Your running shoes serve as your contact point with the ground and provide cushioning against the jars and impacts common during this healthy activity. Finding shoes that support your foot shape and reduce stress on your feet can help you get the most from your exercise regimen. Here are five proven strategies for finding the right shoes for running and jogging.
Leave a Little Wiggle Room
Most fitness experts recommend that you leave about a half-inch of room at the end of your running shoes to ensure proper fit throughout your exercise routine. Feet tend to swell slightly during running or jogging, so leaving a small amount of room for expansion can enhance your comfort and help you get the most from your workout.
Check Your Shoe Size
Taking the time to check the fit of running shoes is critical even if you are certain of your shoe size. Different manufacturers may use slightly different sizing techniques. Trying these shoes on for size and walking around a bit can ensure that you get the most comfortable fit from your running shoes. If you find a running shoe that works well for you, it may be worthwhile to purchase an extra pair or two as replacements when your current shoes wear out. This can save time and prevent you from missing running sessions due to broken-down shoes.
Seek Expert Help
If you have chronic or acute conditions that affect your feet or ankles, consulting with a professional podiatrist can provide added avenues of treatment. Some of the most common issues that require podiatric treatment include the following:
- Achilles tendonitis
- Flat feet
- Plantar fasciitis
- Hammer toe
An orthopedic podiatrist can provide the support needed to allow you to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle that includes running. They can also prescribe inserts and recommend shoes that can compensate for these conditions and provide solid support for your feet and ankles.
Retailers that specialize in sports equipment and athletic shoes can often provide expert assistance in finding the right shoe in the right size for your feet. Especially in small, locally-owned stores, building a relationship with the staff can help you find the best running shoes for your unique pair of feet. This can also provide you with information on new trends in the shoe industry and access to special-order shoes to suit your particular needs.
Accommodate Your Arch
If you have especially low or high arches, consider purchasing running shoes specifically designed to accommodate your feet and to provide support and comfort. Depending on the condition of your feet, special inserts may be required to ensure optimal protection against impacts and breakdown of your arch. Adding these orthopedic supports can provide you with greater comfort during your run.
In most cases, the best running shoes for you are the ones that provide you with the greatest comfort both during and after your run. Testing shoes from different manufacturers can often provide you with the best information on which to base your final decision.