Running Shoes

There is no such thing as the perfect shoe, or a shoe that is perfect for everyone.  What you can find is the perfect shoe for you and your running style.  While running your feet will  strike the ground about 1,700 times per mile with up to 4 times your body weight. Footwear that is improperly sized or unsuited to your biomechanical and training needs can cause injury.

Finding the right shoe is more difficult than just seeing what looks best.  The best way to find that perfect shoe is to go to a running specialty store and get your feet evaluated and fitted with a pair of shoes.  The people who own the running specialty stores are runners themselves and will usually hire people with a running background.  They will look at your feet, see how you walk/ run.   They will be looking to see if you have a normal arch, high or flat arch.  They will ask questions about your running habits and history.  They will also look at your old shoes to see your wear pattern.  Shoe wear indicates how the running foot bears weight.  Wear varies from person to person depending on weight, running gait, frequency of use, and the running surface.  Depending on these factors, the average would be 400-500 miles per pair of shoes.  Personally I have my shoe last longer.  This drives my husband crazy because he has to get a new pair every 400- 500 miles.

Wear Pattern

Finding the right shoe for you will depend on two things your foot type and arch.    As you run you naturally land on the outside of your foot and roll inward. This inward rolling is called pronation.  There are three different types of arches normal, high or low (flat).  The height of your arch determines the way your foot will roll or pronate.     If you have a normal arch your foot will roll to a healthy spot.  If you have a high arch your foot will roll slightly as is impacts the ground or underpronate.   If you have a low arch your foot will roll excessively inward or overpronate.  By looking at your old running shoes you can determine if you underpronate or overpronate.  The quickest  way to determine your foot type is perform the “wet test”.  Get your feet wet , step on a brown shopping bag and look at your foot print.  If you see about half of your arch, you have the most common foot type and are considered a normal pronator. Pronation is a good thing. When the arch collapses inward, this “pronation” absorbs shock. As a normal pronator, you can wear just about any shoe.  If you see almost your entire footprint, you have a flat foot, which means you’re probably a overpronator.  Your arch collapses inward too much, resulting in excessive foot motion and increasing your risk of injuries. You need to buy a motion control shoe.  If you see just your heel, the ball of your foot, and a thin line on the outside of your foot, you have a high arch this is  the least common foot type. This means you’re likely a underpronator, or supinator.  A high arch can result in too much shock traveling up your legs because the  arch doesn’t collapse enough to absorb it.  You will need to buy a neutral cushioned shoe.

Most runners find a shoe that feels good and will stick with the brand.  If the company discontinued a shoe they will usually make something similar to the shoe.  By going to a running specialty store they will be able to figure out the shoe for you and help find a comparable shoe is your has been discontinued.

After you get your shoes do not wash your shoes in the washing machine or dry them in the dryer.  If they get wet it is best to dry them naturally or by stuffing them with newspaper.

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