Regardless of your skill level, your shoes can make all the difference in performance. The cushioning and fit of your shoe not only changes up how comfortable you are while you run but has a major effect on your running form. The goal is that your shoes provide protection to your feet while encouraging correct form. Both of these things will prevent injury and provide you with a more enjoyable running experience.
Everyone runs a little differently which means everyone has different needs from their shoes. Different types of shoes help focus on accommodating/correcting different running forms. This is covered more in our running analysis section but for now we’ll list some of the different types of shoes to consider.
Deciding which type of shoe works best is really up to you. We carry a variety of brands each with a variety of shoes designed for the different types of runners. Check out all of our shoe brands and come see our full selection in store.
We recommend buying shoes in person so that you can try on the shoe and get the best fit possible. Sizing varies between brands and some shoes are designed for thinner feet than others. In fact, most runners wear a size or two bigger in their running shoe than they do in their street shoe. So, you want to make sure you go by the fit of the shoe and not the size on the box. When you try on shoes make sure there is enough room, giving your toes some extra space. Also make sure that you try on two different shoes side by side to see how your foot likes the shoe, remember you are looking for a perfect fit. You can usually tell pretty quickly if the shoe is going to work for you.
Your foot tends to swell during the day, so it is best to try on a shoe during the afternoon. At our store, we have experts to help you narrow down your selection and find the ideal shoe for your foot. Running in the shoe is the best way to see if it will really work for you. Remember if you are new to a certain style of shoe it can take some time for your body to adjust to the feel of said shoe. For example, if you try a barefoot running shoe for the first time you will likely experience soreness for a little bit while your feet adjust to the minimal cushioning.
-Stand up in the shoe and have someone measure how much extra room there is in the toe region. You want to make sure there is at least half an inch of space.
-Extra room will help accommodate swelling and your toes hitting the top of the shoe to avoid black toe nails.
-Shoe width can also be a problem. You shouldn’t have to lace up the shoe a lot but if your foot is narrower, tightening it up a little can make get the fit you need.
It is best to break in a shoe by walking in new running shoes for a couple days or by going for short runs. Wear them around the house, while running errands, or at work (if allowed). If they do not feel right when walking around, they definitely will not feel good for you during a run. Phase your runs in gradually, then increase your miles. Remember that the shoe should fit great before you break them in, breaking a shoe in doesn’t fix any fit problems. Take note of specific issues the shoes cause during a run that way you can get help in finding an even better shoe for your foot. It’s easier to find the right fit if you know exactly where you experience discomfort in the shoe.
Shoe inserts may give you extra cushioning and support that you might need. This still depends on your feet and technique. If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, have pain in the arch, or feel that the muscles on the outside of your foot or ankle are overworking, then inserts might help. It’s important to have enough support and an insert may give that if the shoe lining can’t. Shoe inserts will last a life of at least two pairs of shoes. Don’t try to extend the life of a shoe with an insert. When a shoe wears out the shoe should be replaced. We offer a wide range of inserts from full inserts to metatarsal pads and heel pads.
Shoes wear down over time and use and need to be replaced. How often they need to be replaced depends on you but the latest research says you should replace a pair after 300-500 miles of use. (i.e. if you do five 3-mile runs a week that would put your shoes at needing replacement every 5-8 months.) Where and how you run also affect wear on a shoe.
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