With so many brands and options out there, it may be hard to figure out what is the right running shoe. Before you make the investment, I’ve broken down some key things you should understand, and look for, before buying.
- The first thing is making sure to get the right shoe for you. Don’t buy a shoe because your friend thinks it’s the best, or some running magazine says it’s the best shoe on the market. Everyone’s foot is different so make sure the fit is right for you.
- If available near you, buy from a store focused on running. These stores often have good fit experts and will often times allow you to try the shoes and exchange them if they don’t work.
- Ask the salesperson if there is a place you can try the shoes out. Some stores have treadmills that you can use to give the shoe a test. It’s surprising how different a shoe can feel once you start running.
- Buy a shoe for feel and function, not for style. We all want shoes that look good, but please do not sacrifice fit for fashion.
- If possible, buy your shoes later in the day – preferably after work or after a run. Your foot will swell as the day goes on, so it’s best to buy your running shoes in the afternoon/evening. Leave about a thumb’s width in the front of your shoe, then try and see if you can wiggle your toes.
- Don’t be afraid to try on multiple pairs and different style from different brands.
- If you wear orthotics make sure to have them with you when you are trying on your shoes.
Common Terms Used in Shoes
Heel Drop: This refers to the drop in distance from the heel to the toes. Expressed in millimeters.
Motion Control Shoes: These shoes are designed to help runners who pronate (inward rolling of the ankle, will usually have calluses on the outside of the big toe). You will see wear patterns on your shoes along the inside edge of your shoes.
Stability Shoes: These shoes are designed for runners who pronate but not as severe. Stability shoes can be together with the Motion Control Shoes.
Neutral Shoes: These shoes are typically designed for people who supinate (not as common). The wear pattern of your shoes will be along the outside of your shoes.