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How to Choose the Right Running Shoe

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Walk into your local running store, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the dazzling colors and patterns of hundreds of different running shoes. How can you possibly filter through them all to find the right one? Is it enough for a shoe to “fit” or feel “comfortable?” Or is there something more that makes the running shoe?

Opinions about finding the right running shoe run the gamut. Once you’ve been running for a few years, you may find that you hold some strong opinions, yourself, about what makes the perfect shoe. As a long-time runner, here are a few tips for choosing the right running shoe that I’ve picked up on over the years…

4 Tips for Choosing the Correct Running Shoes

  1. The staff at any decent runner’s store can analyze your gait and identify your foot type. Generally, foot type can be classified as flat, neutral, and high-arched. In the broadest sense, running shoes are made for these three types of feet. Knowing your type and shopping in that category is the first step.
  2. Next, try on as many shoes as you like. Most experienced runners will tell you that the right shoe just has a certain “feel.” It’s not necessarily something that can be identified. The right shoe will simply make your feet happy.
  3. Now take your newfound shoe out for a quick jog around the store. Some shoes may feel great while standing in one place, but they don’t offer the same response once you’re pounding the pavement.
  4. Lastly, don’t forget that these could be some of the most short-lived shoes in your closet. Replace your running shoes every 300-500 miles. Doing so will reduce the risk of injury and keep your run as comfortable and safe as possible.

Schedule With a Houston Sports Medicine Physician

Have more questions about running? As a three-time Ironman Triathlete, I’ve learned many lessons about safe, healthy, and enjoyable running. Bring your questions with you to your next appointment! To schedule an appointment with a Houston sports medicine doctor at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, call (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.