How To Choose Your Running Shoes

Whether you're an Olympic competitor or an occasional asphalt pounder, happy feet can make a huge difference. For most runners, choosing the right running shoes is similar to acquiring a house or a car; you're going to invest a ton of time in them, so you need something you truly like. In addition to a comfortable ride, shoes can play a huge role in keeping you strong and healthy.

My Story With Running Shoes

The first time I searched for a pair of running shoes for my first halfmarathon I failed to make the right decision. I’m a slight over pronator and I bought a pair of running shoes for supinators. I didn’t know “the theory” and, most importantly, I didn’t know how to choose the right running shoes for me.

You are most likely to be like me. I’m the kind of guy who wants everything to be just fine and can’t sit and relax until he knows everything is in order. So I did some research.

Running shoes are, without a doubt, the foremost vital piece of kit that any runner - whether or not they are simply taking their first steps into the sport or whether they are seasoned athletes - can buy. Choosing the proper running shoes can make the difference between having a great experience or a crappy one.

Shoe technology has changed and improved dramatically during the last decades: nowadays, there are shoes for every foot type, every running style and every environment. There are women-specific shoes, shoes for incresing the pace - there are even shoes specific to different kinds of pavements/bitumen.

Pronation Explained

The term 'pronation‘ is pretty talked over in any conversation about buying running shoes. Pronation is the rolling of the foot from heel to toe through the foot strike. Pronation is actually a good thing because it helps your feet absorb the shock. But the excessive pronation can cause increased injury risks. That's called over-pronation, and the answer to it is choosing a running shoe with gomotion/move control.

Supination Explained

A much less frequent problem is supination. Runners who do this tend to have inflexible feet (and, often, high arches, too) and when they land, their feet don't make much of a turning-in move. The result is a lot of pounding force and they need a shoe with plenty of cushioning or support in order to absorb the shock.

Once you've established what type of shoe you'll need, it all gets to choosing a brand. You may have a personal favourite, but it‘s worth keeping an open mind about your shoe choice because there are different technologies and they just fit differently on your feet. You have to be open minded to make the right decision.

Discover more about pronation and supination. Pronation explained. Supination explained.

You Have to Experiment

Many runners experiment with different brands and models until they find just the light fit. Ultimately, a proper fit is the most important step in finding the right running shoe. A shoe that fits is going to protect enough, but it won’t be too tight.

Enough with the talking, let’s see which are the most important parts in choosing the perfect running shoes.

Understand Running Shoes Types

  • For Road running:
  • for surfaces with only small irregularities and pavements
  • lightweight and flexible
  • stabilizes or cushions feet
  • for general use and beginners
  • For Trail running:
  • for rough terrain routes (offroad)
  • enhanced with forceful outsoles for solid traction
  • offer more stability, underfoot protection and support
  • for the cold season – I use trail running shoes during my winter runs because they are thicker 
 Trail running shoes. Learn more about different types of running shoes and choose the best for your feet. We are here to help you!

Understand Your Feet Biomechanics

  • Understand your ankles’ dynamics – pronation affects the sideways motion of your foot as it propels the foot forward
  • If you roll in (over pronate) – pick some shoes with motion control and additional stability
  • If you roll out (under pronate) – Pick some shoes with cushioning and flexibility
  • Understand your arches’ anatomy
  • If high – your ankles most probably underpronate
  • If flat – your ankles most problably overpronate
Running biomechanics. Learn how to choose the best running shoes. Keep your feet happy and healthy!

Understand Your Environment

  • Running surface – like car and bike tires, outsoles are created to accomodate certain surfaces. You can run on:
  • roads – choose shoes that are light, flexible and cushion your feet
  • trails – choose shoes that offer stability and traction with sturdy outsoles

A Key Question: What Motivates You?

  • Track your distance and pace to determine the lifespan of your running shoes
  • Write on a piece of paper: “The reason I run is”:
    • For wellness, fitness, fun or exercise – shoes get insignificant wear
    • Increased pace – shoes get extra usage and tear
    • Improved endurance – shoes need to be primarily comfortable for the long runs
    • Triathlon/marathon training – shoes need to be versatile. You choose what is best for you. 

How Much Should You Expect To Pay for Running Shoes?

Only a few runners need the most expensive running shoes available on the market – the pros. But I have good news for you. The more efficient a runner you are, the less probable you may to need all the sustain and guidance features of the trendy new shoes.

At the highest end of the pyramid, shoes are probable to be within the $200-400 group; a mid-price shoe will be $100-200; and therefore the cheapest, under $80 - of course, if you don't necessarily want this season's colours and trends. If you’re willing to wear last year's model, there are a number of retailers who sell discounted versions of what is, essentially, the same shoe.

Companies tend to tweak their shoe ranges twice a year. It's actually a bit like buying a car or smartphone - if you want the most recent model, you'll pay the highest price; if you're willing to go for something that's been available for longer, you could get a true discount.

How much to pay for running shoes. Find the right price for you with our tips.

How Often Should You Change Your Shoes?

lt usually depends on the brand. But most of the pros say that you should change your shoes at least every 400 or 500 miles.  This means that if you're running 40-50 miles a week - you need to change your shoes at least every 10 weeks; run more miles than that and you'll need a new pair even sooner.

My advice: change your running shoes when they get worn out. When you no longer feel “safe” in them.

 Running shoes. How to choose your running shoes. Useful tips for a great decision.

Biomechanics

Wherever you are running, a key issue to what shoe you'll want are going to be your personal biomechanics.

When your feet hit the pavement, you are most likely to be landing on the outside of your heels. The feet then roll inwards to be flat on the pavement. Now this rolling motion - referred to as 'pronation' – always absorbs shock and offers you balance when you run.

However, many runners have their feet roll too far as they run. This can be referred to as 'over-pronation' and understanding whether or not you overpronate is sort of easy and there's no need to worry if you discover you are doing this. It's an awfully common attribute, but lots of shoes are designed to assist and manage your foot strike, keep you comfy and assist you stay away from injuries.

Running biomechanics and running shoes. Learn how to stay injury-free with the right tips.

Conclusion

Choosing the perfect running shoes is rather a matter of experience. You can read all the things you can get your hands on, but the best shoes for you are the ones that make you run better. So, you actually get the proper running shoes only after testing a few pairs from different brands. Start with reading about biomechanics and get your feet analyzed at a sports center. It will definitely help you!

...
...

It's a Match!

You both approved each other for contact! You are now in a conversation.

Select language