Picking The Perfect Running Shoe
Introduction: Finding the ideal running shoe can seem daunting. Countless models on the market each tout numerous high-tech features. Generally, a standard performance running sneaker will typically last between 300 to 500 miles. Whether you’re a beginner seeking a more active lifestyle or an avid runner with soles that are showing signs of wear and tear, it may be time to invest in a new pair.
For runners, wearing the right shoe is essential. Good running shoes help facilitate proper running form and may prevent injury — so be sure to buy the right size. Keep in mind that an athletic sneaker is typically cut shorter than a leather dress shoe. Avoid buying shoes online and shop in-store so you can try them on for size. Make comfort a priority. Consider having your feet measured by the staff at the shop. You may also need to go up a half or full size. Remember, feet tend to swell during exercise and when running long distances.
Don’t forget that width matters, too. The width should be snug but allow for some room for your foot to move and flex naturally without rubbing or binding your toes. Try to aim for a thumbnail’s length of extra space in the toebox.
Keep your biomechanics in mind when choosing the right footwear. Check the wear pattern on your soles to determine your running mechanics — such as if your foot rolls to the inside, outside or stays straight while you sprint. Those who overpronate (the foot rolls toward the ankles) may need to opt for a more supportive shoe while under-pronators (the feet roll to the outside) may prefer a more neutral shoe with less motion control.
For additional ways on choosing the perfect sneaker that pairs well with your natural running stride, see the accompanying slideshow.
By Virginia Spine Institute