Your feet are your foundations, so they need looking after. Your running shoes are probably the most important piece of gear you will buy, so here are some tips to help make your purchase easier.
There is much information and also sometimes mis-information written about running shoes. Shoes can basically perform three functions:
Protection from hard and uneven surfaces
Cushioning to minimise the shock experienced with every step
Extra support, if needed, to keep the feet stable
- Go to an independent specialist running shop like Run and Become, where the staff are all experienced runners and are very happy to spend time with you. They will look at the shape of your feet and watch you walking or running in several shoes from different companies to find a style of shoe with the right level of cushioning and support for you. They will also briefly ask about your running, and whether you just run for fun and fitness, or are training for an event, to help them recommend different shoes at different price points. There are also a range of models more suitable for off-road running. Check out this video with Tarit Adrian Stott from Run and Become in Edinburgh, as he explains how to choose running shoes...
- It's all about you. By all means discuss shoes with friends, and look at reviews for advice, but remember, like any consumer product, your friend's favourite shoe, or the most expensive shoe, or the shoe that has a 5 star review, may not always be the best fitting shoe for you. Let your feet be the judge from the different models you try on.
- Correct fitting is crucial. Running shoes are generally made smaller than your day-to-day shoes. Also you need more space at the toes to allow them to move freely, so don't be surprised if you end up with a size bigger than normal. A good shoe should also fit snugly around the midfoot and heel to prevent movement of the foot in the shoe.
- Take your old shoes with you if practical. They are an indelible footprint of all your running. An experienced sales person can look at them, and in seconds can see useful pointers to your running style.