Choosing the right running shoe can mean the difference between a great run and a bad experience. Running in old shoes or the wrong shoes can lead to discomfort, pain and even injuries.
Here are some tips for choosing the right shoe:
- Purchase shoes for the sport you will be doing. Most sporting goods stores carry a variety of shoes for different activities like walking, running, basketball, tennis and aerobics. If you'll be combining several sports or activities, look for cross trainers as another alternative.
- Have your stride evaluated. Many specialty stores will evaluate your stride on the treadmill and can help determine if your footfall overpronates or underpronates.
- Focus on fit over fashion. Figure out whether you need cushioned and flexible shoes to provide shock absorption and allow for range of motion or whether you need a stability shoe that provides more structure and ankle support.
- Consider your budget. Running shoes need to be replaced after about 300 to 400 miles, or three to six months of regular use. This may mean that the most expensive, high-tech shoe isn't going to be for you.
- Do a shoe review. The toe should have enough width in the front to feel comfortable, but the heel should be snug. Try on shoes in the evening when your feet are largest, and remember your foot can expand up to a half size during exercise. Often it's best to buy running shoes in one size larger than your dress size, allowing for about a half inch between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe.