Whether your motivation for running is to lose weight or prepare for a marathon, you need to have the right pair of running shoes. Ensuring you have the right shoes from the get-go helps to reduce your risks of getting blisters, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis.
Given that there are so many options to choose from selecting the right pair of runner shoes can prove challenging. Note that there’s a shoe for each runner, regardless of whether you intend to run low, medium, or high mileage races.
Top Tips On Choosing Running Shoes
1. What Type of Surface Will You Be Running On?
The surface you will be using when training and when running will dictate the shoes you will buy. For example, if you do most of your training on pavements, go for road running pair of shoes. They have better cushioning compared to lightweight and trail running shoes.
The cushioning will absorb the shock and eliminate your risk of getting injured.
If you are running on soft muddy trails, invest in a good pair of trail running shoes. Trail shoes have a deep tread designed to provide better ankle support and surface grip. The two are crucial for when you are running on a terrain that is not even.
Trail shoes will prove uncomfortable on pavements as their studs will continue to press into your feet. They will also wear out at a quicker pace.
2. Observe the Golden Rule
The most important factor when shopping for running shoes for beginners is comfort. Although comfort can mean diverse things to different runners, you need to focus on how the shoe feels on your foot.
A perfect shoe ought to feel as though it’s a part of your foot. It should match your biomechanical needs smoothly and efficiently. If you aren’t sure what’s best for you, consider trying out different models, brands, and sizes until you find the right fit.
Aside from running in the shoe for a few days, you can hasten the process by asking yourself several questions like:
- Are you experiencing any abrasion or rubbing at the back of your heel?
- On wearing it for the first time, what do you feel?
- Is the shoe flexible?
- Does it transition well?
If the answers to all the above questions are positive, you have found yourself the perfect shoe.
3. Understand Your Foot Arch Type
Your foot arch has a considerable impact on your gait and the kind of force your foot base will receive when you start running. Typically, there exist three types of foot arches: low, high, and normal.
Before you select your fitness training shoes, begin by determining the kind of arch you have. A more straightforward way to do this is to look at the imprint made by your foot. Make an imprint by wetting both feet and then placing them on a paper bag. Stand in the same position for ten seconds.
When this time elapses, step off the bag, and observe the imprint made by your foot. Look for the following;
- Low foot arch: Also known as flat feet, it applies to people whose imprints are filled in and don’t leave behind any inward curve at the center.
- High foot arch: It applies when the only parts visible in the imprint are the toes, the ball of the feet, and the heel.
- Normal foot arch: A person will be said to have a normal foot arch if the center part of their footprint is filled halfway, and there’s a curve on the length of each arch.
4. What Socks Will You Wear?
As silly as it may sound, your sock’s thickness can significantly impact the feel and fit of the running shoe, more so when the feet begin to expand due to high temperatures. Make sure to wear the socks you will wear on the material day when you go to get fitted for athletics shoes.
It’s best to acquire a pair of technical running socks that have been specially designed for this role. The socks will feature extra padding across the heel, toes, and foot for enhanced impact protection. It will also come with additional arch support.
While cotton socks are known to be comfortable, it’s not advisable to wear them when training. Cotton has a high moisture retention rate, and when you factor in the friction and heat from running, the chances are that you will get hot spots, calluses, and blisters.
When selecting the running socks, make sure the back of your running shoe is shorter than the socks. Failure to do so will cause the socks to slip down during the run leading to the emergence of friction hot spots on your heels.
5. Try It On to Confirm It’s the Right Fit
The last step when choosing fitness shoes is to try on the pair you have selected. The technology applied by the shoemakers, though intended to achieve the same goal, often varies. It’s why you need to try on as many pairs as possible.
As you try on the different types of shoes, look out for the following:
- Confirm that the shoe leaves enough room for your toes. Your thumb should easily fit in the remaining space.
- Ensure there’s enough room in its width. It should be tight but not too tight to restrict swelling.
- Run for a few minutes on a treadmill to confirm there’s no slipping or hotspots in your heel.
The five steps discussed above will assist you in choosing the perfect running shoe. It’s a guide designed to simplify the shopping experience while ensuring you will get a shoe matching your specific needs.