Running shoes are the most critical part of your workout ensemble. They not only improve your athletic performance but they are essential to preventing serious injuries. When it comes to running shoes, they’re not all created equal. In fact, some are a huge waste of money and a risk to your health.
Shopping for running shoes can be overwhelming because of the virtually endless options you have from shape and height to which color you prefer. When you consider all the aspects that make a good shoe (the right arch support, comfortable materials, and the right shape), it’s easy to see why there’s a lot of thought that goes into selecting the right running shoe for your needs.
So, what exactly should you look for? Here are a few factors to consider before you make your purchase:
Buy shoes made specifically for running
First and foremost, you should be aware that just any athletic shoe won’t do. Different types of workouts require different types of sneakers and in this case, you need shoes specifically designated for running. For example, a pair of boxing shoes wouldn’t be ideal because they’re flatter and made for stability.
Running shoes are carefully designed to accommodate the motion of running and to protect against injuries that might be caused by the repetitive motion of your foot making contact with the ground at fast speeds. Getting running shoes can also help you improve your form and performance. For instance, these yellow New Balance running shoes are engineered to give you the best traction and are made of lightweight materials so you can move faster.
Make sure you get the right size
If you haven’t been fitted for a running shoe in a long time, you may want to get sized in-store so you can ensure you get a shoe that fits comfortably. Typically, it’s recommended that you get sized in the afternoon or evening because the foot spreads out throughout the day.
When considering the fit of your shoe, you want them to hold your foot in place but also aren’t so tight that they’re pinching. You should also have about a thumb’s width of space at the front of the shoes.
Consider the type of running you do
Do you run on a track, the beach, or on the sidewalk? The surface you’ll be running on matters. Some shoes have spikes that allow you to get the traction necessary to safely run on tracks or outdoor trails. On the other hand, if you opt for indoor running on your Pelaton Tread treadmill, you need running shoes with smooth bottoms.
Each type of running shoe prioritizes different details that are designed for the level of protection, support, and traction you might need on different surfaces. If you mix up your route, you might want to consider starting with a pair suited for the type of running you do the most. Then, when your budget allows, invest in a second pair.
Don’t buy based on looks
Last but not least, don’t get distracted by looks. As you likely know, looks can be deceiving. And sometimes, with certain running shoe brands, that’s the case. Don’t get stuck with low-quality shoes that hurt a few minutes into your run, make sure to take the blinders off and look into the shoe’s specs before buying.
While it’s okay to consider looks in your decision, it should not be your first priority. Fortunately, running shoes come in more diverse shades and styles than ever to accommodate everyone’s preferences. If you have a specific color in mind, it’s likely you’ll be able to find the right shoe for you in that shade.
Plus, you can always accessorize with your favorite color if you want to make your workout more fashionable. From trendy stainless steel water bottles to colorful socks or shorts, your options are endless.
Before your head out, or more likely open your browser, take these factors into consideration and make a list of must-haves that you need in your new running shoes.
While you’re at it, put as much care and consideration into all of your running gear. From a high-quality running belt to hold your essentials to a roller like The Stick that can roll out those muscle cramps on the go, equipping yourself with the right tools will help you become a better runner and protect you from common injuries so you can get the most enjoyment out of your workouts.