How to Choose Running Shoes

When it comes to running shoes, shoppers have plenty of options. It can be difficult to narrow the field when spoiled for choice, though – after all, there’s no single shoe that’s perfect for everyone. By keeping these tips in mind as you shop, you’ll choose the best shoe for your needs.

Opt for a Running-Specific Shoe

Sneakers and running shoes might sound synonymous in your mind, but they’re actually designed with very different purposes. When running, your feet hit the ground in the same basic way with every step you take. Unlike sneakers, running shoes are designed to prevent repetitive motion injuries and aid in shock absorption. By opting for a running-specific shoe, you’re sure to start out on the right foot.

Get Fitted by the Professionals

While you might be tempted to order a pair of running shoes online, it’s best to go in person to your favorite shoe store to try on options. There, professional shoe sellers can measure your feet and get you into a pair that’s right for your needs. Ideally, running shoes should wrap comfortably around your feet with no pinching. Try leaving at least a thumb’s width space between your big toe and the end of the shoe. This will prevent your toes from feeling crowded when you’re running downhill or when your feet are swollen.

Know Your Terminology

There are all kinds of running shoe terms to keep in mind as you shop around. For starters, consider stack height. It’s the amount of material between your foot and the ground. Want a plush running shoe with plenty of cushion? You’ll want to opt for a shoe with a high stack height. Those who prefer a more natural running experience and want to feel the ground when they run may prefer a low stack height shoe.

Heel-toe drop is another phrase to bear in mind. It refers to the difference between the material under the heel and the material under the forefoot of the shoe. Most options will have more material under the heel to help absorb the impact of landing. Lower heel-toe drops offer a more uniform thickness under the entire shoe.

Ill-fitting running shoes can cause serious injuries. Physical therapy can do wonders to relieve pain and help you recover faster. If you’re experiencing foot, ankle or toe pain after wearing ill-fitting shoes for too long, contact Physical Therapy Partners today. Allow us to help relieve your pain and get you back to your running routine sooner!