With the Boston Marathon later this month, we’re dedicating the month of April to running. We’ll share the ins and outs of running, but first comes shoes. While the act of running and the rush of endorphins help to combat stress, heading to the store to get a new pair of running shoes often has the opposite effect. With so many different shoes lining the walls, how do you know which running shoes are right for you?
Team Amino Vital expert Paula Smith explains that a lot goes into finding the best running shoe for YOU and not just because you think they’re cool, you like the color, your friend has them, or they’re on sale. In fact, running in the wrong pair could lead to injuries. Here are her tips on finding the perfect fit.
1. Know Your Running Profile
The first step in finding the right running shoes is knowing what you will be doing with them. Are you a jogger or a runner? Do you run 10 miles a week or 25? Do you run on trails, asphalt, or a treadmill? Are you training for a race?
2. Arch and Running Style
The shape of your arch helps determine whether you pronate (roll towards the inside of the foot), supinate (roll to the outside of the foot) or remain neutral when you run. Check what kind of arch you have by doing a “wet test.” As you step out of the shower, take a look at the footprint you leave on the bathmat. The shape of your footprint will indicate the type of arch you have. Your arch shape affects the way your foot moves as you run and how it comes in contact with the ground. A knowledgeable shoe staff person will watch how you walk and run to see how your foot functions. Then they will help you choose from the three types of shoes (stability, neutral, and motion control).
3. Shoe Size
Get measured! Feet actually change as we age with size and shape. If your foot flattens, for example, you may need to change the type of shoe you buy from one designed for stability to one with motion control. Keep in mind that your feet swell during the day and during a run, so trying on running shoes when your feet are at their largest is going to give you the most comfortable fit. Also, make sure you wear the socks that you would wear on a run and if you have special shoe inserts or orthotics, bring those along, too.
4. Test Drive
Most good specialty running stores will have you run around a little to try out your shoes. Trying on a shoe is much different than running in it. It all comes down to a comfortable fit!
Tell us: Do you have a favorite kind of shoe?