Picking the perfect running shoe for ME.
I started out running as a way to stay in shape for other sports so the type of running shoes was not of utmost importance to me. I just needed a pair of running shoes that fit well (enough) and that I could throw on long enough to get me from point A to B. My first shoes were of course Nike running shoes because isn’t that what all runners wear? I would soon find out that while Nikes are great shoes there are tons of options available for runners and that not every runner needs to same shoe. Now you can find shoes for every different foot shape from wide to narrow, flat footed to high arches. There are are also running shoes for different terrain, different weather and shoes that are minimal to the nice cushiony maximal shoes like the Hoka One One’s that I have grown to love but originally said that I would never wear.
New runners often ask me what shoes I run in and how should they go about finding the best shoes to get them started. I also hear runners telling me that they are running into trouble with shin pain or other problems and that they think that it might be due to their shoes. Running is a sport that doesn’t require a lot of equipment. Your number one piece of equipment is your shoes and it is extra important that you find the right pair of running shoes for you. What works on one runners foot may not be the shoe that is right for you. I currently have several different types of shoes in my rotation as each pair serves a different purpose and then I have the tried and true pairs that I hesitate to get rid of even though I know it is time to move on. As I have gotten older my feet have changed thus requiring a change in footwear. After pregnancy my feet grew a half size or perhaps just flattened out and injuries have made me rethink some running shoe choices.
You may not end up with a shoe that you love the first time as there is an element of trial and error but I do have some tips to help you find your way onto your next running adventure!
Tips for finding the running shoe that is best for you:
- Avoid general fitness stores unless you are sure that the people who work int he store are knowledgeable about running.
- Also, run for the hills from these stores as the selection is often too limited.
- Choose a running store or online website that is dedicated to runners and staff by runners with reviews by runners of the different types of shoes.
- Find a store where they do a brief run gait analysis on a treadmill to help determine what shoe style and brand might work for your foot.
- If you are shopping online utilize any online help forums that they may have to ask questions about the shoes and take time to read the reviews.
- Be prepared to spend some money as better shoes will help to support your feet and will help to prevent injuries
- Plan to spend time trying on the shoes to be sure that they are the absolute best fit and if they have an in-store treadmill take them for a spin.
- If you are purchasing online, order several shoes to try and test them out on a treadmill if possible before returning them.
- Here are some things that you might want to think about as you try on the shoes-Does the toe-box fit? How does the instep feel? Do you need a stability shoe or is your foot better suited to a neutral shoe? How much heel drop do you want? Are you looking for a trail shoe or a road shoe?
- Ask a lot of questions about the different kind of shoes and also discuss what type of running you will be doing–road running, races-5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon etc, running for triathlon, mountain running, trail running.
I have tried many different brands and styles of running shoes since I have become a runner. Here are some of my latest shoe reviews in case you are interested:
But actually, at the end of the day it’s actually all about style and color right? . . . Just remember, what works for me may not be the perfect shoe for you.
What are your best tips for picking the best running shoes for you? What is your current favorite running shoe?