Friday, April 11, 2014

How to Determine the Right Running Shoe For You!


We recently did a post on how to find out whether or not you were a person who needed more or less cushioning in your running shoes. Since there are so many different kind of running shoes out there and there are so many determining factor in deciding which shoes you should get, we decided to put a few more hints out there to make it a bit easier.

 
 1.Determine your size. This may be a no brainer, but the shoe size you have always been wearing may not be the size you should be in.  I found this foot guide that you can print off and lay your foot against. For running shoes, I usually buy a half size bigger than what my foot measures.
 
 2.Determine your foot type.  You can do this by getting your foot wet and then making a foot print on a dry piece of paper or on concrete. What shape does your foot make?
 
 3. Compare it to this chart. I would say I'm pretty Neutral.
 
4. Shoes to Look for:

Flat Feet

  1. Stability is most important. Find Something that will provide good arch support and prevent your feet from that "rolling" motion.
  2. Avoid lots of cushioning. It'll only intensify instability and pronation problems by allowing your feet to continue rolling inward.
High-Arched Feet
  1. Stability becomes less important.
  2. Cushioning is needed, especially in the heel and forefoot. You'll want something that provides the softest cushioning and the lightest weight.

Ideal Feet

  1. Moderate stability.
  2. Good cushioning.
  3. Outstanding durability.

5. And to think that when 1 first started buying running shoes, I didn't know any of this. I just went by  if I liked the color and if it fit! Now I not only worry about if I like the shoe or not, but will it like me back? Will it be a shoe that will improve my form or impede it?

Have you done the water test on your feet?  What foot type are you?

* I'd like to add to this that I did wear my purple Altra Olympus on my 11K race on the boardwalk last weekend and they felt amazing.  As some of you remembered, I was having hesitations on keeping these shoes because of all the cushioning they provided, but that cushioning felt amazing after the race when my legs were sore. The only problem is while I am not a heel striker when I run, I did find myself becoming a "Heel Walker"  Because there is so much cushioning in that shoe, I would step first on my heel and rock up on my toes just because the cushioning felt so good!



45 comments:

  1. All really great tips. I like the water test. Any decent running shoe store should also give you a free fitting as well as analyze your gait. I have many "cute" shoes that are uncomfortable but I deal with it because I love the way the shoe looks. Not my running shoes. I absolutely do not care what they look like. Once I find something that feels good, I'm sold!

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    1. Yes, I have sacrificed style for comfort in dress shoes before but I know not to do that in running shoes. And I think as I get older I want my dressier shoes to be more comfortable too!

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  2. Great post. Important information and easy to understand. I can't tell you how many shoe articles I've read in the past that go out on tangents and by the end I'm just like sooo what do I need? lol

    I'll be referencing this post to people who ever ask me about shoe questions!

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    1. Thanks for passing it along Lauren! Sometimes I feel like the more I know, the harder the decision on what to by becomes!

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  3. Finding the right size shoe might seem obvious, but is more difficult than some runners realize. My husband found out after running both a half and full marathon that he'd been running in shoes that were half a size too small. No wonder he lost a toenail - his feet were jammed into his shoes!

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    1. Ouch! I had a similar experience after the Princess half this year!

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  4. This is really great information! My running shoes are a full 2 sizes bigger than the size I get for work shoes. And I have mild pronation. I wouldn't have known that and would definitely have gotten the wrong shoe size without getting fitted at a good running store.

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    1. I have found out that I need to go up a full size in running shoes too compared to everyday shoes! -M

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  5. My foot print doesn't have a middle, only my toes and heels, but I'm finally out of stability shoes. I like the Altras so far and I hope they keep that up.

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    1. Glad to hear you are happy with you Altras! I have another pair on order and hope to get them soon!

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  6. I've always thought that I have a high arch, and I feel like I supinate (at least when I walk), but my running store put me in a stability shoe anyway (Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 - I haven't tried the 14's yet), and I've loved them. I especially love the cushioning under the front half of the shoe, because I'm definitely a mid-foot runner.

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  7. Glad that you found a good shoe that works for you! That often can be a daunting task!

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  8. I thought I had found the perfect shoe based on recommendations from my local (and only) running store in RI, however when I started seeing my sports chiropractor she said I was wearing the complete wrong size. I was wearing 8's and she said I needed 9.5 narrow width. I thought I'd be tripping over my toes going up a size and a half but I don't even notice the difference. She said it will help with my arches being in knots and she said the bone that sticks out on the side of my foot shouldn't be doing that. LOL I just started wearing the 9.5 this week so I'm interested to see how running in them will go this weekend! She said it will start helping with the injuries I constantly have.

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    1. I know it's hard to increase your shoe size when you've been wearing the same size for so long. I hope those new shoes work for you!

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  9. Haha i think it's so cute that you loved the cushioning so much that you became a "heel walker." So cute! I never analyzed my feet before, but I did get analyzed when I went to a running store! Best decision ever ;)

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    1. I feel like I just want to savor the cushioning! It was definitely nice to have last weekend when my legs were so sore!

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  10. I was fitted for shoes at my running store about 3 years ago and have been wearing the exact same model ever since. Of course they have changed them slightly every year and this year they are lighter (a win) but if it works. I figure no need to change!

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    1. You are lucky to have found such a good shoe for you that still works!

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  11. Oh man well-fitted shoes are VITAL!! I now get my feet fit every time I buy a new pair b/c I don't wanna risk the pain and agony of running double digits in ill-fitting shoes, yuck :( Great post girl!!

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    1. Yes, a great fitting pair of shoes is something we've been obsessing about for a while now!

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  12. Such good advice. I am somewhere between neutral and flat footed and I spend a lot of time thinking about and researching shoes.

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    1. I think that is a habit of runners, always researching shoes!

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  13. I have a really hard time finding running shoes that work for me. I finally found the Mizuno Wave Rider 16's and they were awesome! When it was time for a new pair I figured I would just order the 17's because they couldn't have changed that much, right? Wrong!! I'm currently sitting on the couch icing my foot and shin, and I just ordered another pair of 16's! Why do they have to change them?!?

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    1. Ouch! My mom just got the 17's and has liked them but she never had the 16's so she has nothing to compare them too!

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  14. I have to say ... I HATE shoes. If I don't have to wear them, I don't have shoes on. I wear slippers for my elliptical and stationary bike workouts. I take off my running shoes the second I'm done, and I don't know that I could ever stay in them for longer than an hour (so no, no marathon plans for me). I've never done the water test, not gone to a running shoe store, and I don't spend that much ... all part of the problem I'm sure. But I'm so nervous to drop big bucks on a shoe ... and then still hate it! Buying a shoe is such a risk! A necessary evil ... :)

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    1. Haha! Running shoes sure are an investment and it does stink to have spent money on shoes that don't work for you!

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  15. I have been really lucky with shoes for the most part, I haven't had any that caused major issues in a long time. I'm starting to build up quite the collection though, I keep buying more!

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  16. Great tips! I have really weird feet. I have freakishly high arches and very narrow feet. Brooks have been the only shoes that have ever worked for me! I wish I could just go in a store and buy any shoes but I do love, love my Brooks!

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    1. They must be very good shoes because I know many people who swear by Brooks!

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  17. Love this post! I've never heard of the water test...I'll have to try it out!

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  18. These are really good tips! I want to try the water test immediately!!

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  19. I still feel like I haven't found quite the right fit and I've been running for a year now! I have flat feet that supinate, talk about a headache!

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    1. I have just the opposite problem! I have lots of shoes that feel good but I wonder if they are "helping" me!

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    2. I have just the opposite problem! I have lots of shoes that feel good but I wonder if they are "helping" me!

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  20. I switched up my shoes when I started marathon training. I went up half a size and went for a less stable (although still stability) shoe and couldn't be happier. -C

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    1. I have found that I went up even a half size more in my newer shoes and am very happy with that decision as well!

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  21. My poor feet are so confused. I've done this test a few times with water on paper and on the mats at Road Runner Sports and all times, you can BARELY see any outside area of my feet. It looks like I have balls of my feet and heels and nothing in between. But I overpronate like a mother and need support shoes. Crazy feet.

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    1. I would say you have very high arches! I hope you find something that works for you!

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    2. I would say you have very high arches! I hope you find something that works for you!

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  22. Thanks for the tips! I need stability shoes, they make a huge difference for me.

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  23. Wow, thanks for this post. I'm going to book mark this. I didn't ever think of wetting my feet to try out the type test. Now of course I HAVE to do it!

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    1. The first time I ever heard of this I had to go right out on my porch and do it too!

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  24. Yes, I need ALL my shoes to be comfy. Heels are a rare occurrence for me these days :) Great post!

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    1. I agree. I haven't been wearing heels lately either but when I do, they need to be comfy too!

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