How to Choose Running Shoes

by Jeff Ray - Date: 2007-02-21 - Word Count: 560 Share This!

Choosing the best running shoes can be a daunting task with so many options and models to choose from. However, it is of great importance to wear the correct running shoes for you based on your needs as well as the specific shape and symmetry of your feet. Our feet and the type of shoes we wear can adversely affect other aspects of our health. But by knowing a few important features and facts on how to choose the right running shoes, you will be able to make an informed decision and enjoy more comfort as well as better health.

Choose a Running Shoe

First, it really should go without saying that if you plan on running, you must choose a running shoe. Not a tennis shoe or a walking shoe, only running shoes will offer the specific support and cushioning that one will need while running.

Know the Shape of Your Feet

Before you start shopping, you will want to find out exactly what shape your feet really are and this can be easily accomplished using the wet test. With the "wet test" you dip your feet into water and step onto a dry piece of paper making note of the shape or print you leave. There are three general shapes that you may see; a print that looks like the entire sole of your foot, in which case you would be considered to have a flat foot, or a very narrow band separating the forefoot and heel, which would mean you have a high arch. And finally, there is the in-between kind, the "normal foot", which means a footprint will be left with a noticeable flare, but also with a much wider band separating the forefoot and heel than that of a high arch.

Decide on the Type of Running You Will Do

Once you know what type of feet you actually have, decide on just how much running you're going to be doing and on what sort of terrain. You should also measure your feet both in length and in width and keep in mind what thickness of socks you'll be wearing while running. Disregard any previous measurements you may have as our feet can change size and shape for a number of reasons, including our age and how much we run or walk on them. So don't be surprised if the size of your running shoes is a half size or even a full size larger than the rest of your shoes.

Final Considerations

Now that we know the type of your feet, their exact size and what you need the running shoes for, you must now decide on the price range you're interested in, and if there are any special features or specific needs that you may be looking for. Consider that the more you weigh, the more support and durability you are going to need from your running shoe, which may end up costing more but will be well worth the extra expense in the long run, no pun intended, of course.

And although fit and comfort vary as widely as the individual, remember that running shoes should fit snugly, but not too tight. And a half an inch or less should be between your longest toe and the tip of the shoe. Your heel should never slide back as you walk and alternately, your toes should never feel cramped or crushed together.

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