Not all running shoes are created equal. If you are serious about the sport you want to make sure that you have at least two good pairs of shoes to cycle through so that they can each get a chance to rest. Having the right pairs of shoes can help you stay comfortable while you run, and more importantly it can help you avoid injuries or problems in the future.
What to Look For in a Shoe
When it comes to finding the perfect running shoe there are things to look for. Everyone is different so keep that in mind when trying on shoes. What works for someone you know might not be good for you. The heel of the shoe should have a snug fit that isn’t too tight. You should be able to slip your foot in and out easily if the shoe is laced up but not tied. There should never be any discomfort because it will not go away; it will just become amplified. The instep, or upper, should also fit snugly. If there is any discomfort in that area you might want to try lacing your shoes up a different way to avoid any hot spots.
Since your feet will swell during use it’s important to give them a little leeway. A good rule of thumb is actually to keep about a thumb’s width from the longest toe to the front of the shoe. It might sound or feel silly but it’s also a good idea to get a feel for the shoe before you purchase it. You can’t do this by simply standing still so take it for a quick jog around the store to make sure everything feels right.
Avoid These Common Mistakes
There are some common mistakes that many runners often make when purchasing new shoes. First of all remember that you are buying for feel and not looks. Running shoes are not supposed to be about fashion, but what’s best for your feet.
If you’re already a runner, you probably know that running shoes are not cheap. Since they’re such a big investment there’s nothing wrong with asking if the store has a first-time customer/repeat customer deal.
Be very careful of buying shoes that are too small. Just because you wore a certain size last time doesn’t mean that your feet have stayed the same. Get fitted every time to avoid any future problems.
Getting the Perfect Fit
When you get fitted for your running shoes it’s a good idea to follow a few pointers. Your feet swell during the day so go to the store at the end of the day when they are at their biggest. Wear (or bring) the socks you use when you run. This will give you a more accurate feel as socks do add width to your feet.
Remember that not every pair of shoes is the same. Just because a specific size fit you in a different shoe doesn’t mean that it will be the same for your running shoes. Be open to the idea that you may need to go up or down a size to accommodate your feet.
Also, remember to test the shoe out. Walk around on a firm surface for a little bit to get an idea of how the shoe moves with your foot. You should even run a lap or two around the store to make sure it’s comfortable and stays that way while running.
We Can Assist You
If you have more questions about running shoes or how they should fit please call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to schedule a consultation with us in one of our three Massachusetts offices.