When you go shopping for a pair of running shoes, you need to look for something that will provide both comfort and durability. Running shoes need to fit well, provide mobility for your foot and ankle, and protect from potential hazards. They also need to be able to “breathe,” providing ventilation that keeps your feet from getting overheated. If you are buying your first pair of running shoes, check out these guidelines to make sure you get the right pair for you.
Start at a Specialty Store or Website
While plenty of generic shoe stores offer running shoes, you should start at a store or website that specializes in runners’ needs. In a brick and mortar store, this gives you a chance to talk with sales representatives and try on the wide range of different options available. If you choose to shop online, you can check out numerous customer reviews and get advice from experienced runners. Targeting a specialty store allows you to tap into a vast amount of experience and expertise, and it also gives you a chance to view sales targeted at people with specialty needs. By going through this process, you come away more knowledgeable, even if you visit a generic store afterwards.
Check for Flexibility
While normal shoes don’t have to be particularly flexible, running shoes need to be able to provide your foot with maximum mobility. Many people find a pair of shoes that have a good tread and some breathable netting and assume that’s all they need, but those people will usually find themselves with aching feet later on. The ideal running shoe needs to be able to bend significantly when you land on the balls of your feet, but needs to do so in a way that doesn’t cause cracking in the sole. When you pick up a pair of shoes, bend them backwards from the toe. If the shoe seems stiff or inflexible, it isn’t the brand you need.
Consider the Tongue
Not many people realize that the tongue of a running shoe is of the utmost importance. You need the tongue to provide padding and stability to the top of the foot, as this helps keep your foot comfortable over long distances while also providing important stability and support. The ideal tongue is wide enough to cover the top of your foot and soft enough that you don’t feel any rub against your foot and the laces. At the same time, you need to be able to pull the laces tight and make sure the shoe doesn’t slide around on your foot. Finding the right balance of comfort and stability is the key to making sure you have a good running shoe.
Most people who are buying their first pair of running shoes tend to overlook these basic steps and settle for a generic shoe that won’t provide them with the long-term comfort they need. If you keep the advice above in mind, you’ll find your performance and running ability working at a much higher level than it normally would.