Chances are, those running shoes of yours have seen better days, and it is time that you invested in some really good running footwear.
A good pair of running shoes will help you perform better and they can help you prevent running injuries, so choose them carefully. When you are choosing the best running shoes for you (whether they are for road running, off road running or general training), follow these key steps to identifying a pair that best suits your running needs.
Ideally, you should try on running shoes towards the end of the day, as your feet sometimes swell, especially if you have been standing or walking a lot during the day. The last thing you want is to end up with running shoes that are too big, or too small.
Understand the shape of your feet; your feet must fit comfortably with the shoe that you decide to go with. inov-8 running shoes, for example, are great in this regard as they are superbly flexible and adjust to the shape of your feet.
When trying on running shoes, make sure you try them on while wearing the socks that you will use for running purposes… your style of socks can dramatically alter the fit of your shoe.
Make sure that you have selected the correct running shoes, as you get different running shoes that are designed for various tasks (road running, trail running, pre workout and post workout). These different shoes present their own unique advantages. For example, Inov-8 also has post workout shoes that relax the foot into its natural position and pre workout shoes that are designed to strengthen the foot.
If your running shoes are a bit tight, do not fall for the fallacy that your shoes will break in. They should feel comfortable from the onset.
When you try on the running shoe, walk briskly or run a few steps with it, even hop around in it (regardless if it feels silly). That would be a good indicator of how your shoe will feel during running. Mix it up.
The portion of the running shoe that covers the foot should fit snugly. When you walk in your running shoes, your heel must not come out of the shoe. Your toes should not be too restricted, and there should be enough room to wiggle them.
At the same time, by this point, ensure that there is not too much of space for your feet. The back of the shoe must cup the back of your ankle, offering maximum support.
To minimise wear and tear on the body, opt for minimalist running shoes (see our article on The Benefits of Minimalist Shoes here); they promote low impact force, so your hips, knees and ankles take less strain. As far as minimalist shoes go, again inov-8 should be your obvious choice; they make the best minimalist shoes and have an amazing range for trail running, road running and more.
Diligently run in your new shoes for a week. If you noticed that your feet are beginning to bruise and/or develop blisters fairly easily, return those shoes for something more suitable. If you followed the first nine steps, chances are you should not have this problem.
What do you look for in a running shoe when you are shopping for a new pair? Is there a specific style that you prefer to run in?