You know how it goes….every day someone posts a picture on RMA of their pretty running shoes. And you drool, and dream and envisage yourself running around in them. You have to have them. But should you? No, of course you shouldn’t!
As runners, and humans, we are all built differently, and just like our body type our feet are different also from one person to the next. So what should you look for in a running shoe to know that it is right for you and where do you start?
The first thing that I would recommend is to get fitted. Yes, you can find some sweet deals online and overseas on running shoes, and they are probably going to come in pretty colours or your favourite colour, but they are not necessarily right for you.
Head to a running shoe store if you have one near you that does expert fittings. As our feet are all different, so are running shoes. Some are for pronators, (where your feet roll in) or some for supinators, (where you roll out), some have more support than others, some are for neutral runners and some are built for track, road, ultras or trail. The salesperson at the store can hopefully help you wade through all of the overwhelmingness of choosing the right shoe for you. If they are a really good store they often have the ability to do some gait analysis on a treadmill and watch you run and get you into the right shoe depending on how your foot strikes and what your needs are.
You should look for the following things when choosing a shoe:
Right fit: You want the shoe to complement your running style, so if you are a pronator, neutral runner or supinator, or if you want lots of support or minimal support, you want the shoe right for you.
Comfort: You want to feel comfortable. You don’t want the shoe to slip or feel too tight. You are going to want to run many kilometres in these shoes.
Price: You don’t need to break the bank, but unfortunately a good running shoe is often around the $150-200 mark or more. You want shoes that last. You should replace your shoes around the 600-800km mark. The best thing is that when you find the shoe that you love, make sure that you get a few pairs before they are discontinued as they often are cheaper in price and that is when you are able to go online and purchase them, as you know that they are good for you. Rotate your shoes so that they last.
Style: If you are doing mostly road running there is no point going for a pretty trail shoe, and visa versa. Although sometimes, depending on the trails you run you can go without a trail shoe and wear a regular runner.
Reviews: Read up on the shoes before you go into the store. What do people say about them? Are they built to last? Does anyone have issues with them breaking down early and why? Do your research before you head into the store.
Having the right shoe can mean the difference between running well and getting injured, not to mention wasting money going through shoes to find the right one, so it is important that you get it right, which is where expert advice from a shoe store can help. Hopefully you find the perfect shoe and you are on your way to running success.