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How To Pick Running Shoes

Posted on August 07, 2012 by DrJeffHogan

Running is wonderful cardiovascular exercise and a popular workout choice. Just as a carpenter requires the right tools for his trade, the right pair of running shoes is essential for both the casual and the serious runner. There are some things to consider when purchasing a running shoe.

If you are a casual runner (less than ten miles per week), then a basic running shoe will be fine. If you are training for a marathon, consider making a true investment in your running shoes for optimal performance.

Consider the arch in your foot. Those with a high arch need a running shoe with a curved shape. If you have an average arch, a semi-curved shoe might be the best fit. Those with a low arch or flat feet need a straight shape shoe.

Understand pronation, which is the rolling of the foot from heel to toe through the foot strike. A proper or neutral pronation is hitting the outside of the heel and up to ball of your foot evenly across the front. This is how your foot reduces the stress of impact. Underpronation means that the outside of your foot takes most of the shock instead of finishing in the neutral position. Overpronation is too much roll across from the outside to the inside of your foot.

To determine your level of pronation, look at the shoes you walk or run in. the real indicator is the wear on the forefoot. If most of the shoe wear is:

  • On the inner edge, you Overpronate
  • On the outer edge, you Underpronate
  • Uniform wear, you have a Neutral Stride

Shop for running shoes late in the afternoon, as feet are at their peak size at this time of day. When trying on the shoe, make sure there is a full thumb width between the end of the longest toe and the end of the shoe. In a properly fit running shoe, the toe box will allow the toes to move freely. The heel should not slip or rub against the shoe and the sole should flex with ease where the foot flexes.

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