Probably one of the questions I get asked the most when it comes to running is about shoes. I get it, there are a lot. I see on the internet quite often people asking “What is the best running shoe?” Well, I am here to tell you to NEVER ASK THAT QUESTION AGAIN!
Running shoes are subjective. They are all different because runners are all different. Some runners need stability, some need cushion. Some swear by one brand and some are all over the board. What works for me probably won’t work for you. Shoes are the most important part of running and should be given more consideration than asking a random group of people on the internet.
I get asked a lot about people starting to run and what is the first thing they should be doing. I really think they are confused when I tell them to go to a running store and get fitted. Even seasoned runners should be getting a gait analysis done every so often. A variety of things can change your gait. When my husband lost a bunch of weight, he no longer had any pronation. Plus, shoes change. You don’t know what you might love now if you don’t get as many options as possible.
When you go to the running store, wear clothes you can run in – because you will be running. Be straight forward with the associate helping you. Often times, they can tell so don’t think you are pulling a fast one. For example, my right foot (that I have had two stress fractures in) has a different foot strike from behind than my left. If you would watch me run you would think I am a pronator, which I also thought for a while. Well, where my foot strikes in very far on the outside – which changes the shoe completely. When I tell people about my injury history it makes sense.
Please trust the associate when they measure you that they are telling you the size you should be wearing in running shoes. No one cares your shoe size. Ladies, if you have to wear men’s shoes it really isn’t a big deal. I wear a 7 in dress shoes and an 8 in running shoes. Just how it is. You should have a thumb nails amount of space from the end of your big toe to the end of the shoe.
When you are trying on shoes please be open to all brands and styles. I know your friend wears on brand and loves them, but that might not work great for you. Also, looks and color don’t matter. If they are comfy and you feel great in them but the pink is not your thing, get over it and wear the shoe. I had eight of the same exact color Saucony Ride because it was the one in stock.
The other thing about running shoes is they have a lifespan. You will probably only get 300-500 miles out of a pair of running shoes. Please keep track of this number. As your shoes break down your body will tell you it is time to change them. Mine is always in my hip/IT band. If you are getting weird pains at like 120 miles, it might not be the shoes and you might want to take some rest days.
The other really big question I get is , well can’t I just go to a sporting goods store? Well, you could, but often times they do not have the ability to do proper fittings. Pittsburgh has a ton of running stores to go to. Mojo, Pro Bike and Run, Fleet Feet, New Balance, Up and Running – just to name a few.
I am begging you, please do not ever ask the “What is the best running shoe” question. It is super simple to go and find it out on your own!