So you want to be a runner? Besides knowing that you’ll need to devote your time and efforts to this sport, you also need to know how to get started going about it. You might even ask yourself: “What kind of running shoes do I need?”
Choosing the running shoe best suited for you when it comes to this form of exercise not only will make you feel comfortable, but also help you perform at your most optimal level.
In this article, we are here to help you pick out the best kind of running shoe that can be worn for your next run (and there after). Let’s get started!
This is a no-brainer when it comes to picking out just about any type of shoe to wear (e.g. dress shoes, flats, sneakers, etc.). However, knowing your exact size for deciding which pair of running shoes to get is super important, as a too-large or too-small shoe can make or break your running experience, let alone be extremely uncomfortable to wear.
To measure your shoe size, all you will need is a ruler (in inches) and a chart that corresponds to it. For a guideline of your foot’s measurements in regard to shoe size, check out this chart here: Measurement Tables for Shoe Sizes.
As you look at the chart, you’ll see your exact shoe size. For instance, if your foot measures 10 inches, then in the U.S. it’s a size 8 for men and a size 6 for women; in Europe, that same measurement would be a shoe size of approximately 42 for adults.
Once you figure out your shoe size, it’s a matter of selecting the best running shoe for it. However, when finding the right one, get them in an extra half-size larger (so for size 8, choose 8.5); this is to ensure that your toes in the front have space to breathe, as well as balance you while pounding on the pavement.
Also make sure that your heel in the back is secured, to prevent the shoe from slipping off while exercising. For more information on this, check it out here.
Not every foot is identical; people are born with a variety of differently-shaped feet and because of this affect just how they run. The shape of your feet is determined by your arches, or the curve in the middle of your foot. Essentially, it comes down to three types of arches:
If you’re unsure just what your foot type is, you can easily determine it by a self-diagnosed “wet foot test.” It’s simply a matter of dipping the bottom of your foot into water then pressing it down onto a paper towel and releasing it to see the imprint.
If you notice that half of the arch is filled in, then you have a middle arch; those which are either entirely filled in or not at all are low and high arches, respectively.
For a step-by-step tutorial on how to determine your foot shape, take a look here: Take the Wet Test: Learn Your Foot Type
Or, you can find a demonstration of the wet foot test with this video :
Expanding on point #2 above, it’s also important to see just how you run or, more specifically, how your feet strikes the pavement with each stride. There are a few cases for doing so:
For a demonstration video on these foot movements, check out this video here:
In addition, it’s not just about how you run, but how often you do so: Are you a sprinter or a long distance runner? Do you run every day or a few times a week? Are you training for competition or just for recreational purposes?
You need to ask yourself these questions in order to figure out just what kind of running shoe you’ll need. Here are a few main factors you might consider:
How much you run
It is no doubt that, the more miles you run (as well as the more often you run), the faster your shoes will wear out and needto be replaced. The impact of pounding the pavement over time will wear down the shoe’s cushion, and so it’s necessary to get new pairs once the old ones have lost their support.
On average, a pair of shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles, or around three to five months; however, if you’re doing more than that, then you’ll need to switch them out more frequently.
Don’t run the risk of getting an injury just because your running shoes have worn out; it’s better to pay for new shoes to protect yourself rather than choose to be cheap and get hurt.
What type of surface you usually run on
Do you tend to run on concrete sidewalks or on uneven surfaces like trails? While you might think that it doesn’t matter what kind of ground you often run on, it actually makes a difference when it comes to finding the best running shoe for extra cushion and support.
For example, you might need more padding on your running shoes if you frequently run on concrete or trails. For other instances like sprinting or treadmill workouts, you might not need as much cushion, since you would need lighter shoes for improving speed or the machine is already designed to minimize impact from striking, respectively.
For more information about this, check out this article here.
If you’re a casual runner or competitive racer
If you often compete in races, then you’ll need to invest in something lighter than the typical running shoe: you’ll need racing flats, which are lightweight with almost no cushion, thereby used to enhance speed time without burden.
On the other hand, if you tend to run for recreational purposes, then a standard cushioned running shoe is best for you, especially if you run long, slow distances and need some support for your feet.
With that said, depending on how often, how long, and how hard you exert yourself when running, choosing the specific type of running shoe is important to your feet’s health. Here are the main categories of surfaces on which athletes run on:
For a video recapping all that we’ve talked about for running shoes, check it out
Looking for good running shoes? We have them! Here are our top picks the world’s leading brands for running shoes.
** Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.
With a good fit for just about any foot size or shape, this particular ASICS running shoe brand prides itself in having good support and stability for runners to use on just about any type of terrain.
While not necessarily the best choice to wear for long runs, this brand might be suitable for those who enjoy hiking or walking on uneven, rugged terrain.
Made from a combination of synthetic and mesh material, Nike’s running shoe can offer runners plenty of comfort and padding while also good traction to keep the foot solid and balanced on the ground during runs.
While perfect for runners with narrow feet and medium arches, this Nike brand might not be ideal for others with different foot shapes.
Vibrant and snug, Salomon’s running shoe is great for trail running, able to withstand just about anything while also being able to transition smoothly from trail to road in the ultimate running experience.
Salomon’s running shoe provides state-of-the-art foot technology for better running motion and traction. It works great for runners, but not as much for casual activities every day.
Engineered with the newest Fresh Foam 1080 technology, this special New Balance brand gives runners a better touchdown-takeoff dynamic and a more flexible heel-to-toe transition, thereby providing a smoother running workout for everyone.
With the ideal combination of being lightweight and also having good cushioning for the foot, New Balance’s running shoe is a solid item to have for long, smooth runs.
With its upper and expanding mechanics, the Reebok running shoe offers a streamlined running experience to help you push off from the pavement in an easy, smooth movement. Made from a combination of fabric and synthetic, this particular shoe brand provides comfort and convenience for the avid runner.
Although flexible and with a good takeoff-touchdown mechanism, Reebok’s lacing system can use some improvement, especially when it comes to securing the shoe well.
As an avid runner, you are responsible for taking good care of your body not only in terms of fitness but also in your health (especially that of your feet). That’s why it’s crucial to choose the best running shoe based on your foot size, shape, and movement.
By taking these into consideration, you can minimize injury while also enjoy doing the sport you love. Like this article? Feel free to share or comment!
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