Shoe Shopping for Runners
Congratulations! You’ve made the wise decision to contribute to your physical health by taking up running. A major part of ensuring that you are going to do more help to your body than harm is getting the proper equipment, specifically running shoes. Even if you aren’t a novice runner, it is still worth evaluating your current footwear and determining if it makes sense to go shoe shopping for a new pair.
The Starting Line
Before you head out to purchase your new footwear you need to figure out where to go shopping. Now, there are a lot of online stores that sell shoes, but this is definitely not the right place to pick up your first pair, or switch to a new brand or style. It is imperative that you actually try on new shoes and see how they fit. If you order online, you could easily end up with ones that are too tight or too short.
Having ruled out online shoe shopping, your best option is to go to a brick-and-mortar store, but it’s an even better “best” option to find one that specializes in running shoes. If you go to a large department store, yes you will be able to find footwear. What you are not guaranteed to find, however, is a knowledgeable sales staff who is trained to make sure you end up with the equipment that is right for you.
Perhaps you’ve already considered going shoe shopping at an actual store, and maybe you have also chosen to go to one that specializes in running shoes, but do you know what time of day you should go there? It is not exactly common knowledge that your feet start swelling in the morning and continue doing so until 4:00 pm. With this in mind, your best bet is to go in the evening so that you do not end up with smaller size than you should.
Getting in the Groove
As you are in the specialty running store evaluating shoes in the evening, you need to determine what kind of running you will be doing. Trail shoes are constructed differently than road flats, as they need to be more rugged in order to handle off-road conditions. So if you are planning on running through forested areas, veer towards those styles in the store. How much you run and at what intensity should also be taken into consideration.
In addition, you need to understand your feet. Shoe companies engineer their products to accommodate different foot types. Tell the salesperson if you have either flat or high arches, or any other specific needs, and he or she will show you which options work best.
With regard to fit—which is crucial for the prevention of conditions like bunions, corns, and hammertoes—you should be able to slide your feet out of untied shoes with relative ease. You should have enough room to wiggle your toes when the laces are fully tied, but shoes should be snug enough so that they don’t slip. As you try on various styles, make sure that you are actually moving around in them. If the store has a treadmill, use it. If not, take a quick jog down a hallway. Make sure that you choose a pair that is comfortable right away, too, and has plenty of support and cushioning.
Crossing the Finish Line
Now that you’ve crossed the finish line for buying your new running shoes, it is time to head to that starting line for the actual running. Stay mindful of your feet feel and the condition of your footwear as you train. Various shoes are going to last longer than others and this is another reason to go to a store with trained sales personnel. Running shoe experts will be able to let you know what to expect with regard to longevity of your footwear and when they need to be replaced.
For more tips, or if you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, contact Dallas Podiatry Works. Call us toll free at (888) 716-5283 to make an appointment with Dr. Joel W. Brook or Dr. David R. Northcutt at either our Dallas or Plano TX offices.