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Five Tips For Buying Running Shoes

April 20, 2021

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With spring weather on the way, there is no better time than now to get outside for a run. But how do you make sure you’re protecting your feet without breaking your wallet? Here are five tips for finding the best running shoes for you.

Shop at the right time of the day
This is surprisingly important if you want the perfect fit. Often people will buy their running shoes in the morning and find out later in the day that they are too small. This is because your feet start swelling in the morning and don’t stop till around 4 pm in the afternoon. So if you buy your shoes in the morning, your foot it is possible that your shoe will not fit later on. Always buy your shoes in the late afternoon or evening to prevent this from happening.

Different shoes for different speeds and locations
It is important to pick a shoe fit for your running speed because it reduces the risk of injuries. For a slower speed, a highly-cushioned and soft shoe is the way to go. These types of running shoes could also be used for recovery runs. On the other hand, a shoe that is light and responsive is the best for a faster-paced run.

For fast pace racing, spikes or racing flats are a great option. Spikes are extremely lightweight and extremely responsive. This higher level of responsiveness is helpful when running a race.

Location is also a key factor when picking out running shoes. Obviously, you aren’t going to run in the same location every time you run, but it is good to have an idea of where you will be running a majority of the time. If you do most of your running on trails, you should have trail running shoes. These offer better traction on multiple terrains and are designed to support and protect the foot.
In contrast, road running shoes are usually made of lightweight material. This helps with responsiveness and speed. You can use both trail running shoes and road running shoes on a treadmill; however, you may feel more comfortable in road running shoes on the treadmill.

Don’t buy your running shoes for the color (unless it has to do with the soles)
Many people pick a shoe because it looks fashionable or cool, but then a few weeks later they end up returning the shoe because it didn’t fit right or feel good. It is important to remember that the key to a good shoe is always fit and feel, not fashion. If you are worried about the look of your running shoes, you can always ask if they have them in a different color.

Surprisingly, the color of the sole is more important than you may think. Black soles are made up of carbon rubber, which is the same stuff used in car tires. White or colored soles are made from blown rubber, and this rubber contains more air and less weight. Black soles are better for running on concrete and asphalt. White soles are better for running for surfaces such as a treadmill, a padded track, dirt trail, or grass.

Don’t assume about the size
When looking for running shoes, a lot of people assume since they if are a 7 in one brand they’ll be a 7 in another. This is incorrect because every shoe is made differently, so therefore the sizing will be different. If you are a 7 in Nike, you won’t always be a 7 in Asics. This is why it is so important to try the shoes on, have your foot measured every time you buy, and not just assume your size.

Another big factor in shoe fit is lacing. There are multiple different ways to lace your shoes for many individual issues such as toe bruising, heel slipping, tightness at the top of the foot, and pain on the top of the foot. In fact, researching good lacing techniques can help you find the perfect fit, and may even make it possible to avoid having to buy new shoes quite so soon.

Understand Pronation
Pronation is the way the foot rolls through the foot strike. It is important to know your pronation when buying shoes so you don’t underpronate or overpronate. Overpronation is when you roll too much to the inside of your foot, and underpronation is when you roll too much to the outside of the foot. Always ask for help if you aren’t sure about pronation to assure you get the best shoe for you.

If you are buying shoes online and cannot ask for help there are a few ways to see if you overpronate or underpronate. Grab a pair of your existing athletic shoes and see how they tilt on the bottom of the soles. If they tilt inward, then that is overpronation; if they tilt outward that is underpronation. You can also look at your foot. If your foot is flat, you are more likely to overpronate. If you have a higher arch, you are more likely to underpronate.

Buying the correct running shoes is vital to the success of running and preventing injury. Take the extra time to do your own research before you go shopping. Your feet will thank you.

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