If you’re serious about maintaining a high level of physical fitness and running is part of your regimen, it isn’t enough to have a ‘decent’ pair of tennis shoes. Generic walking around or fitness tennis shoes won’t provide the proper support for running.
Avoid Pain and Injury
Having proper running shoes is much more important than most believe. The benefits of good shoes extend beyond just your feet and encompass your entire body. The wrong shoes can lead to blisters and shinsplints as well as ankle, knee, back and hip problems.
Though my personal favorites are Nike – currently splitting miles between two pairs – and New Balance, no one brand is best and nor does one shoe fit all. Each of is different (e.g. weight, running style, etc.) and have different shoe needs. Some shoes will fit your foot more comfortably than others and there are shoes that will help to correct supination (when your feet roll outward) and overpronation (when your feet roll inward).
Running puts three to five times your body weight onto your feet, joints, and muscles every time you strike the ground. Therefore, take your body frame into account when choosing the shoe and cushioning that’s right for you. If you’re over 6′ tall and weigh over 200 lbs., you will likely want a running shoe with lots of cushioning. Conversely, if you’re 5’6” and weigh less, say 140 lbs., you can probably get by with a shoe with less cushioning.
Don’t Be a Cheapskate
Not only do you not want to go cheap when it comes to buying running shoes, you don’t want to try to wear them forever. According to Runner’s World your shoes need to be replaced between 300 to 500 miles. Your weight and running style will help to determine if you need to replace closer to 300 or closer to 500 miles. Are you a heavier runner who runs more aggressively? You might be closer to the 300 miles. A lighter runner with a more passive style? You can likely replace closer to 500 miles.
To track those miles you can use new technology such as fitness trackers from Fitbit, Apple, or Garmin; maintain a basic log via a spreadsheet or go even more old school and break out the pencil and paper.
A good pair of running shoes will provide a snug and well-shaped fit that is tailored to your foot as much as possible. Perhaps the best way to find a pair of running shoes that is right for you is by visiting a shoe store that emphasizes selling running shoes. Such stores usually have a knowledgeable staff that will help you with finding shoes that fit correctly.
Take the time to find the right pair of shoes and don’t be afraid to spend a little more. You will enjoy running a lot more and moreover, your feet, knees, hips, and back will thank you. Stay savvy, my friends!