When it comes to running, the last place you want to make a mistake is by running in the wrong shoes. There are a variety of styles, brands and categories available which can make the selection process overwhelming. Many people just buy a shoe that is the right size and is of an appealing color. Color or “look” should be the last thing to focus on. Here are five tips on how to select the proper running shoe for you:
- Visit your local running store: Sure, there are plenty of opportunities for you to go to a big chain or buy online, but when you visit your local running store, you will get one-on-one attention; they will ask about your training, goals and even if you have any injuries. The next three points are things that should happen when you visit your local running store.
- Look at your arches: There is a test you can do yourself. http://www.runnersworld.com/running-shoes/the-wet-test The salesperson at the store will be looking at your arches. There are three types: low, neutral and high. The first step in determining what shoe is best for you starts here.
- Gait analysis: Almost all running stores will have you walk and/or run while they take a look at your foot and ankle position. This is how to determine whether you are a pronator, neutral or supinator. Each one of these categories has a different shoe. Additionally, depending on your age, weight, amount you run, whether you are injured or not, the salesperson at the store can figure out some shoes for you to try on.
- Try three different pairs of shoes: While everyone has a specific “category”, each of the shoe manufacturers makes different models to accommodate those runners with different biomechanics. Make sure you take the time to try on several different pairs of shoes, though they all should be in the same category. Never leave the store believing that the shoe will “break in”. What the shoes feel like in the store is what they should feel like when you get out and start running.
- Replace your shoes every 300-500 miles. The fact is, you cannot judge the shoe just by looking at it. Some shoes with over 500 miles can look almost brand new! Depending on the surface you run on, your weight and how “hard” you are on your shoes will all go into determining how long the pair will last. Once your shoes get to the 350-400 mile mark, it’s best to go and invest in another pair. While you do not need to throw the first pair of shoes out, it would benefit you to rotate your shoes to prevent injury. Once you start to feel any aches and pains after running in the older pair, it is likely time to retire them.
If you have specific questions on running shoes and what to look for, please feel free to contact me. Next week’s focus is on how to build your running base. Happy training!