What running shoes to buy

A guide to buying running shoes

Running shoes are vital to any runner hoping to embark upon a successful training programme. However, the sheer volume of running shoes available can seem bewildering at first, especially if you're a running beginner... Before you go charging off to the local shopping centre and corner a sales person in the local sports shop, you might like to consider some important points that can help you to get the running shoes that  will work best for you.

Do you need new running shoes?
We use the tried and true, scientifically proven, kitchen bench inspection method! If we can make the shoe rock with one finger on the heel counter, that is usually a sign that it’s time to get a new pair. If the shoe sole is noticeably worn more in one part than another don’t wait until you get injured.

If you can see that the midsole has compressed, replace your shoes. Generally you should replace a pair after 500 to 600 miles. To avoid risk of injury close to an event, make sure that, if you need new shoes, you have replaced them at least four weeks before a race.

Shoes to prevent injury
Purchase your shoes when you are building up the volume, but before you get into the serious mileage in the two months before an event. If you have been injured, or think you are likely to get injured while running, and you have tried a gradual build up of your training volumes, visiting a foot doctor (podiatrist) could be very valuable. They can look at your foot function and determine if there is any need for an orthotic (shaped shoe insert).

The orthotic may function better in a particular shoe, so it pays to do this prior to purchasing. Obviously your running technique and body size are going to determine the best type of shoe. If you are a heavier runner don’t expect to get four months out of a lightweight trainer/racer. Also, the event and the amount of running you are going to do will influence shoe choice, as will your training terrain and where you run; whether off-road or not. Make sure you take these points into consideration when making your selection.

Choosing a place to buy your new running shoes
Ask other runners where they shop and what their experience has been. Did they feel like they got pushed into a pair of shoes rather then getting advice on the options? Does the store carry all the major brands or just one or two? Are the staff runners themselves? Can the store video you in a shoe at training pace? Resist the temptation to buy shoes just because they are in a sale. There’s nothing wrong with buying a pair of shoes at full price and then later, when you see them on special offer, picking up a couple of extra pairs.


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