The 9 Rules For Buying New Running Shoes
Buying the wrong running shoes can be costly and painful. Make your next shopping spree successful with our need-to-know rules for (running) shoe shopping.
Buy Online…If You’re Sure
By all means buy running shoes online (there are some great bargains to be had that way) but don’t buy blind. Only buy online if you are directly replacing a make and model you know and love, or if you’ve tried on a pair in the shops already.
Run First, Buy Later
You absolutely need to run in your new shoes before you buy them. Standing and walking in them just isn’t the same. Many running shoe shops will have an in-store treadmill: use it. Run slow, try a sprint, put the treadmill on an incline. Alternatively, run outside the shop until you’re happy. If the shop won’t let you, move on…
Use The Expertise
Any running shoe shop worth going to will have at least one expert on hand. So use them. Explain exactly what you need, and if you don’t know, ask them. Tell them what type of running you do, on what surfaces. Explain what you’re training for, how long you’ve been running, and what your goals are.
Room Up Front
Your new shoes should feel secure, but have enough room in the toe-box to allow for the natural swelling of your feet particularly on hot, long runs and races.
Gait Analysis Isn’t The Be-All And End-All
Fancy gait analysis machines in running shops are certainly useful and interesting, but don’t base your shoe purchase on that data alone. If the shoe the machine recommends doesn’t feel right, then keep looking. Always walk, run and spend some time wearing the shoes before you buy them, and make your decision based on scientific feedback… and your own opinion.
Don’t Copy Your Friends
It’s great to take fashion tips from your BFF, but avoid following her lead when it comes to running shoes. Even if she’s faster than you, can run further than you, or gets PBs all the time, don’t think that her choice of shoe will do it for you. Your body, biomechanics and stride are individual, so make sure your running shoes are right for you.
Control For Off-Road
And if you’re intending on running off-road, remember that it’s not cushioning you need, it’s support and control. A more minimalist shoe with a thinner sole will help you react to the ever-changing surfaces of off-road running.
Get The Cushioning Right
Cushioned soles sound comfy, but they may not be right for your gait, stride or the type of running you intend on doing. So try various tpes and levels of cushioning to find the shoe that feels best to you.
Running Out Of The Box
If your running shoes are good quality and the ideal shoe for you, you really should be able to wear them on a run straight away – no breaking-in period needed.