Finding the Perfect Pair of Running Shoes

Are you considering buying a new pair of running shoes? With so many options available these days, the search can be quite daunting. Not to mention the countless brands to choose from—Nike, Asics, New Balance and Saucony—just to name a few. When it comes to buying a new pair of running shoes, it’s extremely important that you take your time. Choosing the wrong type of shoe can result in the development of stress fractures and other running related injuries.

Determine your foot type

Before you buy a pair of running shoes, you should know what type of feet you have. Start by examining your own feet. There are three different types of feet: flat, high-arched and neutral or normal feet. Understanding your foot type is very important. For example, someone with high-arches should look for a flexible running shoe with a soft midsole that will absorb shock. The trick is to find a running shoe that does not counteract your foot type.

Know Your Running Profile

Are you a light jogger or heavy runner? Do you run more frequently on a treadmill or on the pavement? Part of finding the perfect pair of running shoes is determining what you will be doing with the shoes. For avid treadmill runners, I recommend the Asics Gel-Treadmill shoe. Because treadmill runners tend to place more pressure on the lateral heel, this shoe has more cushioning in the heel—for a comfortable fit.

Get measured frequently

Contrary to popular belief, our feet change as we age. The shape of our feet also changes over time. For those reasons alone, getting measured regularly is an important aspect in finding a good pair of running shoes. Especially for those of you have high-arches because their arches tend to gradually fall, making their feet longer. Another tip is to measure your feet at the end of the day, that’s when they’re the largest.

Forget Fashion

Forget buying shoes for their looks. Running shoes are meant to provide protection for your feet, legs and body from the repeated stress of running. Instead look for a pair of shoes with superior cushioning, flexibility in all the right places, traction and breathability. These advantages will not only help you run better and more comfortably, but also lessen the chance of over-use injury.

Keep in mind, that the shoe should feel comfortable as soon as you put it on. Walk around in the shoes and, if at all possible, try to run in them before making the purchase. And if you’re still unsure, consult a salesperson particularly at a running specialty store. They will be able to help you find the right running shoe for your foot type.

Ashley Dean is a freelance writer with a passion for running. Rain or shine, Ashley prefers running outdoors. Her ideal footwear is a sneaker. She believes that nothing compares to her favorite pair of Nikes.