Running is one of the best ways to get fit and stay healthy. It’s inexpensive, it’s fun and it isn’t hard to get started. There is, however, one thing you need to take care of before you hit the open road and start running: selecting your running shoes. Here are the five things you should consider before you buy a pair of running shoes to guarantee you find the right pair.
Learn about your running style
First, it’s important to understand your running style. You need to be aware of how your feet move to ensure you find running shoes that best support your particular movement. You can easily analyse your own running by having someone film it and then just slow down the speed.
If you run heel-to-toe, you need to find shoes that provide heel cushioning to support your stride. On the other hand, if you run on the forefoot, you don’t need to have as much support in the heel region.
Furthermore, most runners fall under three runner types: pronation, over-pronation and supination. Pronation is the neutral form in which you land squarely on your feet. Supination runners favour the outside edge when they land, while over-pronation means you fall on the inside edge of your foot.
Decide your running surface
Your shoes will also need to fit the environment in which you run. This means identifying the kind of surface you’ll run. A harsh, asphalt might require a bit more cushioning and support from the base of the shoe, while a soft, equal terrain could work well even with minimalist shoes. Furthermore, if you are running off-road, then you want to opt for shoes that provide a lot of support, especially in the ankle region.
In addition, think about the weather you’ll normally run in. Those living in sunny, warm conditions need a lot of ventilation from the running shoe. If it mainly rains where you live, you might want to invest in waterproof shoes.
Be sure you need new ones
Before you start looking for new shoes, make sure you actually need them. The clearest sign for new shoes is that your feet hurt when you run. If this doesn’t happen when you walk in other shoes, it’s probably your shoes.
Even if you aren’t hurting, you should check your shoes and see what they feel like. If they have become flimsy and don’t feel as supportive as they did when you got them, you might be damaging your foot when running. However, if the shoe feels sturdy, even though it might look worn-out, and you aren’t in pain, you don’t need to get new shoes (unless you really want to!). Good running shoes will last a long time, so only buy new ones when it’s needed.
Test before you buy
You shouldn’t ever buy shoes without testing them first. In the case of running shoes, this might mean trying it out with a light jog around the store. You want to get a sense of how the shoe works when you are running – just wearing it might not reveal enough about the support you’re getting.
Don’t forget that you don’t need to buy the shoes in-store – you can actually find better discounts online and keep your budget reasonable. Just shop with a company that has a good return and exchange policy. You could also check the shoe in-store and then find a deal for that particular shoe online. Footasylum.com is a great place for discounts and better returns – it has a great selection of reputable sneakers from brands like Adidas.
Interestingly, don’t believe the myth of ‘breaking in’ when it comes to running shoes. These shoes, if they are good, should feel good immediately, not after ten runs.
Don’t get the exact fit
When you are trying on the running shoes, don’t pick a pair that fits perfectly. This is because your foot might swell slightly when you are running and thus require more room to fit comfortably. You can prepare for this a bit by trying on the shoes in the evening. After a day spent on your feet, your feet are slightly bigger than right in the morning. It’s a good idea to go around half a size larger than your usual shoes with your running shoes.
In addition, when you’re trying the shoes, remember to wear the kind of socks you generally wear when running. Special running socks are a good idea – you definitely don’t want to try on running shoes in your stockings or woolly socks!
Next time you are looking for new running shoes, keep the above five things in mind. Focus on these tips to guarantee your new running shoes last a long time. Your healthier and happier body will thank you for it!