Read this before buying new running shoes! How to find your perfect pair

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guide to choose the best running shoesWhen it comes to running, shoes are the most important piece of equipment you will purchase. Clothing, running watches and other accessories are all important as well, but what you really need to focus on is purchasing a great pair of running shoes.

There are a variety of good running shoes on the market and choosing the right shoe for your stride and feet is crucial to have the best cardio experience after building those big muscles in the gym.

In fact, choosing the right running shoes is even essential to your health and safety because improper footwear can cause injuries when running!

Most of the time, an injury results from the simple fact that the runner doesn’t know if he pronates or supinates when running and this leads to a wrong choice when buying the running shoes.

The whole pronate and supinate uncertainty thing appears when the runner is unsure of whether or not his feet roll inwards or outwards as he runs. Choosing shoes to help with pronation issues can help keep you safe and comfortable on the road. While new studies have shown there are no connections between pronation types and injuries, you still want to choose a shoe that will work with your foot, as it can be uncomfortable otherwise.

Another thing to consider when purchasing running shoes is your foot strike, as choosing the right shoe for your foot strike is important as well. Below is a brief guide for choosing the right running shoe based upon various aspects of your feet and body:

  • Pronation and Supination– Before you start looking for running shoes, you need to understand what pronation is and how that term applies to your stride. Pronation simply refers to the way your feet tilt when you run, or what position they land in. For instance, if someone has no pronation, that means they run perfectly and their feet do not turn outwards or inwards while running. This is also called natural pronation. Those who overpronate, experience an inward roll of their feet during running. If you overpronate, you’ll want to make sure you purchase shoes that have good arch support. Supination, also called underpronation, means your feet turn outward when you run, and you tend to run on the outer side of your feet. Once again, you’ll want to make sure you choose shoes that are designed to help correct this as you run.
  • Foot Strike– You may already know whether you have a forefoot strike, a mid-strike, or a heel strike. But if you don’t, it’s something you should find out before shoe shopping. For instance, you’ll need to know whether or not to purchase shoes that correct for a heel strike, or shoes that encourage a mid-strike. An easy way to find out what type of strike you have is to coat your feet with ink, and run along a stretch of butcher paper or some other type of paper. Wherever your foot hits the ground is where the ink will show up, so you can see what portion of your foot hits the ground. Forefoot is anywhere between the ball of your foot towards the toe; mid-strike may not leave much of a mark if you have a high arch, or if will just appear as a regular footprint; and a heel strike will show mostly heel with light toe prints. Ideally, you want to run just on the ball of your foot.

Choosing the best running shoes for you!

When you go to choose a shoe, you’ll want to keep in mind your arch, foot strike, and level or type of pronation; Here are some features to look for when purchasing shoes to suit your specific running characteristics:

  • Cushioning– Look for cushioning in the area of your foot that receives the most impact. For instance, if you have a forestrike, you’ll want to purchase a shoe that has a lot of cushioning in the toe. If you have a heel strike, find a shoe with more heel cushioning and so on.
  • Arch support– Simply put, the higher your arch is, the more arch support you need. If you have a high arch and you purchase a shoe with very low support, you will be in a lot of pain after your runs and you’ll be pretty much exposed to running injuries. However, a great amount of arch support can be just as painful for a flat-footed person. Be sure to pay attention to this aspect of your shoe.
  • Stiffness– If you like a rigid shoe that keeps your foot in place find a shoe with a higher level of stiffness.
  • Stability– Stability is similar to stiffness but it’s not the same thing. Stability has more to do with how much support you need around your ankle and as a whole. If you’ve had injuries, you have a lot of pronation or supination, weak ankles, etc., you’ll need a shoe with high stability!If you have natural pronation, you haven’t been injured and you have fairly strong feet and ankles, you can likely handle a shoe with a bit less stability.

The number one thing you should do when shoe shopping is to take your time. You will be running in these shoes for a while, especially if you’re training for distance and you’ll want to make sure that you have the right running shoes for it.

Shopping for running shoes is not the same as shopping for some around-the-town tennis shoes; These shoes are your lifeline in running, so be sure to take your time and purchase shoes that are truly right for you.

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