Choosing the correct running shoes is one of the most important decisions a runner makes. This is the one area where the runner does not want to try and save money. A runner’s shoes are the very foundation of their sport, so must match their feet and provide the support they need.
There are certain factors in how to choose running shoes. It helps to buy them from a specialty store where the staff themselves are runners and understand exactly how important fit, weight, and function are. Expertly trained staff will know how to do a stride analysis and match the right shoe with a runner’s foot and stride pattern.
A runner should check the soles of their current running shoes to identify the signs of wear. This shoes where a runner’s foot hits the ground and helps identify their stride pattern. They should also take their current shoes with them to the store to show the staff.
If a runner can see the outline of their big or little toe on the front of their shoe, they may need a larger size. They should also consider how much time they spend running. If they are a distance runner, they may need an elite or high quality shoe for an intense runner and these can be quite expensive.
A runner should always wear the socks they wear running when trying on running shoes. The store should have a place where a runner can try out the shoes to get a true feel for the weight and balance and how they fit. The runner should buy the shoe that feels the best and most comfortable.
The heel of the running shoe should fit comfortably, neither sliding up or down while walking or running. The arch bump of the shoe should be slightly toward the rear of the arch, but still comfortable.
Type of Feet
Another consideration in choosing the proper running shoes is the runner’s type of foot. There are three common type of feet: flat feet, high-arched feel, and normal arched feet.
Supination or underpronation is when the foot does not roll inward enough after it lands. This tends to happen with high-arched feet. Runners with high-arched feet should wear cushioned running shoes to compensate for this and to provide supination control. Lightweight trainers can work well since they allow for more foot motion, but they should be padded well in the insole, arch area, and outsole, and have good shock absorption.
Runners with flat feet may pronate more than other runners. This means their foot will roll inward which can cause injuries to the runner. A runner who is flat-footed needs shoes with motion control that provide rigid support to the foot and correct this inward roll. The best shoes will have proper padding in the arch area and midsoles that are multi-dense and firms.
A runner fortunate enough to have a normal arch should look for a neutral running shoe. These will have just the right amount of cushioning and support and not be too firm or allow too much movement. It may take trying on several pairs to find the perfect one, but it will be worth it.
Learning how to choose running shoes is not hard, but it is very important. A runner’s shoes are arguably the most important part of their gear, so they need to fit well and be comfortable. After all, a runner will be spending a great deal of time in them.