What Should You Look for in a Running Shoe?
Did you know you should retire your running shoes once you’ve run 300-500 miles in them? For runners that average 10 miles per week, that’s a new pair of shoes at least once a year.
Your feet are complicated structures of bone, muscle, and connective tissue that work together to carry you to the finish line. Choosing the right running shoes for your feet is more than just picking out your favorite brand. The wrong pair of shoes can cause blisters, discomfort, and even an injury that keeps you from your runs.
When you buy new running shoes, you should look for a pair that matches your running style and supports your feet properly. Trying on the shoes before you buy and testing them by walking or running briefly is a must.
The choices in running shoes seem endless, and it can be hard to know where to start. That’s where we can help. Our podiatrist, Dr. Jeffery LaMour, regularly helps runners learn more about their feet and find the best running shoes to keep them active. Choosing the right running shoes often involves studying your running habits and examining your biomechanics to find the perfect fit.
Consider your running habits
Do you run a few miles every week or do you regularly run marathons? Your running habits and where you run play a role in your shoe selection.
If you’re training for a marathon, you’ll probably log more miles on your shoes than if you run for exercise alone. Running more means that your shoes will wear out faster. Replacing them in a timely fashion is key because running in worn-out shoes makes you more prone to injury.
Where you run influences your shoe choice, too. Hard surfaces like sidewalks and streets can be higher impact than running on trails or grass or a treadmill.
Running shoes for the road typically have softer midsoles and extra cushioning to absorb shock from solid surfaces like concrete and asphalt. Shoes for running on trails often have thicker soles to protect your feet from sharp rocks as well as thicker treads to keep you from slipping on rocks or mud.
Get your feet and gait measured
Your gait refers to the way you naturally walk and run. We can assess your gait and make recommendations to keep your feet comfortable as you run. A professional evaluation of your feet can make a big difference when you’re looking for the right running shoes. Some gait abnormalities, like overpronation or underpronation, can be corrected by the right running shoes.
Whenever you buy new shoes, you should have your feet measured to make sure you’re getting the right size shoe. Your feet change over time, and shoe manufacturers update their designs regularly, so the exact style of shoe that you bought last year might not fit the same way this year.
When you come for a shoe fitting, bring your old running shoes. Wear patterns on your used shoes will show us how your feet move as you run and help us determine if you might benefit from shoe inserts.
Once you find the right pair of running shoes, it’s a good idea to break them in slowly. Changing shoes can change your gait, and your new shoes might have more support than you’re used to. Take your new shoes out for a few short runs to let your feet get used to them before you go on a longer run.
Still, have questions about choosing a pair of running shoes? Come in to see Dr. LaMour for professional help. He’ll evaluate your feet to help you learn about the type of support you need in shoes, and make personalized recommendations just for you. Call one of our offices in Austin or Pflugerville, Texas, or request your first appointment online today to get started.
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