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4 Tips to Picking a Perfect Running Shoe

Written on July 6, 2011 at 3:10 pm , by

Choosing sneaks just got a whole lost easier.

Choosing sneaks just got a whole lot easier.

I’ll be honest, in my early days of running my shoe choice was driven primarily by color. It had to be pretty, flashy, and make my huffing and puffing look extremely trendy. Once I started training for my first marathon however, that school of thought went straight out the window. I quickly realized I needed a shoe that could carry me through 26.2 miles without injury, not make me look like a shoe model for Foot Locker.

It’s always best to visit a running store to get fitted for your first pair of running shoes (most places will watch you run on a treadmill and determine the right pair for you based on how your foot hits the ground), but when I asked the pros at my go-to sneak store Jack Rabbit Sports for some general guidelines, here’s what they had to say:

  • Running shoes usually fall into two categories: those that let the foot move unhindered through the gait cycle, and those that correct a runner’s gait.
  • The first category falls into a neutral shoe, while the second is a stability or motion control shoe.
  • Your arches typically determine what kind of shoe you need. If you have high arches, you’re more likely to supinate (your foot rolls to the outside when you run). Lower arches cause feet to overpronate (rolling in as you run). This is why having an expert watch you trot is important for getting the right kind of shoes for your feet.
  • Pick a budget! Sneakers can run anywhere from $60 to over $100, so it’s important to know how much you’re willing to spend before you step into the store. Just because your friend has a pair of $120 shoes doesn’t mean you can’t find a less expensive pair that will be perfect for your feet.

Tell us: What’s your favorite running shoe?

  • Christina

    I’m a novice runner (10-15 miles per week), but my favorite shoes right now are the Nike+ Free. They are super lightweight and simulate barefoot running (that’s supposed to be good for you). I can go for miles in these shoes – plus the Nike+ system helps me keep track of distance and speed.

  • Nicole

    I love Brooks Adrenaline!! And have just ordered a pair of Brooks Ravenna 2!!! They are supportive and hold up well, while still being light weight.

  • Liz

    The Brooks Ravenna 2 are amazing!! They are lightweight, not too much pillowy cushioning and supportive. I’ve had mine for 3 weeks and cannot say enough good things about them.

  • http://www.egoscue.com Matt

    Remember it is impossible to have proper gait in shoes – any shoe. Here is a great article by William Rossi explaining why: http://nwfootankle.com/files/rossiWhyShoesMakeNormalGaitImpossible.pdf

  • GREG

    Being a strength & conditioning coach i have used and had my athletes use many shoes over the years. We have been using the nike free shoes for many years now while running, and training. There has been a profound difference while using the barefoot simulated technology! The athletes love them, and stated that they dont have the knee, back, and neck pain that was caused by some running shoes!!

  • Sherri

    I’ve always run in a light weight trail shoe. My first trail shoe was Avia now I prefer Montrail.

  • Meaghan

    I run with a pair of Nike Pegasus shoes right now but am seriously pining for some Nike Frees. One day!