How to Choose the Best-Fitting Running Shoes for You

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Running shoes are not your average rubber shoes. Regardless if you love to jog or you are a professional athlete, wearing the right running shoes will make a difference in your performance.  For professional athletes, choosing a pair of rubber shoes is similar to buying a house or car. They will pore over the littlest of details because they will spend hours of training wearing these shoes.

Unfortunately, it is so easy to choose the wrong running shoes because most running shoes feel extremely comfortable when you try them on in the store. The true test of comfort comes when you run for several miles wearing the shoes. So how do you choose the best fitting running shoes for you? Let’s find out:

Consider Minimalist Shoes

Here’s a shocker: Souped-up running shoes do not always guarantee unparalleled comfort. Imagine spending a pretty penny on a snazzy pair of running shoes only to find out too late that it does not provide support where it counts! The fact is, going minimal may actually be the best choice.

Unlike regular running shoes, minimalist footwear adjusts to the training stimulus while strengthening the ligaments, tendons, bones, and muscles. Wearing these types of running shoes every day will gradually improve your performance. That said, minimalist footwear is not for everyone. If you feel that your body is not responding well to the shoes, then it is not worth using them.

Check Your Gait

Ever wonder why shoe sales staff often watch customers run on a treadmill or urge them to walk when trying out a pair of running shoes? They are checking for the foot strike of the customer. Every person has a different foot strike.

To find the perfect-fitting running shoes, you need to check what shoes correct over-pronation, absorb shock, or guide the supinators. You want a pair of running shoes that complement your foot strike and gait. One way to analyze your foot strike is to have yourself checked by a sports doctor or podiatrist.

The Right Size

Getting the right shoe size is a no brainer. You want to make sure the running shoes are not too tight, not too loose, and not too wide for your feet. Some shoe manufacturers offer half sizes to ensure a better fit. If you do not know your shoe size, have your feet measured in store. From there, you can choose different running shoe styles and try them one by one. Again, take your time testing each pair to ensure sufficient support where it counts.

It helps if you shop for shoes at the end of the day. The feet usually swell by the day’s end because of different activities. By trying the shoes later in the day, you won’t mistakenly purchase shoes that are too small once your feet swell.

Another great tip is to aim for a thumbnail’s worth of extra space in the shoe’s toe box. Make sure the fit is snug but not tight. If you wear orthotic shoes, take them with you when you shop around for running shoes. Just show the shoes to a store staff and he or she will find the best fitting shoes accordingly.

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