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Choosing the right running shoe for your foot

We have written a lot about running over the years, and have covered everything from trail to ultra runs. This time we’re focusing on the single most important piece of equipment you need for running, so before you get out there and pound those roads, you need to make sure you have the right tools for the job – the right running shoes.

Let’s start with the most obvious.

The Fit

If you only consider one factor when selecting a running shoe, it should be how it fits. A bad fitting running shoe will not only make your running experience annoying and potentially painful, it may also cause you to change your stride, leading to potential injury.

Running Surface / type of running

running shoe for different surfaces

There are many different types of running shoes – training shoes, walking shoes, track, trail, cross country, sprint, or distance running. So you need to consider first of all what surface you will be running on as for example, track runner won’t work for trail or road running. Here’s a detailed guide on choosing the right running shoe for different surfaces

Go to a speciality running store

Everyone has different feet and as explained below, the speciality stores can take foot imprint to help choose the right shoe for your foot. The stores usually have thread mills too, so you can test the runners and make sure they are comfortable for your foot.

Know your foot type /pronation

Many specialty running stores now have equipment that can analyse your gait (how you walk/run) and your foot type. There are many different foot-types, but the the main three are:

  • Neutral footed runners, where your foot comes into contact with the ground toward the middle of the foot.
  • Overpronation, where your foot rolls inward too far.
  • Underpronation, where your foot does not roll in far enough, this results in inefficient impact dispersion, and it causes the lateral (outside) part of your feet to do more more work than necessary at the push off

Another important factor in foot type is you arch type, a foot imprint and some advice in a good running store should determine whether you need arch support or not. Also, be sure to try on both feet. Most people have two feet that are slightly different in shape and size.

Go shopping in the late afternoon or eventing!

This may sound a little out there but there’s a method to the madness! Over the course of the day or during exercise your feet become swollen from the physical activity. And no matter how minor it might be, can have an big impact on how the shoes fit, last thing you want to do it go in the morning, buy a shoe that fits perfectly because there a good chance it could be too small by the evening!

Here are some other articles on running you might enjoy:

The key benefits of running

The 7 different running surfaces and how they affect the body

The most common running injuries

Trail running V’s Road running

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