When shopping for the perfect running shoe, it is easy to get caught up in “overpronation,” “underpronation,” “neutral,” “cushion,” “lightweight,” “stability,” and all the other jargon that is associated with running shoes. It can all become very confusing very quickly. I have compiled a list of the essential dos and don’ts that every shoe buyer should know.
- Buy your shoes with enough room at the end that you can bend over and push on the end of the shoe without pushing on your toe. For most women, this is a full size bigger than your normal size.
- Buy your shoes like you buy your slippers. They shouldn’t rub, bind, fold, twist or anything else uncomfortable. If you can feel it now you will feel it later because running shoes don’t break in.
- Buy your shoes so they fit snug in the heel, snug in the arch(this may require some arch support), and roomy in the forefoot.
- Buy your shoes only after your gait has been analyzed. Each runner has a specific gait and a running shoe fitter will be able to help you determine which shoes are best for you based on your personal and unique gait.
- Buy your shoes from a store with a good exchange policy. Time and time again, a shoe will feel good in the store but after 20 min of running, the feel good is all gone. Make sure the store will allow you to exchange the shoe for something different if it doesn’t feel good after your first run.
- Don’t buy your shoes based on color.
- Don’t buy your shoes based on price.
- Never buy the shoe that your best friend wears. He/She doesn’t know how the shoe will perform for you and it could cause an injury.
- Don’t buy your running shoes from Foot Locker, Famous Footwear, or other Big Box Chain Stores. Their sales people are not trained to custom fit a shoe.
- Don’t buy a shoe just because the it is labeled as running. Not all shoes are equal. Many shoes that are labeled running are NOT designed to be run in everyday. Many of them are designed just for the person who wants an athletic looking shoe who likes to run as they participate in all sports. They usually weigh more, are lower quality in construction, don’t fit as well and absorb less impact.
Because buying running shoes can make or break your running experience, it is important to find the right shoe for you. Don’t be afraid to run on the shoe in the store or outside on the sidewalk in front of the store. Pick out the shoe that fits your needs the best. Remember, if your feet hurt, you won’t want to run on them. So make a little investment and spend $100 on some good shoes. It is the best $100 you will spend on your feet.