Running shoes is an expensive business. If you’re looking to pick up a new pair of running shoes, how do you know which ones will be the best for your feet?
You want to spend enough money on your shoes so that they can support your training and hopefully last for several months, but if you set yourself back too much and buy a too expensive pair, then you can’t afford to replace them if they wear out and get old. This leaves you with shoes that look nice and match your outfit, but don’t fit well and make running uncomfortable…
With such a wide range of brands and models of shoes on offer at such different prices, it is difficult to know how to choose running shoes.
Here are 10 tips on how to choose running shoes:
1. Consider your budget
This is probably the most important thing you need to bear in mind when choosing any new piece of equipment for training, but it’s really true with running shoes. After all, if you’re putting a pair of $200 shoes onto a $40 treadmill in the gym, you may as well use none at all.
2. Know your foot type and running gait
Knowing which type of foot and running gait you have is helpful in finding the most suitable pair of running shoes for you. People with flat feet or low arches will need support in their shoes, while people with high arches may need additional cushioning.
3. Speak to a salesperson
Some running stores employ salespeople who understand feet and running and can recommend the correct type of shoe for your foot type and gait. These people will often be able to talk you through the different brands and models available (including their pros and cons) and help you choose a shoe that’s right for your foot.
4. Examine the inside of the shoes
Some running stores may let you try on running shoes before you buy them, but it can be difficult to assess how they fit when they’re all boxed up in plastic bags with the laces tucked neatly inside. Don’t be afraid to open up the shoes and look inside them.
5. Walk around in them
If you can, walk around in the shoes for a few minutes before buying them (or at least take some practice strides). It’s important to make sure they fit comfortably on your feet when you’re walking as well as running.
6. Make use of the store’s return policy
Most running stores have a generous return or exchange policy, so don’t be afraid to try a few different shoes and find which ones are the most comfortable. If you buy online, make sure there is a good returns policy in place.
7. Don’t just listen to other people’s advice
If someone says they love a particular brand of shoe and it’s the best thing they’ve ever worn, that might not mean much. Everyone has different feet and experiences with shoes (especially when you consider how many running shoe blogs exist on the net). So don’t just take other people’s advice as gospel – go out there, try different shoes, and find the one that’s best for you.
8. Try on previous versions of your preferred shoe
If you’ve found a brand name or model of running shoe that fits perfectly and works well for you, see if the store has older models in stock (sometimes they get them second-hand). It might be worth buying an older model if it means saving a few dollars.
9. Avoid buying on impulse
Impulse buying is one of the main causes of buyer’s remorse. Sure, that pair of shoes look nice and seem comfortable in the store – but how will they feel after several miles? If you’re not sure, don’t buy them yet. Come back when you are sure.
10. Don’t go for flashy or high-tech shoes unless they’re right
Some brands use “hype” to sell their products, with bold claims that the latest version of a running shoe is the best ever made, or has special features that make it faster or more comfortable. While some of these claims may be true, don’t be seduced if the shoe isn’t right for you. There are plenty of other shoes out there that will do just as well.