Choosing Your Perfect Running Shoes

It’s amazing how much your feet can tell you about the rest of your body. With every step, you can learn so much about the way you walk and in turn how your body responds to it.  For this reason, it’s important to be in the right running shoe to ensure your entire body is getting the support it needs.

Different Steps for Different Folks

Different gaits are characterized by differences in limb movement patterns, overall velocity, forces, kinetic and potential energy cycles and changes in the surface.

One important variable in gait is the foot strike. The way your foot hits the ground is incredibly important in deciding which running shoe is ideal.

There are three different types of foot strike:

  1. Forefoot Strike – Toe-heel: ball of foot lands first.
  2. Midfoot Strike – Heel and ball land simultaneously
  3. Heel Strike – Heel-toe: Heel of foot lands, then pronates to the ball.

Want a runner’s secret to help decide which type of foot strike you have? Take a look at a worn pair of sneakers you have. Remove the sole and examine it. Where is the most pressure indicated?

If it’s in the front, then you have a forefoot strike. If all of the pressure is indicated in the back, then you have a heel strike. If there’s no real pressure indicated at each point, then you have a midfoot strike.

When choosing a running shoe, look for the most support in the area you tend to strike first.

Other Tips for Running Shoes

Running shoes need to be a half size larger than your actual foot size. It is important for your foot and toes not to be crowded when you are running; your feet naturally expand as you hit the pavement. A thumb’s width of room between the longest toe and the front of the shoe allows you to run to the best of your ability and allows the shoe to function properly to protect your feet. Don’t forget to try on shoes with socks that you normally run in or are the same in thickness; as well as any insoles!

See a Professional

Also take into consideration the type of surfaces that you run on. Do you like to run on the beach? Do you run on soft pavement or gravel or a country road that isn’t paved at all? These are questions that a sales associate at a shoe store may ask. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to bring in your old running shoes so a professional can get an idea of what you have been using.

Test out the shoes you try on, don’t simply walk around the store but take them out for a little spin. It’s the only way to really be certain they are right for you. Running shoes need to be replaced every 300 to 500 miles. After a while the support your foot needs will wear down and will not protect and cushion your feet efficiently.

Just remember that comfort is key!

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