The Ultimate Guide to Shopping for Running Shoes


Running shoes are by far the most important kind of shoes any runner will ever own. Sure, a closet full of beautiful shoes is always important to any woman and even a number of men but if you are an avid runner, there is nothing more important than the shoes you run wearing. As a runner you probably already know this. But with the growing popularity of 5k runs, color runs and other fun runs, as well as the couch to 5k workout routine you see online all the time now, it’s imperative that people do their research before they take up a new sport. Not all runners are pros. And not all runners bother to look into the details and the safety aspects of running before they get started.

Incredible as it sounds, there are a number of people who aren’t even aware that there is more to running than just running. They have no idea that their running shoes are designed to keep them safe and protected, that water is more than a suggestion for drinking and that they should really monitor their health before, during and after each run. It’s not just a simple exercise that doesn’t require any equipment. Running is serious business. And if you’re not careful how you do it and what you wear when you do it, you’re going to end up hurt. That’s why we’ve come up with is comprehensive guide that’s going to detail every single aspect of the search for good running shoes. Your health will depend on this information, and you will thank us later.

Know Your Style

There are so many different running styles in the world that you have to know your own before you can buy running shoes. If you run on the treadmill miles a day, that’s completely different than running on the street. If you run up mountains and off-road, that’s completely different. If you sprint, that’s different than jogging. If you walk and run, that’s different than just running. There’s a lot you have to know about your running style before you purchase a pair of running shoes or you’re likely going to purchase the incorrect pair of running shoes. This means that you need to think about how you run, where you run and when you run before you shop.

Shop at Night

Did you know that your feet swell throughout the day? They’re much thinner in the morning than they are in the afternoon, and that means you need to shop for shoes that will grow with you throughout the day. The best way to do this is simply to shop later in the day when your feet are already swollen and you have fewer things to think about. It’s an easier fit and a more comfortable shoe when it’s purchased later in the day, or at least at night when your feet have had time to expand thanks to your daily activity.

Bring Current Running Shoes With

A salesperson at an athletic shoe store is going to find it far easier to help you search for new shoes if you bring your old ones with you. Of course, this only applies to those who have running shoes already. By checking out the wear and tear in the shoes, your salesperson can help you figure out exactly what you need in your new shoes to keep them as safe as possible for your new endeavor.

Let a Professional Measure You

If you’re not sure what size you wear, let a professional measure you at the shoe store. In fact, even if you are certain you know your size, let a professional measure you. It’s imperative that your running shoes are the right fit. This is what is going to keep your feet from slipping, and it’s what’s going to keep your bones and ankles as safe as possible when you are running. Did you know that a shoe that’s even a half size incorrect as far as fit goes is enough to actually cause you to lose your balance, fall over and break and ankle? Did you know that a shoe that’s not designed for running can actually cause you to damage the bones and joints in your legs because there isn’t enough support in the areas that need it? You have to find the right fit and the right shoe for running.

Bring the Right Socks

You know that you run with thicker socks on your feet, so bring them with you when you try on new shoes. This can make a big difference. Most shoe stores offer small socks that are more like hose than anything else. You will not get an accurate fit if you opt to use a sock like this instead of the kind of socks you really do like to wear when you are running. Always be prepared with everything you need in hand so that the right shoe is easier for you to find and purchase.

Buy Something That Isn’t Just for Fashion

You want your shoes to look good, yes. But more importantly, you want your shoes to do what they are supposed to do so that you can get the support you need. You might have to forget about fashion for a moment and focus on what you actually need. Running shoes are not the most stylish shoes in the world, and that is just a fact of life. Instead of focusing on how they look on your feet, focus on how safe they are going to keep you when you are running.

Forget a Price Point

One more thing you have to forget about when shopping for the right running shoes is what you will pay. You can’t just buy a pair of shoes because they are on sale. You can only buy shoes that are fitted, designed for what you need and perfect for your running personality. Buying shoes because they are cheap is one of the biggest mistakes runners make, and it can result in long-term damage to your body that will make those shoes far more expensive in the long run.

Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images


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