Don’t ever compromise your runs or training with the wrong footwear. However, with so many options to select from, purchasing running shoes can sometimes be difficult, but don’t worry; here is a guide to help you. Regardless of the activity (low, high or medium millage runs), there are always right shoes for every runner.
Just as there are different shoes for every runner, there are also shoes for different feet. Therefore, there are men’s and women’s shoes designed to suit your needs, whether you want a neutral shoe, a wider toe box, a certain heel-to-toe drop, or something to control your foot movements. The only thing to do is follow the guide below and know the right questions you should ask yourself before buying running shoes.
Factors to consider when buying running shoes
Most people prefer online shopping, but there are some risks involved, especially if you don’t try the shoe first. Therefore, when buying running shoes, you must have the following aspects at the back of your head.
The surface you are running on
Runners need to know the surface there are running on to get the right shoes. For example, get road shoes if you always run or train on pavements. Lightweight race shoes or shoes with more cushioning will offer a shock absorption mechanism to prevent you from training-related injuries.
Also, you should go for trail shoes if you always train or run through a soft muddy trail. Trail shoes offer great grip and ankle support, essential for uneven terrain. Wearing trail shoes while running on the pavement will be uncomfortable since the studs will press more into the soles causing them to wear quickly.
However, consider hybrid running trainers if you are doing both. These running shoes work better on mixed terrain conditions and roads since it is designed with a balanced mix of cushioning and grip.
Always go to the store that can offer you video gait analysis as part of running shoes’ trying and fitting service. Video analysis technology will help determine the running style, the extent of your pronate (how your foot rolls inwards during training), and where your foot touches the ground.
With that, you will get the right recommendation based on the terrain, pronation, foot shape, and personal choice and preference from different shoe brands in the market. Always remember that different shoe brands will fit slightly differently regardless of the similarity in shape and size. When fitting different shoes, ensure you have at least an inch or thumb width between the end of the shoe and your longest toe.
If you are trying to beat the 5k PB, you will need a different type of running shoes than when training for a marathon. Long distances will need a more cushioned shoe and flexibility. Therefore, check out available shoe brands and models for different running distances to have the one that suits you well. Wrong shoes will bring about discomfort and, to some extent, foot injury.
Type of socks you are wearing
This might sound stupid, but the type of sock you are planning to wear with the running shoe will make a big difference to the feel and fit, especially during high temperatures when your feet expand. Therefore, wear the socks you intend to run in when you fit shoes in the store. Consider perfect, technical socks designed with extra padding across the toes, ball of the foot, and heel and arch support for better impact protection.
Despite the fact that cotton socks are the best in terms of comfort, it is not recommended since cotton retains moisture, causing friction and adding heat during running. Ensure your running socks are higher than the back of the shoes you are buying to avoid slipping down during training and causing friction hot spots.
Regardless of the type of running shoe you select, ensure that you can benefit from durability, support and flexibility. Runners need to understand that the level of flexibility, durability and support from running shoes depends mostly on cushioning, motion control, weight, trail and stability. Your running shoes need to respond quicker to terrain change to get the best out of your training.