The biggest problem with picking great running shoes is the fact that you won't know how much you like them until the rubber hits the road, so to speak. A lot of shoes will feel great in the store but may become uncomfortable after you put a few miles on them. Picking the best running shoes for you depends a lot on your feet, your stance and your own particular running style. Read on to learn some of the most important factors to understand before lacing up a new pair of kicks.
Where Will You Be Running?
Where you run is an important thing to consider before selecting the right running shoes.
Asphalt and Hard Surfaces - You'll want to find shoes that are light, flexible and provide enough cushioning to really pound the pavement.
Trails and Uneven Surfaces - If you plan to hit the trails you'll want shoes with extra tread on the outsoles for added traction along with great support and underfoot protection.
Nothing is more important than the physical makeup of your feet when buying a new pair of shoes.
Size - No two people are exactly the same, and no two feet are exactly the same either. It's important to get a measurement of BOTH your feet before selecting your shoe size. Of course a standard measurement isn't always going to match manufacturer specifications which can vary quite a bit.
Arch - You can easily determine how high your arch is by looking at your own footprints. The next time you step out of the shower take a look at the wet footprint you leave behind on your bathroom floor. The less you can see of the middle part of your foot, the higher your arch is.
How your foot hits the ground with every stride is an important thing to understand before choosing your next pair of running shoes.
Neutral - Your feet land on the ground evenly with every stride. Your shoes will wear mostly on the ball of your foot and your heel.
Over-pronation - Your feet bend slightly outward. You will find wear patterns along the inside edge of your shoes.
Supination - Your feet bend slightly inward. Wear patterns will be found on the outside edge of your shoes.
Selecting the Right Type of Shoes
With so many different types of running shoes available, it can be difficult to determine what kind you actually need. Consider the following choices:
Cushioned Shoes - Best for mild over-pronation and supination. Provides extra cushion with minimal arch support.
Stability Shoes - Perfect for runners who over-pronate. These shoes will typically include a post in the midsole for added support during your run.
Motion Control Shoes - These shoes provide a much stiffer heel to help combat moderate to severe over-pronation.
Of course, like most things in life, you usually get what you pay for when selecting running shoes. It's important to do your home and research user reviews before making your final selection