If the shoe fits, wear it. Or, at least, go for a run in it. More than 50 million Americans go running for exercise on a regular basis.
This means that shoemakers have produced dozens of running shoes. When you are trying to find the best running shoes, your shopping experience can be a little difficult.
What qualities do the best running shoes have? How can you find the right size of shoes? How should you test a pair of shoes out?
Answer these questions and you can enjoy many miles of running with the best shoes. Here is your quick guide.
Know the Elements of the Best Running Shoes
When people think about running shoes for sale, they think about the laces and soles. These are important parts of the shoes. But there are other elements you need to consider.
The upper part of a shoe is all the materials above the sole. It includes the tongue and the top of the shoe. The upper part should match the shape of your foot without binding to it or chafing your skin.
Your shoe’s saddle is a component of the upper part. It goes against the arch of your foot, reinforcing the laces. The saddle should act as a shield, protecting your foot without limiting your motion.
The ankle collar is the wrap that goes around the top of your shoe opening. It keeps the heel in place and prevents your foot from sliding out. The collar should contain padding for your ankle that matches its shape.
The heel counter goes underneath the collar but above the sole. It is a cup that supports your heel, preventing it from tilting to one side as you land on it. It should give you room to move your ankle while insulating it when you land.
Think About Your Needs
New running shoes can serve several different needs. You may need more stability in your shoe or you may need a shoe that feels lightweight.
Sit down and think about the necessary qualities you need in your running shoes. Then read over the elements of running shoes and find elements that maximize the qualities you need.
If you want more stability, you should prioritize the ankle collar and heel counter. When you are opting for lightweight shoes, you should examine the heel and make sure it contains rubber.
Read reviews of running shoes online. Evaluate how others wear the shoes and what they think the best qualities of the products are. Visit websites like kickscrew.com to see how shoemakers advertise and categorize their products.
Consider Different Shoe Sizes
As you purchase running shoes, you may encounter different sizing systems. A size 10 for New Balance shoes is different than a size 10 for Adidas shoes.
You should use sizing systems as a benchmark. But you should not limit yourself to one or two sizes.
While you are reading customer reviews, take notes on how customers refer to the sizes. Some of them may have suggestions that you should look at different sizes so you have more room for your feet.
You should measure your feet for further clarity. Use a ruler to measure the length and width of your feet. You should also measure the shoes and see how much extra room you will have for your toes.
Keep in mind that the size of your feet may change over time. Some people have swollen feet during the morning, but their feet reduce at night. You should measure your feet multiple times per day and see if they fit in your shoes throughout the day.
When in doubt, go for shoes that are a little bigger than your feet. They may be a little hard to run in, but tight shoes can strain your muscles and damage your circulation. You can fill in the extra space with thicker socks.
Test the Shoes Out
When you find a pair of running shoes you like, you should put them on and test them out. Do not just walk back and forth in them. Go for a short jog and stand still in them.
Try sliding your feet around after you have laced your shoes on. If they feel loose to you, you should not purchase them.
You should also try stretching your toes and rolling your ankles. You should have enough room to do both, but your laces should not come undone as you do either one.
After you purchase running shoes, you should spend some time breaking them in. You can go for a quick jog in them, taking breaks to stretch your feet and the fabric of your shoes.
If you need to break your shoes in quickly, you can run them under a hairdryer. You can also wear them around the house while you have thick socks on. Do not run your shoes under hot water, as you might discolor them or allow mold to grow.
Find the Perfect Shoes
You can find the best running shoes on the market. Understand the elements that go into shoes, including ankle collars. Think about your needs and find shoes with elements that address your needs.
There is no sizing system that all shoes follow. You can find the right fit by reading customer reviews and testing products out.
Make sure you actually go running in a pair you might want to buy. Once you have a pair, break them in until you are completely comfortable.
Shoes are just one tool for running. Read more running clothes guides by following our coverage.