5 Tips for Selecting the Right Running Shoe for Your Feet

Choosing the right running shoes can make all the difference in your well-being and performance. In fact, your footwear can be just as important as conditioning your body well through an effective routine of appropriate workouts and stretching — lowering your risk for common issues runners face, such as shin splints, blisters, and plantar fasciitis.

At FootCare Specialists, Inc., Dr. David J. Kaplan specializes in foot and ankle needs, from diagnosing and treating ailments to determining your best footwear. He shares these five smart running-shoe shopping tips.

1. Choose the right type

Running shoes are designed to suit the unique needs of runners. Don’t choose just any running shoe, however. Just as there are numerous kinds of running, there are various types of running shoes. 

Depending on your primary running type, choose from the following:

2. Go for good quality 

Make choosing good quality running shoes a top priority. Quality running shoes typically have attributes designed to keep your feet in a healthy and stable position, such as stiff backs and strong, yet flexible, soles. They should also have some torque, meaning that when you hold the shoe at both ends, you can twist it. Another sign of higher quality tends to be a higher price. To save money, consider purchasing last season’s model of a high-end shoe.

3. Size them right

As far as size goes, make sure your running shoes are not too loose or tight and line up nicely with your foot shape. Because feet can swell a bit while running, your toes shouldn’t hit the ends of the shoes when you try them on. In general, aim for at least ¼-inch, and no more than ½-inch, of wiggle room at the ends. The heels of your shoes should keep your feet in place without pinching or rubbing, which can fuel blisters. For the most accurate fit, wear running socks when you try shoes on.

4. Consider your foot shape

For comfort and stability, your running shoes should fit your foot shape. While everyone’s feet are a bit different, they generally fall into three categories:

For a medium arch, look for shoes with a straight or semi-curved sole. For flat feet, consider straighter shoes with plentiful motion control for added stability. This will help minimize joint problems and muscle stress. For high arches, select shoes with cushioning for shock absorption. A bit of curve might help, too. If you have severely flat or arched feet or a chronic condition, such as tendonitis or arthritis, talk to Dr. Kaplan about orthotics for your shoes. 

5. Don’t wait too long

The more you run, the more frequently you’ll need to replace your running shoes. Running in worn out shoes can make way for injuries, even before shoes appear visibly tattered. As a rule of thumb, swap out your old shoes for new ones every 300-500 miles or 4-6 months of routine running. 

If you don’t track miles, add a calendar alert for four months after the date of purchase. Once it goes off, take a good look at your shoes to see how they’re holding up. Monitor how your feet feel or seek professional guidance. Once you know how long-running shoes tend to last you, you can set your alerts accordingly.

For support in selecting or replacing your running shoes, call our office in Half Moon Bay, California, or request an appointment with Dr. Kaplan through our website.

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