Running is a great way to keep fit. Its a good workout, its versatile and the selling factor for a lot of people is that its cheap – but your running shoes shouldn’t be.
I’m all for a bargain, but I strongly believe that getting a good pair of running shoes is an investment, and you shouldn’t just rock on up to Sports Direct and pick a pair based on the colour matching your favourite yoga pants. Trust me, your feet are worth it.
1. Get accessed
This isn’t as scary as it sounds, promise! If you go to a proper running shop, they’ll put you on a treadmill and get you to run a little bit to access your running style, meaning they can recommend a pair of shoes that will suit you best. It may be that you turn your feet out a little while you run (an over-pronator, like myself!), or you have weak knees or ankles, but by getting a professional to look at your gait, you can find a pair of shoes that are going to work with your body.
2. Shop around
Once you know what sort of shoes you need, you’ve got the freedom to shop around a bit! Try different brands, get a feel for all your options and check out outlet stores!
3. Always wear good socks
Even when you’re just trying on potential shoes, you should try to wear the right socks. Special running socks are available to give your feet more support, and you like to wear these, then be sure to take them with you when you try on new shoes; they can make a big difference to the fit! Wearing the wrong socks can also lead to blisters!
4. Know sizes
I always used to think it was as simple as knowing your shoe size, but some brands of running shoes recommend you size up or down. Asics, for example, recommend you buy their shoes half a size bigger than your regular size. General rule of thumb is a thumb – you should be able to press down about a thumb’s width at the end of your big toe, to allow space for your feet to move happily.
5. Don’t be afraid to be afraid of change
If you find a pair of shoes that work for you, don’t be afraid to stick to that same make and model. My dad, for example, always buys the same pair of Asics, because he knows they suit him, and that’s a totally normal thing for runners to do!
6. Know your shoe mileage
Believe it or not, running shoes have a sort of use-by date. Different companies may say differently, but in general you should be replacing your shoes after about 300-450 miles, just due to general wear and tear, and to keep you running at your best.
Do you have a favourite shoe brand?