HOW TO BUY RUNNING SHOES – A GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS

HOW TO BUY RUNNING SHOES – A GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS

The difference between a fantastic run and an awful run is usually a pair of running shoes. The pair of kicks you choose to run in will make or break your run. Shoes, therefore, are the most important part of your running gear. For argument’s sake, I am going to say that running is almost free. I say almost because you will need to buy the basic things such as activewear and shoes. Unless you decide to play in the fanciest and most expensive workout clothes, the most that you will spend when it comes to pounding the pavement will be on a decent pair of running shoes. This guide on how to buy running shoes will assist you with buying your first running shoes.

*This post is in collaboration with Asics.

This guide on how to buy running shoes will assist with buying your first or next running

HOW TO BUY RUNNING SHOES FOR THE FIRST TIME

1.WHAT SURFACE WILL YOU BE RUNNING ON

If you are a beginner runner, it is worth knowing that you have to consider the kind of surface you will be running on before buying the shoes. There are two kinds of surfaces that you are likely to run on.

Trail running

Trail running involves running on off-road routes- the terrain will be rough, and the surface uneven. The shoes for trail running need to have extra traction and tread as well as a whole lot more cushioning to lessen the impact.

Road running

Road running includes running on smoother surfaces such as the pavement or tarmac. The shoes, therefore, need to be lighter and flexible.

RELATED POST: 7 RUNNING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

POINTS TO CONSIDER CHOOSING YOUR FIRST PAIR OF RUNNING SHOES

2. HAVE A RUNNING GAIT ANALYSIS DONE

Dawid Visser, a running expert, and Pure Endurance Solutions director, recommends going to your local running shoe store to get a running gait analysis done. What a gait analysis does is to provide you with information about your running style, and this at the end of the day, is what is going to help you choose the right type of running shoes.

Gait analysis focuses on pronation which in layman’s terms according to this Asics article, is “the term used for the way your foot rolls when you walk and run.”

Asics offers video gait analysis which requires one to run on a treadmill for a few minutes, whilst being recorded, thereafter the video recording is analysed by an Ascis expert and the results explained to you to help you select the suitable running shoe.

3. YOUR RUNNING SHOE SIZE SHOULD BE BIGGER THAN YOUR NORMAL SHOE SIZE

Dawid points out that you must “always remember that your running shoe size will be bigger than your normal shoe size as you need to be aware that your foot will need to move in the shoe.”

Do you remember during childhood when some of our parents used to buy us shoes that were awkwardly bigger than the normal shoe size? Well,  do not be alarmed! Your running shoes need not be as hilariously oversized as the childhood shoes but have to be slightly bigger than your normal fit. Half a size bigger than your right fitting shoe size is what is often recommended, but I feel this is subjective as feet are shaped differently and so are running shoes.

RELATED POST: RUNNING SAFETY TIPS – HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN RUNNING ALONE

If you are not able to have your feet measured as earlier suggested, then you should do the ‘wiggle test’ to see how much room there is in the shoe for your toes to wiggle. Ideally, there should be about half an inch space between the big toe and the end of the shoe.

the ninth generation of the Asics Gel-Pulse. The Pulse 9 is an entry level running shoe, ideal for beginners

If you buy running shoes that are too small or too big, you will either have blisters or encounter foot problems after a while.

4. SHOP FOR RUNNING SHOES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY

Dawid suggests that the “best practice for buying running shoes is to shop for shoes in the middle of the day when your feet are most swollen due to heat. This is common as there is slight variation in the size of the feet in the morning and in the evening.”

5. ALWAYS SELECT THE SHOE ON FIT AND FEEL

There was a time when I would chase after cute or brightly coloured gym shoes. I know so many people who swear by certain brand names when it comes to sneakers, not because the brand makes the greatest running shoes, but because they just love the name or colour of the shoes. Dawid Visser advises against this kind of thinking when it comes to buying running shoes.

“Always select shoes on fit and feel and not on how they look. You want to be comfortable while running. Besides, your shoes will get dirty in any case no matter how cute they look. The best-looking shoe is not always the shoe that will work for you,” Dawid says.

6. HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU REPLACE RUNNING SHOES

Asics suggests that you replace your running shoes after 450 to 550 miles (about 725 to 885km). Most runners keep a mileage log to help them with this, and I log mine using a running app. There is a plethora of running apps that you can choose from- my favourite is Endomondo if you must know.  If you are old school you can simply use a notebook help you keep track of your runs.

THE BEST RUNNING SHOES FOR BEGINNERS

I am currently trying out the Asics Gel Pulse 9, which is the ninth generation of the Asics Gel-Pulse. The Pulse 9 is an entry-level running shoe, ideal for beginners and is classified as the start of the performance range of the ASICS neutral road running range. I will talk more about this shoe in my next article which will be a full review of the Asics Gel Pulse 9.

 

Are you a seasoned runner? How do you buy your running shoes? Share your tips in the comments below.

the ninth generation of the Asics Gel-Pulse. The Pulse 9 is an entry level running shoe, ideal for beginners

 

 

 



19 thoughts on “HOW TO BUY RUNNING SHOES – A GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS”

  • I hate when I buy a pair of running shoes and I didn’t leave enough room for my toes. These are all great tips. I especially like the one about knowing when to replace running shoes. For me, the more lightweight the shoe, the better.

  • I have not purchased a real pair of actual running shoes for running purposes since 2003 probably. I know. It is sad. Sad. Sad. But to be honest…I destroyed my spine so I can’t do any running anyways, BUT I would love to be able to feel good in some walking shoes since I do a lot of that! I never put a lot of thought in my running shoes. I just buy the cheapest ones. I really should invest in good ones since walking is a sport too..even though I might not be going as fast.
    These are such great tips! Thank you so much!

  • These are great tips for beginners or those who are having a difficult time picking out their running shoes. It’s really important that you pick one that’s a size bigger than your actual foot size because our feet swell when we sweat!

  • These look like some great looking and functional running shoes. Have to protect our feet. Wrong type of shoe could do damage. Good to know how to pick out the correct type of shoe.

  • I’m getting close to needing new shoes. I never really considered one over the other to be better but my feed to tell me otherwise this year. I didn’t even think about getting a little bit bigger shoe if I’m going to run. It makes total sense to do that.

  • I am never really confident that I am buying the right kind of sneakers for the kind of exercise that I do. This was so helpful! Thank you so much!

  • I’ve failed at the running shoe what to look for and have task. Hmmm my boyfriend and I were just talking about this over the weekend. He is a trained runner and I am not, we we look for different things in a shoe.

  • It has been a long time since I have purchased a pair of running shoes. When I picked out new shoes in the past, I usually went with a cross trainer when I used to run, walk or use them for aerobics. Now I invest in a good pair of walking shoes. Its about all I can handle exercise wise since being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.

  • great article for any shoe buyer. all your points are spot on except about the shoe needing to be bigger than your foot. David misinformed you. your foot isn’t supposed to move inside the shoe. Ever.(that’s how blisters and worn out backs of shoes occur). your heel should never slip and you should have a small amount of wiggle room in the toe box for swelling. i.e. positive blood flow. Sorry, i really had to clarify

  • Babushka doesn’t run- unless it’s after an ice cream truck, so a “beginners” post is perfect. Gracias for sharing your knowledge. BB2U

  • Great tips! I know when I started running, I didn’t realize all that needed to be looked at to find good shoes for it. Then you get into what type of running, and there were more factors! This would seriously cut down in wasting money on shoes that aren’t a good match

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