How to Choose the Right Running Shoes
Running is a great exercise and, if you run outside, there is absolutely no equipment required except shoes. And, really, you could go shoeless if you felt like it but we wouldn’t recommend it, especially in an urban environment (we want you to avoid tetanus. You’re welcome). However, when you start to look at running shoes, it can be kind of overwhelming once you realize exactly how many are out there. Here are a few tips to find the right pair for your needs:
● Consider what you need your shoes for. There are basically three types of shoes: road-running, trail-running, and cross-training.
○ Road-running shoes: As the name implies, these are best for running along paved roads. They are designed to cushion your feet against hard surfaces like the road, which, if you’ve ever tripped and fallen, you know how unforgiving pavement can be.
○ Trail-running shoes: These shoes are, you guessed it, for running off-road routes. Because the trail won’t be as consistent as pavement, you’ll need soles with extra tread to protect you on uneven surfaces as well as additional support for various obstacles you might encounter.
○ Cross-training: Cross-training shoes tend to have thinner soles than other running shoes for balancing activities that require more contact with the ground. These are generally best for the gym.
● Consider how you run. When you run, your feet might stay in a neutral position or they might roll to the outside (supinate) or the inside (pronate). A quick way to check how your feet strike is to check the inside of an old pair of your shoes. You’ll be able to see where the majority of the wear is in your shoe and that can clue you into how you run.
● Don’t be afraid to test your shoes. Walking around a carpeted store floor isn’t going to give you an accurate assessment of how the shoes will feel once you’re actually running. Many runner-specific stores have in-house treadmills you can use to see if you actually like how the shoes feel.
● When in doubt, ask for help. There are so many shoes out there and, as we said, it can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a new runner. Don’t be afraid to ask someone at the store for guidance. Asking for assistance can help you avoid buying the wrong shoes so you can get on with the actual activity you want to do--run!
Running is a great sport, but it’s important to properly care for your equipment: your feet. Finding the right shoes can make all the difference to your running experience. Find the right shoes, stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and have fun!