If the shoe fits: finding the right runners for you

8:00 am

Are these running shoes right for you?

Everyone can run with minimal equipment, but the right shoes can go a long way in improving your stride. The best way to get the right running shoes for you is to get fitted at your local running store. Or if you’re doing research at home, you can try out something like Shoe Advisor from Runner’s world. Here are some general things to look out for:

What's your size
I’m a 7.5 in my regular shoe size but an 8.5 in my current runners. You need to size up a half size or a full size for your runners as your foot will expand when you run. In addition, leave a thumb’s space between your big toe and the top of the shoe. Trust me when I tell you that this will save your toe nails.

Find the right support
From my physiotherapist to the guy at the running store, everyone is surprised to see how low my arch is. The arch of your foot will determine how much flexibility and stability you may want in a running shoe. If you have low arches like me, then you’ll likely enjoy a shoe with a lot of support. While flatness of your feet will absorb the shock, it also makes you more prone to injuries, so you want something with support and stability. If you have high arches, then your feet will be less flexible and you’ll want something with minimum support - something with no arch support and no stability features to help your feet absorb the shock. And like the majority of the population who have a moderate arch, you will do alright in most runners,

Test them out
You’re be doing quite a lot of mileage in these shoes so don’t be afraid to test them out. If you’re getting fitted at the store, they should let you run on the treadmill (if there is one in store) or at least take a jog around the store. Similarly, if the shoe bothers you after you’ve tested it at home, don’t be afraid to try to return them. You’ll want to check the return policy ahead of time but I’ve returned a couple runners after wearing them for a 6-, and 8-mile runs; the store never questioned it.

Change your shoes
My laziness gets the best of me and I have to admit, I do a pretty terrible job of keeping track of the milage on my shoes and replacing them out once they’ve reached the end of their lifecycle. Typically, runners need to be swapped out somewhere between 300-500 miles from the first wear. You’ll find that the foam of the shoes become tough and lose their give. If you’re running five 3-mile runs per week, that means a new pair of shoes every 5-6 months. These days, I track my runs in an app that also reminds me when it’s time to treat myself to a new pair of trainers.

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