Buying Running Shoes

Congratulations to everyone who participated in and finished the Houston Marathon and Half Marathon today.

The most vital piece of equipment for any runner is the running shoes. Proper fit is essential. Some rules of thumb:

1. You should have approximately the width of your index finger between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. For those who's second toe is longer, be sure to size appropriately.

2. Always size your shoes towards the middle or end of the day. Also be sure to wear the socks you usually wear with those shoes and always stand when checking for the proper fit.

3. If you end up with black toenails, don't automatically size up the shoes. If you wear improperly fitting shoes, your arch will not correspond to the arch of the shoe and the shoe won't break properly.

4. Be sure to buy your shoes from a specialty running store (at least for your first fitting). Most are staffed by runners who are knowledgeable in proper fitting. Locally, I recommend Fleet Feet or Luke's Locker. Look out for good specials on shoes however. Today i found a fantastic sale on Asics running shoes at Sports Authority. Buying online also works as long as you're familiar with the shoe style and how it fits you. Never try a new style online. It's worth paying a bit more for expertise.

If you're unsure of the right style shoe for you, or the proper fit, visit your podiatrist for more guidance.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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