Choosing the right running shoe

Choosing the right running shoe

Congratulations—you've decided to become more active by incorporating running into your exercise regimen. But before your feet hit the ground, there are a few things you need to consider first. When it comes to athletic shoes, it's not necessarily a good idea to just run with what you've got.

There are a few factors to consider when choosing your next running shoe. First, don't get sticker shock—a good pair of running shoes are an investment. You'll be spending a lot of time in them, so you'll want to get the quality and the specific variety that you need.

Plus, a good running shoe could make the difference between stopping running because of joint pain or injury and continuing on to become a seasoned runner. Common runner's issues like plantar fasciitis and shin splints can be mitigated by choosing the right shoe.

You can typically get a quality pair of running shoes for around $80. Keep in mind that celebrity endorsements may make a shoe more expensive, but may not make them better.

Shape matters

Second, consider the shape of your feet. There are three general foot shape categories your feet could fall under: flat, neutral or high-arched. Experts at your local shoe shop can likely help you figure out your foot shape, but you can also determine it by examining your arch, or the middle of your foot.

Flat-footed runners are subject to over-pronation, which means their feet tend to roll inward when running, so they should get a high-stability shoe to correct that. People with neutral arches can spring for a moderate-stability shoe. Those with high arches are prone to supination, which means landing on the outside edges of the feet. It's best for them to purchase a pair of shoes with lots of mid-sole padding.

A shoe for every occasion

You wouldn't wear soccer cleats to play volleyball, would you? In the same way, you shouldn't wear trail running shoes to run cross-country. If you know what type of running you'll be doing and where you'll be doing it, you need to buy a shoe specific for that purpose. For example, cement and asphalt are much harder than dirt trails, so if you know you're going to be running cross-country on a sidewalk, you'll need to get a shoe with more padding. Similarly, working out or exercising inside can be easier on your joints (and easier to maintain) than running outdoors, so you'll want to consider getting a separate pair of shoes for that.

Don't run your shoes into the ground

Running shoes aren't built to last a lifetime. In fact, they lose their ability to absorb the shock of running over time, potentially causing injury or joint pain. So when is it time to hang up your running shoes? Rule of thumb says to retire them after about 400 miles, but if you're starting to feel joint or muscle pain, it's probably a sign that they need to be replaced soon.

Posted: 9/14/2015 by Goshen Health
Filed under: fitness, running, shoes

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