I tend to be a creature of habit. If it isn’t broken–I don’t try to fix it. That even trickles down to something as simple as my running kicks. Ultimately, your shoes can make or break your running journey. Shin splints, knee pain, black toe nails (and those are not cute in the summer), are all side effects of the wrong shoe or even a worn out shoe. Although it took some trials and a few fails, my go to running shoes are Brooks.
First things first, if you’re just starting out as a runner, head to TJ Maxx or DSW and find a running shoe that is nice and comfy, with colors you love, and a look that suits you…whatever is going to keep you motivated to put them on and put them to good use. No need to overspend if you aren’t sure running is an activity you will continue. Once you start adding mileage and the enjoyment of hitting the pavement blossoms, that is the time to be more strategic. You know what ‘they’ say about opinions, and certainly there are many when it comes to the idea of the perfect running shoe (side note: I’m still trying to figure out who ‘they’ is). It almost always comes down to the shape of your foot and the type of support you need.
Entering an athletic store, and standing in front of a wall of countless options of shoes, can be overwhelming. “Do I get Asics, Mizunos, Adidas? Tina told me she runs in Saucony. I think Joe said he runs in Under Armour.” It can be a bit much, right? There are stores that can scientifically help you narrow down the choices. These stores offer an option of measuring your gait, analyzing the structure of your foot, and how it strikes the pavement. The shoe experts will get video of you running on a treadmill and based on the information gathered, they will suggest a shoe. A quick search will lead you to stores that offer this service. Fleet Feet and New Balance are just a couple.
I have done this procedure on one occasion. The shoe recommended for me was a Nike. The good thing about most of these stores is that you are able to try the shoe for a period of days and return them if they don’t work. Well, that was the case for me. Nikes just did not work. I tried a few others—in the years following—before I arrived at the perfect shoe for me. I love everything about the way Brooks make my feet feel. You can and should find that same comfort.
- Take note of the type of foot you have. Is your foot wide or narrow…neutral arch, high arch, flat foot, etc.?
- Do a little research or go through the analysis process to determine the shoe that best fits your running style.
- And speaking of style…choose a shoe you like. I mean, who doesn’t want to run long distances, feeling a hot sweaty mess, but looking cute while doing it?
- Size up. You will likely need at least a half size larger than you would typically wear (that is, if you normally buy your shoes to be a perfect fit).
- Replace them as needed. Not replacing your running shoes will lead to aches and pains–possibly even injuries–that are totally preventable.
I’m no expert. This is just my two cents. And on that note…happy shopping!