Sunday, January 19, 2014

Finding a Pair of Runners!

Running is a simple sport that doesn't require a ton of equipment. It can be as simple as you want it to be, but one thing is for sure: You need a good pair of shoes that are fit for your personal feet!

The number one mistake I made when I started running was going to a sporting department store and asking for a pair of runners. "Uhh... These ones are on sale..." the sales associate told me as he pointed to a wall of clearance runners. I was left blindly trying to pick a pair of shoes that were right for me. Sure, they worked for a couple months, but I was soon out of commission with a hamstring injury due to improper footwear. Lesson learned!

I brought those shoes to a running specialty store and immediately the owner said, "You got those at Sportchek, right? I can tell right away that you need different shoes." Getting an opinion from a professional will seriously save your feet and keep them healthier while you're on the run.

A few things you need to know before you buy a pair of runners:
1. Don't cheap out. Seriously. You may think that spending $120+ on a pair of runners is ridiculous, but they are well worth the investment. Buying a pair of cheap shoes just because they are cute, or just because they are less expensive than other runners, is not a good idea.
2. Running specialty stores are your friends. Department stores are not.
3. Consider your feet: What is your arch type like? Do you have flat feet, high arches, or are your feet neutral? Do you have wide feet or narrow feet? One thing I have learned is that sizing a half size up works best for my feet. This allows room for my feet to shift forward/backward when running up hills and on different terrain.
4. Measure your feet: When you are shopping for a pair of runners, make sure the salesperson measures your feet while you're standing up. This may seem like a, "Duh, why wouldn't they?" but it does give the most accurate number since your feet are not relaxed like they are when you're sitting.

My biggest piece of advice: Go to a running store and get professionally fitted for a pair of runners. Once they direct you into the right pair of shoes for your feet, you can then venture into different shoes with similar features. For instance, if you find you need more cushion and stability and you are running in, say, Brooks, you can look for cushion and stability features in another running brand if you want to try something different. However, make this transition slowly. Although buying a new pair of shoes is exciting (or is that just me?) you want to make sure you will actually use them! Running shoes need to be replaced every 300-500 miles, so be sure to keep track of your mileage from your first run in your new shoes!

Hope that is helpful! Happy Running!

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