Choosing the right running shoe is important for a myriad of reasons – the biggest of which is that an uncomfortable running shoe can make running unpleasant. But beyond the obvious, choosing a running shoe can be hard to do, because there are a lot of options and self-professed experts. As a result, make sure that you look for one that is comfortable for you, and matches your needs. Here is what you need to know.
The Basic Types of Running Shoes
There are three main types of running shoes, and a lot more variation. The first type is a simple cushioned running shoe, followed by a stability running shoe, and then a motion control running shoe. Beyond that, they also come in three basic shapes: straight, curved, and semi-curved.
All of these have to do with your foot type, so make sure that you figure out what type of foot you have when choosing your shoe.
How to Figure Out Your Foot Type
The first thing the customer service representative will ask you about is pronation. This is the rolling of the foot from heel to toe. If you underpronate, the outside of your foot takes more shock, and if you overpronate, there is too much roll across your foot to the inside. You can tell your pronation by looking at the wear on your shoes: if most of your wear is on the inside side of your shoe, you overpronate, and if it is on the outside of your shoe, you underpronate.
Overpronation usually means you want a motion-control running shoe, and underpronation usually means you want a cushioned running shoe. If you have even wear, then you have a neutral stride and typically want stability running shoes.
Remember the Basics
Finally, regardless of what type of shoe you have, the fit is the most important step in finding the right shoe. You want a shoe that is snug but not tight. A common cause of foot pain while running is having a shoe that is too tight. Make sure that you have enough room in your toe area and adequate room at the widest part of your foot. The heel should be snug so your foot shouldn’t slide out.
What are your best tips for shoe shopping? Do you have a favorite brand?