‘Put Your Best Foot Forward’ on Your Next Run!
Having the right pair of running shoes is critical! The right (or wrong) pair of shoes can make or break your run and a good pair of shoes can also help prevent pain and injury. It is important to remember that not all running shoes are created equal and what works for one runner might not work for another! To help, we’ve put together some tips for selecting your perfect running shoe, as well as what to look for in style and fit before you invest in a new pair.
First, determine if/when you need a new pair of shoes.
Think about how old your shoes are. How many miles have you run in them? If you can’t remember when you bought them or how many miles you’ve covered, they’re probably too old! Are you experiencing shin splints or other leg pain? If so, this could be your body telling you that you need new or more supportive shoes.
Can you see the tread on the bottom, or is it worn down? Think of a tire on a car. You wouldn’t drive on a tire that had little to no tread on the bottom because it would make the car unsafe, especially in wet conditions. The same goes for your running shoes! If you’re not sure, do a quick check on the bottom of your shoe and see if how worn down it is, and if certain areas are more worn than others. This will also tell you where you are putting pressure on your foot when you run! See the photo below comparing an old shoe to a new shoe!
Try before you buy!
Before committing to a shoe, it is important to try it on in a running specialty store near you! Many stores will allow you to walk around the store or run a treadmill to test out the shoe. Their running experts will watch your foot placement in the shoe and make recommendations based on the type of support needed. Some running stores even have events that allow you to go on a group run and try out a select shoe before committing to purchasing that shoe! Either way, working with your local running store is a great way to ensure you get the right fit and level of support that is personalized for you.
½ Size up!
When trying on shoes, go a half size up from your normal shoe size. If you wear a size 8 in most shoes, try 8.5 in your next running shoe! This will allow more room in the front of the shoe near your toes and will help prevent bruising or damage to your toes and nails when running longer distances. Although there will be more room toward the front of the shoe, the rest of the shoe should fit securely.
Go for function over fashion!
Your running shoes are meant for running only. These should be different from your everyday shoes or shoes that you run errands in. With that in mind, the right pair for you might not always be the most fashionable. Avoid getting caught up in picking a shoe based on color or style, but instead go for support and what is needed to get the job done. While running shoes are a big investment, you’re investing in comfort over style. If the shoe you need for comfort happens to be stylish, that’s just a bonus!
Finally, remember that running shoes are an investment!
If you’re going to invest in anything running related, shoes should be your top priority! The reason shoes are so important is because everything in your body is connected. If you are running in un-supportive shoes, it could cause you to subconsciously change the way you run which could cause pain elsewhere in the body. Therefore, your shoes will set you up for success, keep you comfortable, and help prevent injury.
At the end of the day, just remember that with running all you need are a good pair of shoes and you’re ready to get out there and “put your best foot forward”!
Written by Ashley Morrison
Ashley has over 17 years of running and racing experience and is both NASM CPT and RRCA Certified. For more running tips and tricks, find Ashley at Run With Ashley on Instagram or on her website and blog.