While it is important to pick the right shoes no matter what kind, choosing the proper shoes for athletic activities heavy on foot activity, such as running, is vital. Not only is it important for the general health of your feet and reducing the risk of injury, it will improve your performance. Before you head out to buy your next pair of running shoes, here are some tips to help you pick the best pair for your needs.
Bring Your Current Running Shoes with You
Your current running shoes can be very helpful for the salesmen in determining the best shoes for you. By examining the bottom of the shoes, he can get a good idea of your arch, running style and other pieces of important information for getting the right shoe.
Best Time to Shop
Shopping in the evening after you have been on your feet all day is the best time to buy running shoes. Your feet swell throughout the day and getting fitted when they are at their largest will give you the most accurate fit.
Proper sizing is important for all types of shoes, but especially for running shoes. Even if you think you know your shoe size, get your foot measured. Running shoes should be about ½ to a full size bigger than your normal shoes to account for swelling that occurs during a run. Too small shoes will cause problems such as pain, black toenails and blisters.
The arch of your foot is another very important consideration when choosing a running shoe. You need to determine if you have a normal arch, high arch or a low-arch; different types of running shoes are better for one type of arch in particular.
Best Type of Shoe
Running shoes come in three broad categories: cushioned, stability and motion-control shoes. Generally, cushioned shoes are a good fit if you do not have any history of injury, have no knee problems and if you run lightly and efficiently. If you have flat feet or weigh more than 180 pounds, cushioned shoes are not a good choice. Stability shoes are typically the best fit for most runners—they have been shown to improve alignment of the lower extremities and decrease the risk of injury. These shoes are particularly good if you have a very rotated gait or have mild over pronation. If you are heavier—180 pound(81 kg) or more or have extremely flat feet, heavier, motion-control shoes may be the best fit. For anyone else, they would be better suited as a walking shoe and not a running shoe.
Testing the Shoe
It is important to test the shoes before buying them. Do not just walk a few steps. If you are buying them to run, you need to run in them! This will give you the most accurate information about fit, function and comfort.