When you start running, you'll hear a lot of conflicting information about shoes. Some folks say that the more expensive they are, the better they'll be for your feet and legs when you run. However, when it comes down to it, price is less important than finding the right pair of shoes for you.
If you’re a long-distance runner, the quality of your footwear can have a long-term effect on your health. Every time your foot meets the ground, it sends a shockwave of force up through your feet, ankles, legs, hips and into your back. Consider the thousands of times your feet hit the pavement every time you train, and you can begin to see how it adds up.
Before heading out to purchase your first pair, educate yourself first with the following information. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll learn to look past the price tag and find running shoes that are best for your individual needs.
What is pronation and why does it matter?
Pronation is a fancy word for a foot's tendency to roll inward or outward when walking. This has a huge effect on your running and the kind of shoe that you should be looking for.
Many specialty-running stores have treadmills that will record you as you run. Store associates can use the recording to help you to find out whether your feet roll inwards, outwards, or stay straight. Even if you think your feet don't roll, it's a good idea to get them checked. Long-term ankle damage can occur from running hard with even small variations.
Different shoes are designed to help cope with your running pronation. If you already know that your feet are prone to rolling while running or this is determined at the store, keep this in mind:
Tips for getting the right fit
To start, you'll want to have your feet sized, in both length and width. An ideal pair of running shoes should fit snugly but not tightly. There should be room for the shoes to move around your feet and make micro adjustments when you run. The best plan is to go with a shoe that is half a size larger lengthwise than your foot. Your feet will expand while you run, and this will ensure that they won't constrict your movement.
A good tip is to make sure that there is at least a thumbnail's worth of space between the tips of your toes and the end of your shoes. Your toes need to be able to spread and splay to get the maximum force possible when you raise your foot on liftoff.
Other tips to consider when selecting running shoes:
Do you really need to spend $100 on running shoes?
So is it necessary to shell out $100 or more on a good pair of beginning running shoes? It depends on where you shop. Some online outlets will provide good sales on running shoes. Keep in mind, shopping online runs the risk of having to return shoes that don't fit as well as you would have hoped. Additionally, when you shop online, you won’t have the advantage of trained associates to test your feet and help you find the best fit.
Shoes that are designed with specific needs in mind do tend to be on the more expensive side of the scale. However, price is not the sole indicator of quality. It is entirely possible to find running shoes that can meet your needs without paying an exorbitant price.
When you are considering the shoes that you buy, remember that your health and safety come first. Buying a good pair of running shoes will protect your feet and joints, keep you going for years, and help you end up at the finish line first! Just remember that you should replace your shoes every 300-500 miles for the best results.