Do you tend to run a lot every day? Log in many miles with your running shoes? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, then perhaps you often change running shoes. It is not unusual for dedicated athletes to do so, especially since these shoes need to be replaced every 300 to 500 miles or so.
That said, getting a good pair of running shoes is very important for you. However, the question is how to tell if your shoes fit well? In this article, we will give you a few tips and tricks to help you determine if the shoes you are buying are the best fit for you. Let’s get started!
This is an obvious, but having a pair of running shoes that fits your foot is very important. Unfortunately, too many runners tend to purchase those that are either too big or too small for their feet, thereby causing foot problems later down the line.
Hence, measuring your foot size beforehand is imperative. Take the time to do so and, according to the size, buy your shoes half a size or a full size up. This is to make sure that there is enough room for your toes to breathe and feel comfortable in, while also not being overly roomy.
Besides fitting based on size, your running shoes need to fit based on your foot type. There are three foot arches that are commonly found: high, medium, and low. While medium is ideal, most people tend to have either high or low arches.
With that said, you will need to first see what your arch type is; you can do so with the “Wet Test” in which you dip your feet into water and press it onto a paper towel. The imprint will determine what kind of arch you have.
For example, if the center of your foot is barely visible, then it means you have a high arch. If your foot is heavily impressed into it, then you have low arches. Afterwards, you can then find your running pair that corresponds to it.
Nothing is more important than having a good, solid heel to rely on for shock absorption and support. Therefore, it is essential that the running shoe’s heel area inside is firm, but comfortable. Additionally, it should be snug enough so that your feet do not slip and slide within the confines of your shoe.
Additionally, you will also have to make sure that the outside is also firm, but as well flexible when it comes to running. Again, shock absorption plays a huge role in keeping you safe and injury-free, so make sure that the heel has enough support to do so, as well as is thick enough to last over a long period of time for you (along with lots of miles!).
Soles, or the bottom of your feet or shoe, also need to be taken into consideration when purchasing your pair of running shoes. In other words, the most important aspect you will need to look into is that the shoes have traction, i.e. they are not slippery when running on slick surfaces.
When it comes to good soles, you will need to test out their grip on just about any surface, from wet (e.g. rain) to loose (sand) to unstable (trails). If you find that you need to make an effort to keep yourself stable on these surfaces, then you will need to find a different pair with better traction.
A good running shoe is one which strikes a balance between weight and support. While it is ideal to have a pair of shoes that is lightweight and not too clunky, it also cannot be so light in that it does not offer any support at all.
Therefore, when you look at potential running shoes to purchase, first get a feel for the weight, then examine to see if there is a considerable arch and heel support for your foot. Test them out, even taking a quick walk or a short jog around. If you feel afterwards that it works for you, then it is safe to say that those running shoes are the best for your future, long runs.
Again, this is another obvious, but it might surprise you that so many people choose to ignore this feeling when purchasing their running shoes.
Comfort means that there is space for your feet to move around in (especially your toes), is breathable from lightweight, mesh material, and offers a firm, but also flexible heel support every time you strike the ground on your runs.
Your running shoes should also be comfortable even as you break them in. Granted, it might be a bit stiff in the beginning, but after some time, it should start to soften up and adapt to your foot’s size and shape.
If you are feeling that your shoes are not getting accustomed to your feet after a few runs, then it is best to look into other options rather than suffer in the long term.
All in all, knowing if your running shoes fit you well is the most crucial part to your success as a runner. Without the comfort and support from them, you can experience not only discomfort, but also potential sports-induced injuries from doing so.
That said, taking steps to make sure that your next pair is the right fit will benefit you in the long run. Essentially, it comes down to foot size and shape, heel and sole support, and protection. Having a balance of all of these elements is sure to get you the best pair out there, in order to prepare you for the next run.
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