How to Choose Running Shoes
It is important to choose a pair of running shoes that fit well and provide your feet with support. For every mile that you run, each foot strikes the ground approximately 800 times. When you consider how much impact the feet absorb during a typical run, it is easy to see the importance of quality running shoes. Replace running shoes approximately every 400 miles. Purchasing the right pair of running shoes prevents injuries, provides comfort and makes your run more enjoyable.
Things You’ll Need:
- Running socks
- Old pair of running shoes
- Basin of water
Shop in the afternoon, evening or after your run. It is normal for feet to swell as the day goes on. Feet also swell after running. If you purchase a pair of shoes early in the day, you may find that they are uncomfortably tight after running.
Wear running socks when shopping for running shoes. Running socks are typically thinner than regular socks. Many running socks are also very short. It is important to wear the socks that you would normally wear when running. This way you get an accurate feel for whether the shoes will slide around on your foot or the sock will slip down in your shoe.
Determine your pronation style. When someone runs, he typically begins his stride on the outside of the heel. As his stride continues, the foot can move several different ways. It may roll forward and out, with most of the impact of the stride on the outside edge of the foot. The term for this is "underpronation." Underpronators typically prefer a cushioned shoe. Other people find that when they stride forward, the foot rolls to the inside, causing the inner part of the foot to bear most of the impact. The term for this is "overpronating." "Overpronators" typically find a stability or motion control shoe most comfortable. Check the wear on your old running shoes to determine if the inside or outside of your foot receives the most stress.
Know your arch type. Stick your foot in a basin of water and step onto the ground. This works best on a driveway, sidewalk or deck where you can clearly see the outline of your footprint. Can you see the entire outline of your foot? If so, you have a low arch and will benefit from a shoe with a firm midsole. Does the middle portion of your foot seem to disappear in the footprint? You have a high arch and will find a flexible, cushioned shoe most comfortable.
Choose the best fit. When running, the toes slide forward with each stride. If your shoes are not the right size, your toes will hit the ends of your shoes, leading to pain and the dreaded black toenails. After putting on the shoes and lacing them up, there should be a distance the width of your thumb between the end of your longest toe and the end of your shoe.
Visit a specialty running store. If, after following these fit tips, you still have trouble finding a comfortable pair of shoes, pay a visit to a local running specialty store. Salespeople in these stores receive training to analyze stride and recommend shoes that may help any particular fit or pain issues you may have.
Tips & Warnings
Look for the terms used above in the shoe description. Shoe companies label their shoes cushioned, motion control, stability and neutral.
Article Written By Amy Hunter
Amy Hunter has been a writer since 1998. She writes about health and lifestyle issues and enjoys writing about hiking, camping, trail running and other outdoor activities. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento Parent," ASPCA's "Animal Watch" and other print and online publications. She is the author of "The History of Mexico" and "Tony Gonzalez: Superstar of Pro Football," aimed at young-adult readers.
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