If you are a runner, you must be aware of the fact that getting well-fitting and appropriate running shoes is essential for your performance and for staying injury free when running.
If possible, you should ask for the professional assistance of a podiatrist when picking the best pair of running shoes for your particular foot shape, gait type and in case you have underlying foot problems too.
Depending on your foot type and your particular expectations, a good podiatrist should be able to recommend the best type of shoes to choose from, in regard to your foot shape, size, the need for stability as well as the preferred style.
Going to a specialized athletic store is highly recommended when you are looking for the best fitting running shoes because they have expert staff members who can help measure your feet, and give you advice in regard to the brands and models which are most suitable for you.
If you have been a runner for some time now, you must have noticed the fact that there is quite a bit of fluctuation in the sizing, width and length of the running shoes made by different manufacturers as well as among different styles and models. This is why, you shouldn’t solely rely on sizing when you pick a new pair. Instead, get both of your feet measured, and try on the running shoes which fit you best, even though they may not be the usual size you wear.
For a perfect fit, you should opt for running shoes which come in two to four widths, so that you can choose the perfect fit for your feet.
Go to the store after a good run or a hard day at work. This is when your feet are at their largest, so you will get the best fit. Otherwise, you risk buying shoes which will be uncomfortable and too tight during or after your run.
You must ensure that the running shoes you are trying on have about half an inch of space to the toe box from the longest toes on your feet. There shouldn’t be any bulging on the lateral sides of the shoes when you put them on. Even though they may seem large, if they provide a proper grip of the heel and do not slip when you are walking or running, they are perfect for you.
Make sure you choose properly shaped shoes to fit your specific needs, your foot shape, arch height, and pronation and are suitable for soothing foot pains or problems you may be having. Choose the type of last which is most suitable for you. The various shapes can include differences in the shoe’s width, the instep heights, the depth of the toe box, the morphology of the arches and others.
The most common type of feet is medium arched with a broad forefoot and mild curvature. This type of foot calls for running shoes such as: Brooks universal, New Balance SL-1 or Aertex Voyage shoes.
For low arches, opt for shoes which provide sufficient breadth at the midsection, such as Brooks Linear, Aertex Lenex or New Balance SL-2.
If your feet curve medially (high arches), choose running shoes with a glove like fit for a snug hold, such as Brooks Curved or choose one of our favorite models here.
Depending on your gait type, you should choose running shoes which have the appropriate motion control and cushioning to keep your pace in line.
If you need shoes with added stability, test the shoes by squeezing both sides of the back heel counters. Shoes with added stability should resist the pressure from your squeeze. Also, to test torsional stability, hold the shoe by both ends and twist them. Shoes with more torsional stability should resist this twisting.
If you have a neutral gait, try on neutral athletic shoes, which provide comfortable cushioning and are flexible but still have enough torsional stability to keep you safe from injury.
For those of you overpronate mildly, your running shoes should have sufficient midsole cushioning for added shock absorption, proper support and stability.
In cases of severe overpronation and low arches, the best choice for running shoes is “motion control shoes” with reliable stabilization and wider bases. This type of running shoes is also perfect for runners who are larger and need more durable and supportive shoes.
Neutral cushioned running shoes are the most suitable choice for underpronators, forefoot and midfoot strikers. They have minimal medial support and sufficient midsole cushioning to absorb the shock from the impact of striking the ground when running.
Remember that running shoes have been specifically designed and made to enhance linear activity, so choose running shoes for running and for walking only.
Also, when you try on a new pair of running shoes and they seem a bit too tight, never assume that they will stretch in time. Running shoes do not have a need for a break-in period, so they should feel comfortable instantly.
In some cases, women who have wider feet may try out the male style of the running shoes of their choice, because men’s shoes are always made wider than those made for ladies
Make sure that you are not tempted by the looks of the shoes only, or by the fact that they have been widely advertised by an athlete you admire only. Choose the brand and style of your running shoes in accordance to your specific foot shape, size, and gait type as well as to meet your particular expectations as well as your running and racing plans.