Important things to know when buying running shoes
Having new running shoes is a great way to inspire yourself to go out and get those miles in. However, no matter how cool and colorful they are, new shoes won’t do you much good if they are uncomfortable. So, in order to achieve maximum levels of comfort and minimize injuries, you need to know a few things about sneaker shopping. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Know when to buy
First of all, it’s important to know whether you need new shoes. Shopping can be hard to resist, but it’s good to double-check. Grab your shoes, take the heel and try to fold the toe box back trying to touch the heel. If you can see creases in the sole, your pair is ready for retirement. No visible signs of wear and tear? You’re good to go for another month of running.
Once you really need new shoes, keep in mind that color really does matter—well, at least the color of the sole. Black soles are made of carbon rubber which is heavy and durable (something like your car tires). If you usually run on asphalt, concrete or any other rough surface that causes more wear, this means the black rubber is the way to go. On the other hand, if you run on a treadmill, padded track or anything soft, colored soles are made for you. They contain more air and less mass, but they will be able to take you the distance on softer surfaces.
Softer isn’t always better
While we’re on the topic of softness, it’s important to know that soft doesn’t equal better. When you wear soft-soled runners, your joints move more, which can be dangerous for your body and stride. In order to do your research, you can find running shoe reviews on this website and find your perfect match. Once you find a few candidates, it’s best to try them on and see what feels best.
Try them out
Sure, shopping online is practical, but lugging boxes of returns to the post office is much more time consuming than hitting a physical store. Trying out your shoes is the best way to find the best pair. If you have the chance, take a short two-three minute run at the store (many places have a treadmill for these purposes). Compare a few models before you settle for your new running companions.
Go half a size up
You want your shoes to be snug at the back with plenty of room in the front. This will keep you safe yet accommodate swelling. Most people feel most comfortable by going half a size larger than their actual size, but if you’re a long-distance runner that experiences more swelling, go a full size larger.
Don’t assume your size
Size isn’t always the same for every model and every brand. For instance, don’t assume that your Nike size 8 runners will fit the same as New Balance size 8 shoes. Sizes differ because of different foot forms, different shapes of the upper part of the shoe and different ways the shoe is stitched together, so once again, it’s best to just try out a par before buying.
While most of what you need in order to become a good runner lies in your motivation, having good shoes definitely won’t hurt! Hopefully, these tips will help you choose a shoe that will take you even farther on the track.
Bio: Nemanja Marinkoff is the editor-in-chief @ Walkjogrun.net. He was raised in Srpski Itebej and since then he’s lived in many different countries. You can find him on Twitter.