There are many factors to consider when picking out the right pair of running shoes. Running in the wrong type for your foot, gait or exercise can lead to pain and injury.
Fortunately, this list will guide you through buying the best shoes for you whether you plan on running your first 5K or have multiple marathons under your belt.
Things to Consider Before Buying Running Shoes
Providing the right support for your feet can mean the difference between running comfortably or feeling pain and fatigue at every stride. Every foot is different, so look for shoes that are flexible in certain areas, supportive in others and provide cushioning where it counts most.
Cushioning is another element to consider when shopping for running shoes. This is often found in the mid-sole of the shoe and provides shock absorption. Look for a thicker cushion, as this will provide you with more padding as you run so your feet don’t feel as much impact.
Your gait refers to the motion of how you run. To find the right shoe for your stride, practice running on a flat surface noting how far you land in front of your body and how much force is used when you push off with each foot.
# Arch Type
Different arches require different types of support to avoid pain associated with running. If you have low arches, look for a shoe that is flexible around the arch and has good cushioning as well. If you have high arches, look for a shoe that provides more support in this area so your feet aren’t over-pronating.
# Surface Type
The surface you run on can also determine what type of running shoes you need to buy. Shoes that provide more cushioning and support work best for those who run on soft surfaces, such as dirt trails. If you run on hard surfaces like concrete or pavement, look for a shoe that has a stiffer mid-sole to help absorb the impact of each stride.
The weight of your shoes is an important factor to consider, especially if you are running long distances. Look for something lightweight so your feet aren’t weighed down as you run.
# Other Factors
It’s always best to try on shoes before buying them to see how they fit and feel on your feet. While it may be tempting to order online, the only way to find the perfect pair is by trying them on first. If you run in cold weather, look for shoes with good traction to avoid slipping and falling.