5.27.2008

Buying Running Shoes


Admittedly, I am no expert. But this is what I've learned so far about shopping for running shoes. First, find out your foot type by wetting your feet and running along a dry stretch of sidewalk. Examine your footprint to determine if you have flat, normal, or high arches.
  
Secondly, determine if you underpronate (your feet don't roll inward, or they roll outward. You push off from the small toes of your feet) normal pronation (your feet roll inward slightly and you push off evenly from the front of your foot), or overpronate (feet roll inward more than slightly and you push of mainly from your big toes). It helps if someone else can look for you while you stand barefooted. Otherwise, use a full length mirror. 

  
Underpronators will need more cushioning. Pronators will need structured cushioning. Overpronators will need motion control and stability. Armed with this info, you have several options. You could use an
online shopping guide to buy a pair of Asics (there really isn't any other brand, is there? :)) or you could go to a really good running store (where the salespeople know their stuff and can help you select something) or you could go it alone and buy at a discount store like Big 5 Sporting Goods. I'll be honest, I usually opt for Big 5, but I haven't always been successful. They usually don't carry anything newer than 3 or 4 years old, so it's difficult to find a shoe that you've actually read any research on.
If you do go it alone, here are some tips. Shop for shoes after 4pm when your feet have swollen to their largest. When you try on a pair, you should have one finger width of space past the tip of your toes. Try 'playing the piano' with your toes. You should have wiggle room without it being sloppy. Next, take the shoe (without your foot in it!) by the heel in one hand. Use your other hand to press on the toes, as if you were trying to bend the shoe in half. It should only crease where your toes would naturally bend. If it creases higher up on the shoe, or actually does bend in half, it's not supportive enough. Lastly, if you're an overpronator like me, you could also try sole inserts. My podiatrist thinks that Dr Scholls are junk, so I have something called PowerStep. And that's all I've got. My well of knowledge is dry. Good luck, and I hope we all find some great running shoes!
{images via here and here}

2 comments:

S p y G l a s S said...

THANK YOU!!! I should consult you for all my dr. needs! this was really helpful!!!

Janae said...

THANKS! Wow, I didn't know any of this. Now I'm scared to run until I buy shoes...better start shopping. (or saving)

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