Every runner is different and so is every running shoe.
That’s why it’s important to invest in the right pair of runners and consider what you need.
Take your time to choose what works for you, especially if they are going to keep you company for hundreds of kilometres over the course of a season.
Here, Sport360’s resident runner Stuart Appleby offers his top five tips to help you find your perfect road companion:
1. RUNNING GAIT
Make sure you have your running gait analysed. Essentially, this deciphers what your foot type is and in-store shoe experts can recommend what is best for you.
Most shoe stores will tend to use a foot heat map or treadmill – helping to determine your foot type:
HIGH-ARCHED (UNDER PRONATION):
You may suffer lower muscle and joint problems due to an increased shock impact with every stride. To counter-act this, I’d recommend you get fitted with cushioned/stability shoes with more support.
Although you can’t pick your foot type, a neutral pronation is the dream ticket for every runner.
NORMAL (OVER PRONATION):
You may experience problems with foot rotation and the ability to get your muscles firing. A solution to this is purchasing runners with harder, stronger material on the inside of the midsole, giving you a crucial extra element of support.
FLAT FOOT (SEVERE OVER PRONATION):
This foot type can potentially make every step agony, especially on hard-wearing ground. A top tip to help improve your stance is to get shoes with a thick mid and outsole.
2. DON’T BE SWAYED BY TOP BRANDS
It’s a competitive market out there but make sure you shop around and don’t go with a shoe purely based on its cosmetic look. You may wear a certain clothing brand regularly but it doesn’t necessarily mean they will provide the best shoe fit for you as well.
3. BUY YOUR RUNNERS EARLY
You want to invest in a pair of runners that will last the pace and serve you well over race season.
I’d definitely recommend getting them as soon as possible (before racing, competition and increased training) so you can wear them in. Ideally, you want to stick to the same footwear and not change, as that can bring on unwelcome injuries.
4. LEAVE PLENTY OF ROOM BETWEEN YOUR BIG TOE AND END OF THE SHOE
It’s an absolute classic approach to checking whether shoes fit right and there’s a reason why it has stood the test of time.
Running can cause your feet to swell so make sure you have half to a full thumb’s nail length from your big toe to the end of the shoe.
It will help you avoid blisters and cramming your toes into the front of the shoe. Basically, the right fit is essential.
5. BE PREPARED TO SPEND
The shoe you feel is right for you may cost more than your original budget but think of the extra few pennies as an investment in your running that will bring you more gains in the long-term.