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How To Find Your Perfect Running Shoe

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Gear Up With The Right Running Shoes

Finding your perfect running shoe

Find the right fit and try our five shoe-buying strategies that wont leave you tied up in knots.

Finding the best-fitting shoe among the numerous choices at your local running store isnt always easy. To ensure you walk out a happy customer, you need to make sure the shoe fits properly from heel to toe and that it feels comfortable with your regular running stride. The same goes for shopping online. Most retailers will offer a risk-free trial period so you can still lace up your shoes and head out for a test run, like you would at the store. Whether youre buying your first pair or your fiftieth, browsing online or in-person, were here to help.

Before you even put your foot in a new pair of running shoes, its helpful to know all the little details of the shoes that will be with you over the next several hundred miles, along with what to expect during the shoe-buying process. Finally, take a look at our favorite shoes right now in your favorite categories, from most cushioned to the best for the trails.

How To Lace Running Shoes

How you lace your running shoes can make a big difference in terms of fit. If youre new to running and unsure which style of lacing to choose, ask a shoe expert for help.

Beyond that, Lobkova recommends using the style that provides the snuggest fit: Laces that are too loose and too tight are common signs that the shoe is not the right fit, and the lacing is being done to compensate for poor fit.

In general, Holland says, make sure the shoe fit is correct before you consider lacing techniques.

If theres any part of the shoe that slips or feels tight, or you feel the structure of the shoe too much, tell your running store adviser, and they will help you with lacing or provide socks, heel cups, or other accessories that make the fit better.

A good rule of thumb, says Holland, is that the shoes should essentially disappear from your consciousness when you run: Anything that registers to you will turn out to be a nuisance at mile 14.

To get a better idea of lacing techniques, check out this video that demonstrates several methods.

Who This Is For

According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, approximately 50 million people in the US laced up their trainers for some form of running or jogging in 2019. That same year, according to Running USA, 17.6 million Americans ran road races. In 2020, as the pandemic changed exercise habits , a running boom emerged, prompting new and renewed runners to head outside to log socially distanced miles.

No matter where you fall on the running spectrum, the right shoes can make all the difference in your relationship with the sport. A good pair is arguably the most important tool a runner needs to train comfortably and consistently ideally, once your shoes are on your feet, you shouldnt have to think too much about them. The wrong pair can bring on blisters, bruised toenails, or worse.

For this guide we considered go-to shoes for everyday running, either outside or on a treadmill. The shoes described here would be appropriate both for recreational runners and for competitive runners . These shoes may not be ideal for long runs of more than an hour or for racing or speed work . That isnt to say you couldnt use the shoes we recommend for either or both purposesover the years many of our testers have happily used our picks for marathon training as well as at the track.

Ideally, once your shoes are on your feet, you shouldnt have to think too much about them.

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Try On And Ensure Proper Fit

Trying on the shoes is the last step. Different companies use different technologies to achieve the same goal, so try on a few different pair to compare the feel. When trying on the shoes there are a few things to look for.1. Make sure you have enough room in the toe. A good general rule is to have about a thumbs width between the top of your toe and the end of the shoe.2. Make sure there is enough room in the width. You want the shoe tight enough that your foot is not sloppy in it, but you want enough room for your foot to spread out and allow for swelling when you run.3. Run on a treadmill or do a few laps around the store to make sure there are no hot spots or slipping in the heel. If you follow these simple steps when looking for a new running shoe, not only will you avoid an overwhelming shopping experience, but you will have a shoe that fits your specific needs and will make running that much more enjoyable!

How To Choose Running Shoes For Men

Find your perfect fit at Running Etc. in Norfolk

After you know your stability and cushioning needs , picking out one of the best running shoes for men is a matter of personal taste and lifestyle.

Will you be using this shoe exclusively for running, with another pair in your rotation for gym workouts? Double down on a lightweight beast like the HOKA Clifton 6 or Nikes Pegasus Turbo 2.

Will you be looking for one workout shoe to do it all, from pickup football to weekend 5Ks? Look for a heavier, more versatile shoe like the Brooks Ghost 12 or Asics GEL-KAYANO 26.

Regardless, the worst thing you can do is fall in love with a shoes looks before knowing your running style and taking it for a spin. Style is nice, but fit is the be-all and end-all. So much of finding the best running shoe for you is trial and error. This is partly why you see runners wearing a wider variety of shoe brands than, say, basketball players. If Nike and adidas don’t work for you, find new shoes! It’s hard to look cool with a preventable injury. And with runner-friendly return policies like Running Warehouses 90 day exchange out there, Id even encourage new runners to pick a selection and see what works .

Experienced runners will have tried dozens of shoes before finding the ones that work best for them the only shoes I regretted were ones I tried to make into something they werent because of their aesthetics. The good news is: regardless of your running style or your needs, theres a great-looking runner out there. Here are my picks.

Read Also: How Long Should You Keep Running Shoes

How To Find The Perfect Shoe For Racing

The goal: this is the shoe you wheel out on the big occasions. When it comes to the race or chasing down a personal best, this is your go to. Its the Sunday best of footwear, and anytime you don this pair, magic happens.

How to find the perfect one: Probably the easiest of the three types of shoe to choose, find the sportstar in your field you most resemble , and give the race day shoes they wear a try . Its the shortcut you need to find a pair you might not otherwise choose, so try it out for yourself and see how they go.

You Get What You Pay For Up To A Point

When it comes to running shoes, a higher price tag usually correlates with more technology and comfort features, but that doesnt mean you have to buy the most expensive shoes in order to enjoy a run. In a similar vein, opting for a very inexpensive pair may mean that the shoes aren’t designed with running in mind and may not hold up to the demands that running places on them.

Quality running shoes generally range in price from about 100 to 250. You should expect to pay in the 110 to 150 price range for running shoes that are very well suited to most runners daily needs.

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How To Choose The Right Running Shoes For You

With so many to choose from buying running shoes can be a daunting task but we’re here to make it easy. If you are running high mileage, low or medium, there is a shoe to suit every runner. Just as there is a shoe for every runner, there is a shoe for every foot. Whether you need a wider toe box, a neutral shoe, a specific heel to toe drop, like more energy return through the shoe or just need something to control your foot roll, we have women’s and men’s running shoes designed to meet your needs. Just follow our handy guide to find out what questions you need to be asking before a long run or race day, and what it all means.

Are You Wearing Insoles

How To Find The Perfect Pair of Running Shoes

If you already wear insoles, make sure to bring factor them into your fitting as they can change the fit and feel of the footwear. If you havent tried insoles before, maybe now is the time to consider it? Insoles allow you to personalise the fit to your foot and help provide additional comfort in the heel, arch and across the ball of your foot, while reducing problems like slipping, blisters, hot spots and shin splints.

Designed to match the contours of your foot, insoles can compliment your trainers to take your training to the next level.

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Shoes Stores Offer Shoe Fitting Services

You dont need to do all of the guesswork if you want to figure out what kind of gait you have. Instead, you can simply visit your local shoe store for some assistance. Most shoe stores that specialize in exercise shoes will give you a shoe fitting service. This is more true of running shoes, than for other sports like basketball. With this, an employee will usually put you in a neutral shoe. They will then ask you to run on a treadmill for roughly 20 to 30 minutes, as this will let them see how the foot is landing. It will let them see if there are any misalignments that need to be considered.

Determine Your Foot Type

In order to determine your foot type, the easiest way is to check your arch height by taking the “wet test”To do this, wet both feet and stand on a paper bag for about 10 seconds. Then step off of the bag and observe the imprint your foot made on the bag. you have a normal arch if:There is a distinct curve along the inside of your foot with a band a little less than half the width of your foot connecting the heel and have a low arch if:The imprint shows most of your foot and there is not much of a curve along the inside of your foot.You have a high arch if:There is a very noticeable curve along the inside of your foot and a very thin band connecting your heel and toe. If you have a really high arch, you may not even see anything connecting the heel and toe.

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Neutral Vs Stability Running Shoes

Many running-shoe companies divide their shoes into two main categories: neutral and stability shoes. A neutral shoe wont affect your normal gait, but it will provide you with added support and cushion to protect your feet from the ground. Stability shoes, on the other hand, have denser foam along the arch of the foot. They may also have a stiffer heel, which reduces the foots side-to-side movement.

Everyones feet naturally pronate or supinate during each running stride. Pronation allows your foot to adapt to the landing surface, and supination propels you forward, according to podiatrist Paul Langer and physical therapist Jolan Browne. Both pronation and supination are biomechanically necessary for running . Running-shoe companies make two kinds of shoesstability and neutralbecause of the long-held idea that some peoples feet roll in too far and need correction. This is called overpronation, and it may contribute to pain in the feet, ankles, and knees.

Even if you do overpronate, the scientific jury is still out on whether shoes can actually reduce the risk of injury . Running shoes dont, and cant, prevent injuries, per se, said Colleen Brough, director of the Columbia Run Lab.

Pronation allows your foot to adapt to the landing surface, and supination propels you forward.

What To Look Forward To

Finding the Right Fit: A Guide to Running Shoes

We plan to test a new crop of shoes soon, including the On Cloudflow , a light, cushioned shoe with a 6-mm drop the Hoka One One Clifton 8 , a popular cushioned training shoe with a lighter feel than its predecessors and the Altra Torin 5 , a zero-drop shoe with a meatier profile than its sibling, the Escalante 2.5.

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Three Types Of Running Shoes

Now that you know your foot type, its time to find the right shoe. Shoes are generally placed into three categories. These categories are not always clearly labeled on the shoe or box, so be sure to ask a salesperson or do your research online. Most brands have this information on their website.

Stability Shoes

Stability shoes are best for runners with normalarches and only mild control problems. The extra stability these shoes offer comes from extra arch-side supports and high-density foam. Stability shoes are typically built with a gentle arch from front to back that provides rear-foot stability and forefoot flexibility.

Motion Control Shoe

Motion control shoes are great for flatfooted and heavy runners who tend to overpronate. These shoes typically have rigid devices made out of plastic, fiberglass, or high density foam. The arch area on motion control shoes is filled in for increased stability which is why there is a different color at the midsole. The extra rigidity in these shoes prevents the heel from turning out and the foot from overpronating.

Cushioning Shoes

Cushioning shoes support people with higharches and rigidfeet who tend to underpronate. This highly flexible shoe is built on a curve and made of lightweight materials that provide minimal rigidity with optimal cushioning.

How To Train For A 10k: Try These 5 Running Tips To Get You Past The Finish Line

So, how to find the Cinderella pair of trainers thatll propel you towards the finish line with your toenails intact, feet blister-free and ankles as comfy as possible?

A couple of us from the Strong Women team are running this years London Marathon, so we went down to the On Running lab in London this week to have our runs analysed.

With six weeks to go before the big day, we wanted to see if what we were running in matched up with what the tech suggested and whether there was anything noteworthy about the way we run that requires a change in the shoewear weve lined up to train and race in. Heres what we learned.

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Choose A Shoe Designed For Running

Running Shoes may look like other sneakers, but they contain specialized technology and design features to help you run. In other activities, your body may move from side to side, up and down, with bursts of speed and sudden stops. In running, on the other hand, your foot hits the ground in basically the same way with each step. Unlike sneakers, running shoes are designed to prevent injury from that repetitive motion by offering specific cushioning to aid in shock absorption and design features to help move you forward with greater ease.

Choosing The Perfect Shoe

Amazon Running Shoe Selector: Find Your Perfect Running Shoe

Now that you know what type of foot you have and what type of shoe you should be looking for, you’re ready to find your perfect shoe.

If you shop at a quality running store, the employees often have extensive knowledge about shoes and can help you select a pair that supports your foot type. When you try on shoes, remember these five tips:

  • Try on running shoes toward the end of the day when your foot is the most full.
  • Wear the socks, orthotics, and braces that you would typically wear when running.
  • Stand up to check the length and width of the shoe.
  • Perform a heel raise, walk, and a jog with the shoe to make sure it is comfortable and offers the support you need.
  • How the shoe feels in the store is how it will feel when you are running, so take your time and choose carefully.
  • Replace your running shoes every 400 to 600 miles, because the shock absorption depletes with every passing mile. You shouldnt be able to see the white midsole material peeking through the outsole and the sole under your heel should not appear crushed.

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    Determine The Length Of Your Run

    You may be surprised to know that the length of your run can have a big impact on the kinds of shoes that you should be buying. For instance, if you are going to be short, fast paces runs like sprints then you may need something that can help you to improve your performance more something that will travel through the air much more easily and something less heavy.

    If, on the other hand, you are going to be running a marathon, then you are going to need a different pair of shoes. For a marathon, you are going to need something thats got more cushioning. This is because the run is much longer, and itll be pretty difficult to maintain your stamina if you are wearing a pair of shoes that are very uncomfortable. The right running shoes are going to depend on the context of the run and on your individual needs, so you need to take all of these factors into account.

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