It is absolutely crucial to make sure you know what to look for when you’re buying running shoes. The wrong shoes not only make you much more prone to injury, but it becomes much harder to run. It can decrease your performance level immensely and make it very hard for you to reach your running goals.
Here are 7 quick pointers to keep in mind when going shoe shopping:
1. The Right Toe Length
Feet swell when you run, so aim for an approximate thumbnail-length space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. This way when your shoes will be able to compensate space for any feet swelling during your run so you’re still comfortable.
If you end up in shoes half a size larger than your usual shoes, don’t worry. It is completely normal.
2. The Right Toe Width
If your toes are too compressed and squashed inside your feet, you’re gonna end up with blisters. Plus, the cramping of your feet will make it easier to injure your feet and give you added soreness. Make sure there’s some wiggle room enough to compensate for the entire width of your toes.
3. No Seams
Look for shoes with a seamless upper part. The seams can rub against your feet and cause you to have blisters. The ultimate aim is to get shoes that basically hug the top of your foot in a comfortable way.
4. Has the Right Arch
The arch should contour to the shape of your foot. Your shoes should feel like they are moulded to the shape of your foot. If there isn’t enough of an arch, your feet will feel uncomfortable and it will be difficult to achieve the proper stride. Running is a very strenuous exercise and there is a lot of pressure applied to your feet so make sure they’re as comfortable as possible.
5. Holds Your Heel
Make sure your heel stays in place before buying any shoe. There shouldn’t be any wiggle room at all. If your heel is wiggling around or moving too much it is time to swap out for another pair of shoes. By not having your heel stay in place, you can put yourself at risk of injuring yourself during your run. Plus, by not having a firm step with each stride, you’ll feel very uncomfortable.
6. Feels Firm
Pillowy cushion-like shoes feel nice on our feet, but a firmer shoe is best if you’re a runner. It’ll have more spring-back on the road, which minimizes the stress on your leg muscles. By having less stress, you’re less likely to get fatigued and sore quickly – which makes for a more successful run.
7. Flexes Right
Check the shoe’s flex point (where it creases when you press the toe into the floor). It should bend at the same place as your foot to ensure a natural stride. If it bends too far ahead or too far behind, you’re putting yourself at risk for injury. Your shoes should mimic the natural shape of your foot as much as possible. Your shoes shouldn’t feel like shoes on your feet. This way you can have a run with minimal obstacles.
Want to know what else you can add to your run to make it more easy and enjoyable? Read our article on 11 running essentials you NEED if you’re a runner.