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What to Look for in New Running Shoes

So I’m putting on my shoes for my Tuesday night run and I think to myself, “wow, I’ve had these for a long time.” Unfortunately it’s true, I’ve had my pair of running shoes for years. Well over the suggested mileage. In fact, it’s been so long since I last purchased a pair of actual running shoes, I’d actually be at a bit of a loss as to what to look for in a new pair. Fortunately we live in an age of infinite wisdom thanks to the Internet.

My wife was a member of the Running Room for one of their intro to running programs last year. She really enjoyed it and from what she’s told me, the programs are very informative and their staff are quite knowledgeable. Their website has some good tips on what to look for when purchasing running shoes.

First off, there are three shapes for running shoes – straight, curved and semi-curved. The shapes are called “lasts”, named after the wood composite form used to make the shoe. The multiple shoe shape options are available to help match various feet. Wearing the wrong shaped shoe will cause rolling off one side of the shoe when running or walking.

When running, your feet will naturally pronate or roll off various parts of the shoe. Depending on how you run, the various shoe shapes will make a difference and could save yourself from unnecessary pain or injury.

  • Overpronation is when your feet roll excessively inwards. The Running Room suggest straight or semi-curved shaped shoes.
  • For normal pronation, a semi-curved shoe is best.
  • Supination is when the feet roll outwards. If you’re a supinator, they suggest getting a curved shoe.

I’m a pronator. My feet roll inwards quite alot. I can remember my grandmother telling me that I’ll “trip over my own feet” if I don’t work on correcting the pronation. I have no idea what kind of shoes I wear, but there’s no doubt that they’re beat up and I need a new pair and I’m going to try and get the right shoes for my feet.

My Poor Running Shoes
The Running Room suggests that I take in my shoes to one of their stores for them to examine and help me pick out the best shoe possible. I think it’s a good idea. A good pair of running shoes will last quite a while and if used on a regular basis, make a fantastic, relatively inexpensive fitness investment.

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