When it comes to buying running shoes, it’s important to find a pair that fits your specific needs. Here are a few tips for how to buy the right running shoes.
Determine your foot type
There are three main foot types: neutral, overpronated, and supinated. Neutral feet have a normal arch and roll slightly inward when running. If this is you, congrats, you have the ideal foot type for running. Overpronated feet have a low arch and roll excessively inward. Supinated feet have a high arch and roll outward.
Knowing your foot type will help you choose a shoe with the right level of support. Bring an old pair of shoes (even if you don’t run in them) to a running shop and have the staff take a look. They can also analyze your stride to determine the best shoe for you. You don’t need to know anything about running, trust the experts!
Look for a shoe that fits well
Running shoes should fit snugly but not be too tight. You want to leave some space between your big toe and the front end of the shoe. This is to give your foot room during your stride, but also account for your foot getting bigger as you run longer. Additionally, make sure the shoe is comfortable to walk in and doesn’t rub or cause any discomfort. A shoe that is too small can cause blisters or even damage to your foot.
Consider the surface you’ll be running on
Different shoes are designed for different surfaces, such as road, trail, or track. Road shoes have a harder sole and are made for running on pavement. Trail shoes have a more aggressive tread and are designed for running on dirt or gravel. Track shoes are lightweight and have a flatter sole for running on a track, and may even include spikes on the bottom. It’s usually a good idea to start with a road shoe and go from there.
Think about your running style
If you’re a heel striker (when your heel hits the ground first in your stride) like me, look for a shoe with more cushioning in the heel. I tend to wear down the outsole in the heel area first, to finding a shoe with cushion and lots of rubber on the bottom (like the Nike Invincible) is a good idea. If you’re a midfoot or forefoot striker, look for a shoe with more cushioning in the front of the shoe. Most shoes are designed with mid or forefoot strikers in mind.
Try on multiple shoes
Don’t be afraid to try on multiple pairs of shoes to find the best fit and comfort for you. It’s also important to note that different brands and styles may fit differently, so it’s always a good idea to try a few different options. If a store allows you to take your shoes out for a run around the block, do it! The best way to gauge the comfort of your running shoes is to actually run in them. A shoe might feel great while walking the aisles of a store, but they can feel completely different while running.
These are a few of my recommendations for how to buy the right running shoes. Be sure to subscribe to The Fresh Brew Run Club on YouTube for tips, shoe reviews, weekly running vlogs and so much more, all from the perspective of an average runner. Also check out my previous reviews. Happy running!