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?