shoe design; Ensure you have a normal or high arch and require little stability while running. Analyze your running gait; When your foot strikes the ground, does it roll outward? A cushioned running shoe may be the right shoe for you. If questions arise, seek advice from a respected podiatrist.
Step 2
Verify your training needs. Evaluate your running ability and skill, weight and body type, current training regimen and running goals. Athletes training for a marathon or ultra may need to purchase two pairs of cushioned running shoes and alternate usage. However, runners training for shorter distances will get 250 to 500 miles from one new pair. Additionally, examine the terrain you run on. Cushioned running shoes come in a variety of styles--suitable for trail, concrete and track surfaces--that promote speed, distance and maintenance runs.
Step 3
Research cushioned running shoe reviews. Runner's World magazine puts running shoes through vigorous testing methods to ensure quality and function. Evaluate online and print reviews to learn about the cushioned running shoes available. In-depth evaluations are available for each training season. Additionally, consult Consumer Reports, Running Times magazine and Consumer Search for shoe style comparisons. Make a list of your favorite cushioned running shoes, verifying price ranges, features, brands and style updates, and have list handy while shoe shopping.
Step 4
Shop at a respected running store. Local favorites and credible national chains (including Fleet Feet) are excellent options. Sales associates are runners themselves and educated on foot mechanics, shoe brands, style updates and running training regimens. Their educated guidance will steer you in the right direction. Visit the store in the afternoon or after a run (to ensure feet have properly swelled) and wear specialty running socks. Prepare for your feet to be properly measured. Additionally, bring your list of shoe review favorites and your current running shoes for professional inspection. A knowledgeable sales associate will examine the current wear on your running shoes and interpret this information for appropriate shoe recommendations.
Step 5
Judge many different cushioned running shoes. Try on each pair and jog around the store, on a treadmill or even a hill simulator (present at many outdoor enthusiast shops). Determine how soft or firm the shoe feels. Do the cushioning features provide adequate support and comfort? Specifically evaluate the heel and forefoot. Cushioning should be soft but stable. Is the toebox roomy and the shoe lightweight? Ensure the shoe fits properly (even the width) and allow the sales associate to offer additional options, based on your running style and foot shape. Try on cushioned shoes with insoles (if required) and experience various brands and models to allow for an educated buying decision. High-quality cushioned running shoes can be expensive but are worth the investment to promote a healthy, productive and pain-free running experience.

Tips & Warnings

Write the date in permanent marker on the bottom of new running shoes. This will allow for a reminder of when to buy new shoes.
Break in new running shoes on short-distanced runs over a period of 2 or 3 weeks.
Cushioned running shoes should be replaced every 250 to 500 miles.
Have your feet appropriately measured each time you buy running shoes.

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