Joey Wood is an athletic shoe expert and avid runner for more than a decade. He ran cross-country and track in high school, transitioning from long-distance running to short- to mid-distance, even reaching state competition, four years in a row. From running competitively to coaching weekly run clubs for both adults and children, Joey has special insight into the world of running. He is also a shoe fit pro at Dick Pond Athletics, the Chicagoland preferred running shoe and sports apparel company. His personal experience and professional training makes him an invaluable resource on the topic of running.
5 Awesome Tips on How to Choose Your Next Running Shoe
There are tons of running shoes, even more activity shoes that we double use as running shoes. The question is what’s good for us to use?
The shoe that works for you may not work for me, or your sister, your brother, etc. When it comes to footwear – one size does not fit all. We all have small differences and preferences that sometimes makes getting the right shoe very difficult. Following are 5 tips to help you choose your next running shoe.
Tip 1 – Get Fit by a Pro
- Get Fit by a Pro – If you really want the best running shoe for you, you need to go to the experts. Go to your local running store, consult your personal trainer/running coach, or talk with a running advocate get their opinion. Your coach or an advocate may be biased on shoe brand, based on their own personal preference. However, they can give you insight into why they like certain brands best that you can consider. An expert at your local running store is going to give you the most well-rounded advice. They will have a variety of brands for you to consider and should be able to explain the differences in each brand. Some stores even offer a gait analysis, to help you narrow down your choices.
Tip 2 – Comfort is Key
- Comfort is Key – Remember whatever feels comfortable is key. Don’t get overwhelmed or overly concerned with the technical specifics of a shoe, price, color, or BRAND. You may like the color or aesthetics of the shoe design or you may like the pricepoint, but if it’s not comfortable, it’s not the right shoe for you.
Tip 3 – Structure of the Running Shoe
- Structure that’s Right for You – This one can be difficult because of personal preference. That being said, you don’t want an overly flexible shoe, but you also don’t want a terribly stiff shoe. A young athlete, light on their feet, might prefer a a lightweight flexible shoe just because it’s light and they can get away with it. However, as you get older, you need more structure and support, to help prevent injury. Typically, your stiffer shoes will weigh more. Some people need the extra weight that comes with padding to provide enough protection for the runner. There is no rule that limits your choice here, but be aware of your personal needs when it comes to structure, especially cushioning to help protect your knees and more from the repetitiveness of running.
Tip 4 – Clearance Shoes
- Clearance Shoes – Clearance shoes can definitely be a cost saver; however, when getting a clearance shoe, find out why it’s marked down. Some shoe retailers accept returns and will resell them. Be sure to inspect the shoe ,so you don’t get stuck with a defective shoe. In addition, find out how long they have had the shoe. You don’t want to purchase a “new” shoe and in reality the shoe has been on the shelf for years. That finished rubber will wear down even if not used.
Tip 5 – Shoe History
- Shoe History – If you’ve had a specific brand of shoe before, and it worked well for you, it will probably suit you again! Shoe brands will update and make small changes, but for the most part they don’t make too many dramatic changes. A runner with a history in Nike shoes will most likely find success in another Nike shoe. Unless you’re unhappy with the shoe you’re currently in, stay with what you know. If for whatever reason you haven’t had success with a shoe or brand then switch and try something new.