How to select the right running shoe
Posted: Jan 02, 2021
Selecting the right running shoe is an important decision that a runner has to make. As there are a few hundred different brands and models of running shoes to choose from, this is not exactly an easy decision to make. Each of those models of running shoes have different design characteristics that need to be matched to the foot type, running technique and experiences of the runner. It is widely considered an important decision that has to be made and used to be one of the more costly decisions that a runner has to make (now the wearable technology to track runners’ costs more than running shoes). It is thought that of the wrong choice of running shoe is made that this might predispose the runner to an increased risk for a running injury.
The first bit of advice for a runner is to stick to what they are familiar with. If the running shoes that they are currently using is working, then there is no point in changing them. Unfortunately, the running shoe companies do tend to change or improve their running shoe models from year to year, so this is not always possible. If a particular running shoe model does change too much from what a runner is used to, there are usually several others that would be similar to that can be picked from. The important thing is to stick to what you are familiar with and used to running in. This will not be possible for those that are new to running. These new runners are advised to go to a speciality running shoe store and get some good advice as to what is a good entry level running shoe for new runners.
The second bit of advice is to get the fit right. Different running shoe models come in different widths, so getting a running shoe that is the correct width for the foot is important for comfort reasons and to avoid things like blisters. The length must be right to avoid issues like damage to the toenails. The shoe should be longer than the foot by about a thumbs width. Different running shoe companies use different lasts that the shoes are made on. This affects the shape of the upper of the shoe and it may take a bit of experimentation to find a shoe model that has upper which closely matches the shape of the foot.
The third bit of advice is that the running shoe must be comfortable. This will have a significant impact and how you feel on runs, especially the longer runs. An uncomfortable running shoe is going to make the run somewhat unpleasant. This is where running shoe stores that have a treadmill are worth their weight in gold. This allows you to have a short jog or run to see how they feel. You need to note not only how the shoe feels but also how you respond to the shoe when you contact the ground and when you push forward on the shoe.
Craig Payne is a University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger and a dad.