While you decide how to choose a running shoe, your choice for the selection of appropriate running shoes determines if it is going to be a good or a bad decision, or you run comfortably or in pain, and most important of all is that you don’t get injured during running and stay healthy.
It has been observed that the major and the most common mistake that the novice runners make is that they straight away head toward the clearance table of a shoe store when they want to buy their first pair of running shoes. To add to the misery, they even head toward a departmental store to buy the running shoes. There is a simple logic behind it, that is, no one wants to pay a higher price for a logo on the side of a shoe when you may not even use them as much as required. How are you going to justify the high price to your partner or spouse?
This might make a lot of sense with all the logics that you have in mind but it would equally be logical when you would have to give up on running just because a cheap priced shoe would only result in miserable runs. Those very tenacious among us may not quit until they suffer some serious injuries of a chin, a blown-out knee, and foot or hip injuries. So the conclusion is, forget bargains. What you need to start running is the comfortable and appropriate running shoes.
There are many brands of running shoes out in the market claiming to have high-tech shoes having that entire special feature to support running. So it becomes overwhelming to find and buy shoes that meet all your needs.
This is why we have created this ”How to Choose a Running Shoe” guide. Just follow the guide step by step, and you will eventually be able to figure out which running shoes are best according to your needs.
- Understand Pronation
- Determine Your Foot Type
- Select Your Gait Type
- Choose the Right Running Shoe For You
- Ensure Your New Running Shoes Fit Properly
- Understand Pronation
Pronation is term widely used for selection of proper running shoes. It is defined as the foot rolling from heel to toe through a foot strike. When you hit with your foot it reduces the stress of impact. A neutral pronation is when outside of the heel is hit up to the ball of the foot and is even across the foot.
Another term is underpronation which does not result in enough evening out and most of the impact is taken on the outside of the foot. Overpronation is when there is more roll across from outside of the foot to the inside.
To know your pronation level, observe the wear on the outside of the shoe that you use mostly for a walk or running. In case the wear of the shoe is:
- Inside or the medial wear results in Overpronation and Motion-Control Running Shoes are recommended.
- Outside or the lateral wear results in underpronation and Cushioned Running Shoes are recommended.
- Uniform or neutral wear appearing evenly results in neutral pronation and Stability Running Shoes are recommended.
Determine Your Foot Type
Arch height determination is another way to find which shoes suit you the most. Arch height can be measured by Wet Test. To carry out the test, take a paper bag, wet your feet and stand on the bag for a minute or two. Now step off and observe the foot print. If you want to keep it, then simply draw its outline with a pencil.
If you note that on the inner side of the foot, there is a curve connecting the heel and toe, which is little less than half the overall width of the foot, then that means you have neutral pronation so choose Stability Running Shoes
If you foot imprint shows almost the entire foot and there is not a distinct curve on the inside, then you have over-pronation, also called flat feet. In this case choose Motion-Control Running Shoes
If your foot print shows a very thin band between the toe and the heel, and the curve on the inside is sharp, then you have under-pronation, and then choose Cushioned Running Shoes)
Choose the Right Running Shoe for You
Based on the results from the wet test, there are three types of running shoes in the market which come in three different shapes (straight, semi-curved and curved. According to the experts:
- A straight shaped running shoe is ideal for Overpronators.
- A curved shaped running shoe is ideal for Underpronators.
- A semi-curved shaped running shoe is ideal for Normal/Neutral pronators.
Select a Motion-Control running shoe if you have flat feet. Motion control shoes give your foot a straight shape to provide a maximum support. These rigid, control-oriented running shoes prevent your foot from too much rolling in.
Select a Cushioned running shoe if you underpronate or have high-arched feet. Cushioned shoes allow your feet to absorb shock by rolling inwards. Their curved shape encourages foot motion and their midsole are very soft with minimal medial support.
Select a Stability running shoe if you pronate normally or have normal arches. They possess a semi-curved shape which does not have as much control over the feet as of motion-control shoes. They come with a complete package of durability, cushioning and a good medial support.
Finally, if you are into racing and like to run fast, then you should select high performance running shoes at least during racing. Unlike standard running shoes are lighter in weight with less cushioning. They have lower heel-to-toe ramp angle and have a semi curved to curved shape.
High Performance shoes are preferred mostly by serious and elite racers. Due to less stability and cushioning, they are not suitable for recreational runners.
Ensure Your New Running Shoes Fit Properly
Make sure that the running shoes that you are going to buy fit you properly. A shoe that fits well on the shoe will be snug and it won’t be tight. A major mistake that novice runners make is that they buy shoes that are too small to fit. So before you buy a running shoe:
- Make sure that there is adequate room at the toe box. Check this by pressing your thumb above the longest toe. If your thumb fits between the end of the longest toe and the top of the shoe, then it is the right size for you.
- Make sure that the widest part of your foot has enough space. The shoe should neither be loose for your foot to slide around nor tight to hurt your feet.
- Put the shoes on to check that your heel should not slide up or down while you walk or run. It should fit snugly against the back of your shoe.
- Also make sure that the upper part of the shoe that covers the upper part of the foot should not be too tight to irritate or hurt any area of your feet.
- After you thoroughly worked on your shoe selection, use the treadmills provided by some stores to check if they snug properly. Some companies let you walk around their parking lot and some don’t let you do anything except for bouncing up and down. In either case, take your time and select most appropriate running shoes
Top Recommended Running Shoe Merchant
There are new varieties or models of shoes coming in all the time, and may even seem tempting to buy, but sticking to one type of running shoes will help you avoid injuries.
Now that you are well aware of how to choose a running shoe and you feel yourself ready to shop online, please have a look at the following running shoe merchant.