How (and How Not) to Pick Out Running Shoes
Running shoes are the most important investment that a runner can make to ensure comfortable, pain-free workouts. With the sheer variety of available styles, how should a runner choose the shoes that are most appropriate?
A Good Fit
When picking out running shoes, be sure to try on a variety of sizes as some brands tend to run small, while other brands can run large. In addition, the shoe should be a half to full size larger than dress shoes, and you should take into consideration that your feet will swell during runs. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can take the shoes for a quick jog inside or outside of the running store to ensure the heel doesn’t slip and that the toe box is the proper size.
Right for your Gait
If you have a neutral gait, meaning that you land with your weight evenly distributed on your foot, then any neutral shoe may be right for you. However, if you pronate (land on the inside of your foot) or supinate (land on the outside of your foot) then a stability shoe is your best bet for injury prevention. Ask the staff at your local running store to analyze your stride and suggest the best shoe for your feet.
Rated for Terrain of Choice
If you primarily run on the roads, a trail shoe may not be right for you, and vice versa. If you spend the majority of your time running on a specific type of terrain, you should look for a shoe that accommodates your preferences.
How should you not pick a shoe? When walking into a running store, leave all of your color and style preferences at the door. Choosing a shoe based on your favorite color or new trendy style, instead of fit, is one of the quickest ways to develop an injury.
Runners are very particular about their favorite running shoes and are willing to pay a premium when they find the right fit. If possible, avoid choosing your shoe based on the cheapest price. If you are unable to afford the newest model in the best fitting shoe, look online or at an outlet store for your shoe of choice. Spending more money on the right shoe will save you valuable time – and money – in the long run if you become injured due to poor fit.