Deciding on the pair of running shoes to pick in a store with many models and styles to choose from can be a little difficult. With so many popular brands out there, you might think you’re well covered and all you have to do is pick your favorite. That might work for casual shoes, but with running shoes you need to put in more work than that. Not every shoe is made the same way, and when you want a shoe that’s going to protect your feet and keep them healthy after running miles, you need to pay attention to all the specifics.
Size is a good place to start, but that’s just the beginning. An equally important thing to keep in mind while looking for running shoes is the shape of your feet. The shape of your shoes should conform to that of your feet. Feet types according to shapes are as follows:
- Flat feet – These are feet lacking an arch between the toe and the heel. They’re flat with no inward curve. With this type, you’ll need to focus on getting shoes that help with stability and motion control.
- High-arched feet – These have a high defined arch at the bottom. They require a lot of cushioning to absorb shock and ensure that they do not stretch out of shape over time.
- Neutral feet – Considered normal, this type of feet have a noticeable, not too high not flat arch. They don’t require shoes with too many specifics.
After noting the shape of your foot, the next step involves choosing what category of running shoe you’re in need of. With running shoes, categories are based on the surface that you intend to run on. There are three categories.
- Trail-running Shoes : This is the to go to category if you intend on running off-road on trails with rocks, roots, mud and all types of natural obstacles. They’re built to withstand these rough conditions with excellent traction and strong outsoles that protect the bottom of your feet.
- Road-running Shoes : Built light and flexible, these are designed for pavements and packed surfaces. If you’re looking for a run around the neighborhood, these will do.
- Cross-training Shoes : This category covers indoor running, such as at the gym.
Knowing where you intend to run, picking the best running shoes for you becomes easier.
To ensure maximum comfort and value for your money, a closer look at the shoe construction should be an integral part before making your decision. This is what decides the level of comfort you’ll experience plus the durability and performance of the shoe. Here’s what you should be looking for in;
- The outsole : Most shoes wear out first on the outsole. This is the part that’s in contact with the ground. Getting a pair with a good outsole means you’ll keep them for a long time. The outsole also protects your underfoot, so make sure it’s thick and strong enough for your running surface. A well constructed outsole provides good traction and enables stability for a long period.
- The toe box : This is the front part of the shoes. It protects your toes from getting stabbed and other injuries. As such, go for shoes whose toe box is reinforced. Having extra length in there is also important. Your toes should be able to flex and roll, without rubbing the end of the shoe.
- The upper : This is the part of the shoe covering the feet. Great uppers for running should allow your feet to breathe and flex freely. Pay close attention to the materials used because they’re what give an upper its qualities.
Lastly, to make sure you choose the best shoe at the right fit, go shopping at the end of the day when your feet have swelled to their maximum size.