Buying a good pair of running shoes means more than just choosing a style you like. Even if you buy the trendiest pair of running shoes on the market, you’re doing damage to your feet and joints if they don’t fit you well.
While style might be the first thing that draws you to a pair of running shoes, you also need to make sure they are comfortable, support your feet, and help prevent injury.
Luckily, by following a few tips, you can make sure that you buy running shoes that are both stylish and suit your unique needs.
Keep reading to learn about 7 factors to consider when purchasing running shoes to make sure you get shoes you’ll wear time and time again.
No matter how comfortable your new running shoes are, if they don’t fit your style, you won’t wear them. So even though style isn’t the most important factor when buying your shoes, it’s one of the first things many people consider.
A great way to get stylish and unique shoes from popular shoe brands is to see if the brand has any current or upcoming collaborations.
For example, if you’re a fan of Nike but don’t want the same Air Jordans everyone else has, take a look at some of the top Nike collaborations for a unique running shoe.
When looking at the style of shoes, consider what you will be wearing your running shoes with. If you have a lot of bright or neon workout clothes, you might want to get a pair of natural-colored running shoes such as black or white.
Fit is going to be different for everyone, so try on the shoe if you can. Even if a model of shoe has great reviews online, it may not be the best choice of fit for you.
When fitting for shoes in-store, be sure to try on the shoe like you would when wearing it in real life. This means bringing socks that you would usually wear and tying the shoes as you would when out on a walk or run.
If you’re buying shoes online, be sure to read the reviews (especially from people who are your shoe size). Also, make sure to look at the company’s size guide as well as the product description, as some shoe models might run small or large.
Remember that a tight fit is good for control, so this might be a good option if you’ll be running or doing sports. A looser fit can be more comfortable but might be best suited for walking so that you prevent injury.
Insoles aren’t the only way to make sure your shoes are supportive. The features built into a running shoe also help you to stay comfortable while you’re exercising.
These features include the material the shoe is made out of, the material of the sole, and whether the insole that comes with the shoe has any cushioning or support.
If you’re looking for extra support in your shoes, check the product description of the shoe or ask a salesperson to see what offerings are available.
Other factors to consider when determining how much support your shoes need are body weight and how long you’ll be running for. You need more supportive shoes on longer runs as your muscles tire out.
The material of a shoe sole determines how cushioned it is. A shoe’s cushion functions to absorb your body weight and helps protect your joints.
For optimal cushioning, take a look at the product descriptions of your running shoe options and what type of floors your shoes are made for.
For example, if you’re going to be jogging outside, you’ll want running shoes that have the appropriate cushioning for hard ground.
If you’re going to be in the gym, then you’ll want shoes that are good for synthetic floors.
Heel drop refers to the difference in millimeters between your toe and your heel when you stand in the shoe. The cushioning is what determines the heel drop.
A low heel drop means your heel and toe are more in line with each other when you’re standing in the shoe. A high heel drop means your heel drops lower than your toe.
A higher drop is important for running shoes because it allows your feet to strike the ground heel-first, which is how most people run. This requires a heel drop of 10 millimeters at the minimum.
You can test shoe flexibility by picking up the shoe and bending it from each side. Flexibility is important depending on the type of exercise you’ll be doing.
Next time you go for a run, pay attention to where your foot flexes. You want shoes that flex at the part where your foot flexes the most, such as the forefoot.
If you’ve had an injury before, be careful about getting shoes that are too flexible. Start with something more cushioned and structured and see how your feet do. Always check with your doctor or physiotherapist if you’re not sure.
Gait refers to the way you walk and the way you run. People’s gaits fall into three categories:
- Neutral (hips, knees, and ankles are in alignment)
- Overpronated (rolls too far inward)
- Underpronated (rolls too far outward)
For an overpronated foot, take a look at shoes that stabilize your foot. For an underpronated foot, get shoes that have more cushioning.
Some running shoe stores can offer you a free gait analysis. You can also get a gait analysis done with a local professional.
The Best Tips for Purchasing Running Shoes
Purchasing running shoes that work well for you doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Once you learn what works for your feet and exercise style, you’ll be able to apply these tips to any shoes you buy in the future.
By becoming familiar with your feet, your movement, and what you need in a shoe, you can find running shoes that work perfectly for your lifestyle.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out more blog posts in our lifestyle section.