Tips on how to pick the right running shoe for you!
First time buying a pair of running sneakers and wondering which one is right for you? Read more for some tips to use when looking for a fresh new pair of kicks!
There are a few key factors to focus on when looking for a pair of running sneakers. First, they must optimize your gait in order to promote good form when running. This means they should fit to the specific way your feet move in order to assist the rest of your body to move correctly and efficiently. They also must be able to absorb impact when striking the ground in order to prevent injury from overuse of certain muscles. When trying on new pair of sneakers, you should definitely make sure you run in them before leaving the store. This “trial” is super important to do with the same type of socks you plan to wear when actually using the sneaker. Be sure to focus on whether or not your heel is slipping out of the shoe, if the laces are cutting off your circulation because they are too tight or if the shoe is all around too tight. If any of these problems occur, you should address them right away and try a different pair. Lastly, ask about breathability of the sneaker. Include which climate and weather you plan to be using the sneakers in to help decide which one is right for you. The hotter the weather, the more breathability you’ll want and vice versa. You must make sure the sneakers feel good on BOTH feet before making your purchase.
“A good running shoe should not influence your running at all, but let you free to pronate in your natural way and avoid injury through better form, not better footwear.” -Ruggero Loda from "Running Shoes: What You Need to Know to Pick the Right Shoe for You."
There are two main categories used to describe sneakers: cushioning or stability. The difference between these two categories is the pronation they cater to in a runner, under or over pronators. Pronation is the natural inward movement of the foot. The impact of the foot is distributed as it rolls inward.
Cushioning sneakers are also known to be neutral and are a perfect fit for under pronators (supinators). These sneakers are built with softer materials in the midsole in order to help the runner better absorb shock. Most runners will use a neutral shoe as it is the most common type of running sneaker.
Stability sneakers are also known to be supportive and are a perfect fit for over pronators (those who’s arch collapses entirely in their step). These sneakers are built with a harder foam that is placed right under the ankle to prevent it from collapsing. Stability sneakers are built with the idea in mind to provide support to the runner’s feet in order to keep the optimal and correct gait.
Running shoes are designed to last approximately 400 miles! So make sure you pick the right pair for you because you’ll be logging miles with them for a while!
Need more information to help you search for your perfect shoe? Keep these common mistakes to avoid in mind when you’re out shopping.
1. Buying for looks. Be sure that you are buying for the fit and feel. The cool design and bright colors will not correct your gait or provide the necessary support!
2. Not asking for deals. Most of the time, running stores offer student or track club discounts. Also, if a newer version of the sneaker was just released, be sure to ask if the store is selling the old version at a lower price. The difference between the two shoes is usually too small to even notice. Try to take advantage of these deals and your savings will add up!
3. Buying shoes that are too small. If the sneaker doesn’t allow for any wiggle room for your forefoot, you could end up getting multiple blisters and black toenails.
4. Shopping at the wrong time of day. Your feet could swell as the day goes on, so shoes that may fit in the morning could be a little snug for your late afternoon workout. Shop at the time of day you expect to do most of your running, or in the evening, to get the most accurate feel of the shoes.
5. Assuming your size. All shoes are made differently. Always try on for fit and feel and never assume your size will be the same for all types of sneakers.