Choosing the Right Running Shoes | Superior Foot and Ankle Care Center

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How to Choose the Best Running Shoe for You

Whether you’re a running novice or an experienced veteran, picking out running shoes can be a daunting task. It can be tempting to just grab the best looking pair from a popular brand, but the right shoes are imperative in preventing running-related injuries. With so many options bragging a variety of different features and claiming to help with an assortment of problems, it’s hard to know which shoes are right for you. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can keep in mind to help you make the right decision.

Shoe Buying Myths

To start, there are a number of myths surrounding running shoes. It’s important to not buy into them in order to find the best shoe for you.

There’s a Best Running Shoe

Many people choose a running shoe based on the popularity of a brand or shoe style, but everyone’s foot, running style, and needs are different. There’s no running shoe that is best for all, or even most, people. That’s why there are so many options available.

I’ve Found a Shoe I Like, so I Don’t Need to Try on Shoes Again

The same model of shoe won’t work for you forever. Models change slightly or even dramatically between years, as do your needs. Your running form can change over time due to injuries or strengthening and weakening muscles. Changes in your goals, routine, or running surface can also affect your needs. There’s also evidence that shows that alternating between different models from workout to workout can help to strengthen your ankle and foot.

The Right Shoe Will Help My Times

Your shoe won’t make you faster, but it can make you feel faster as your gait becomes more comfortable and natural. However, wear in the sole can slow you down and make you more prone to trips or falls as the shoes lose their grip. To prevent this, shoes should be replaced every 300 to 400 miles to prevent injury and ensure comfort.

Your Individual Needs

When shopping for running shoes, it’s helpful to determine your specific needs based on both the shape and size of your foot and your running style. Whenever you try on shoes, remember to bring any braces or inserts you need.

Shoe Size

When buying shoes, remember that size varies between brands and even between models within the same brand. The size you’ve worn in other shoes provide an estimate of the side you need, not a guarantee. Try on several different sizes to see what you like best. Laces should be snug and the ankle shouldn’t rub. You should have about a thumbnail’s space between your toe and the end of the box. (‘Barefoot’ style shoes are an exception. They should fit close to the toes, ‘like a glove.’) It’s helpful to try on shoes at the end of the day when they’ve swelled and are at their largest.

You should also remember that you don’t have to stick to the shoes in your gender’s section. Men with narrow feet may have luck with a women’s shoe while women with broad feet may have better luck with with a man’s shoe.

Arch Height

Like in any other shoes, having the proper support for your arch height in running shoes is important for ensuring comfort. Many running stores can help you determine your arch height, but you can also get some idea of your arch height at home using the ‘wet’ test.

Strike Location

When you foot hits the ground, it should land ankle first for the best possible form, but many people’s feet land farther forward on the foot. This can be corrected by the drop of the shoe, or the difference between the height of the toe and the height of the ankle of the shoe. A higher drop forces the foot to plant farther back.

Pronation

Pronation refers to the inward roll of the foot after the foot strikes the ground. Virtually everyone has some pronation, but there are shoes to stabilize over or under-pronation. For those who don’t need correction, minimalist or ‘barefoot’ shoes are options.

Superior Foot and Ankle Care Center

All of this information certainly provides guidance when shopping for running shoes, but what’s most important is that you find shoes that you like and makes you comfortable. If you overpronate but aren’t comfortable in any of the shoes for overpronation, not only will you be less likely to run, you may be more likely to hurt yourself, according to a 2015 study.

While finding the right shoes can be difficult, they are imperative to staying healthy while pursuing your running goals without injury. If you have difficulty finding the right pair, or suffer from a foot or ankle injury that makes running difficulty, the experts at Superior Foot and Ankle Care Center in Long Beach, California can provide you with the care and support you need to meet your goals. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and join our many satisfied customers.