You go into your local running shoe store. There you're faced with a wall of shoes. How do you know where to start? Although my primary job is to
keep your feet out of pain, It's vital that I'm familiar with the latest running shoes and technology in order to make sure you stay pain-free.
Color, style, fit, size function. These are just a few of the variables that you need to take into consideration when buying a new running shoe. And the
companies don't make it easy. They often "update'' their shoes at least once a year. For more popular shoes, they may be updated two and even three times a year.
When choosing the right running shoe, there are a number of factors to consider. There's a misunderstanding among many people that you could run in any athletic shoe. That's not the case. You want to buy a shoe specifically designed for running. Running shoes are designed to provide support, but also break in the right way to keep the pressure off your foot.
Next, you have to think about brand. Some brands have certain idiosyncrasies about them. For instance, Nike typically runs very narrow. Saucony is known for their straight last. New Balance comes in a variety of widths, making it the go-to shoe for the hard-to-fit foot. Asics and Brooks are reliable workhorses, although the companies like to change their models pretty often.
You also may consider a specialty running shoe. These depend on your running style and aren't right for everyone. They include Hoka, which is a well cushioned and supportive shoe. Altra, which is a zero drop shoe where the forefoot is wide to allow the toes spread out. Newton shoes have a lug in the midfoot and is designed for runners who strike on their midfoot.
Finally, you need to choose your running shoe based on your foot type. Most shoes, running come in three varieties: Neutral, Stability and Motion control. If you have a stable foot, you want to be in a stability running shoe. These shoes are designed to support a foot that is mechanically efficient.
If you have a flat foot, you need to have more control over the mechanics. For those people I recommend a motion control running shoe. If, however, you wear a custom orthotic that changes things. The orthotic makes your foot function in a more efficient way. So, with an orthotic, you should go with a stability shoe. That's because you're taking a foot with hypermobile mechanics and influencing it with the orthotic to function like a foot with stable mechanics.
If you have a high-arched foot, you need a shoe that offers more shock absorption. That's because a high-arched foot is rigid and doesn't have sufficient shock absorption on its own. If you have a high arched foot, you should look into wearing a neutral running shoe. An orthotic doesn't add any extra shock absorption. So, even with a custom orthotic, you should stay in a neutral running shoe.
When you're sizing your shoes, don't rely on the number. Shoes in general don't have a consistent sizing convention. It's important to go by fit. When sizing your running shoes, you should have the width of your index finger between your longest toe and the end of the shoe while you're standing. This will prevent your toes from pissing into the end of the shoes. In terms of width, you're looking for the widest shoe that will stay on your foot. You don't want your foot lifting out of the shoe or moving independently within this shoe. You need to have a proper fit.
It's important not to wear a shoe that's too small for you. Wearing a small shoe can increase the possibility of toenails that turn black and fall off. They also are at risk of blistering. Furthermore, a tight shoe can put pressure on the nerves in your forefoot and can aggravate them, which will
cause the pain in the ball of your foot.
Another way to combat wearing a shoe that is too tight is to shop for your running shoes in the evening. Your feet naturally swell over the course of the day. If you buy your shoes early in the day, they'll get tighter as the day wears on. Try to shop for your running shoes after 4:00 PM.
Finally, don't buy your shoes for looks. You may find the perfect color combination, but if the shoes don't fit and function properly, you're going to be miserable. Find a well-fitting shoe that is right for your foot type and gate. Then check out the colors that it's available in.