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Finding running shoes that fit just right can often be a fairly tricky task as there are so many styles, designs, and options out there.
It can be overwhelming to know which one is going to suit you best. However we are here to help you discover what you should be looking for in your new pair of running shoes.
Guide to fitting running shoes
There are several areas you need to focus on to ensure that the shoes fits suitably for you.
Get each area just right and your shoe will be the perfect fit! Such areas include:
1. Foot Shape
Determine what shape foot you have is the one of the most important aspects of all, because this will decide what type of shoe or design will be best for you.
The assistant in the store will be able to help you work out whether you are flat-footed or have high arches etc which will lead them to a specific type of shoe that will cater to you best.
2. Running Style
Everyone runs with their own unique style, so determining the way you run will make an impact on the shoe you should choose.
Whilst visiting the running store, have the assistant help you determine what your running style in by conducting a short analysis (usually this is done on the treadmill).
They will be able to tell if you overpronate or supinate at all.
Whether you do or don’t will help them know which style of shoe will be best for you.
When trying on each pair of potential new running shoes, you need to make sure that your heel feels snug within the shoe, but not overly tight.
To ensure the fit is sufficient for you, you should be able to slide out each foot comfortably when the shoes are laced up but not actually tied.
You should be able to move your heel around, without it being too tight, too loose or uncomfortable.
Make sure the shoe feels good too, because any amount of discount (even small) will be much more prominent when you are actually running.
To figure out whether a running shoe is the sufficient width for your feet, pinch about a quarter of an inch of the material that sits next to the widest area of your foot.
Can you pinch it upwards, or is your foot sitting very snug right in there? If you can squeeze the material without grabbing your foot, this means the shoe is wide enough.
If however you feel your little toe on the edge of the shoe, then this means there is not enough excess room and that the shoe is too narrow for you.
Your running shoe needs to feel close-fitting, secure and comfortable. If the shoe feels at all tight or you feel as though there is any added pressure, then you need a bigger shoe, or a shoe with a different design.
There is one potential way around this issue though. If you love everything else about the shoe, then perhaps try lacing it up in a different way.
If this doesn’t make a difference, then move onto the next shoe. If you feel less pressure and more space after adjusting the laces, then this shoe could be right for you after all!
6. Flex Point
If your shoe isn’t actually flexible enough, then it could lead to strains in your calf or Achilles tendon. Your running shoe should flex and bend at the same point your foot does.
To gauge where each shoe flexes, hold it by the heel and pull down on the front end of the shoe, you will be able to see at what point it starts to crease.
If the shoes’ flex point and your foot flexing crease don’t match up, then you could experience some dire issues which include pain in the arch of your foot or even worse, plantar fasciitis.
When you run or exercise, your feet actually get bigger (by swelling) and they also grow slightly in length.
This is why it is important to ensure the length of your shoe is just right for you.
To make sure that your new pair of running shoes is the right length, you’ll need to measure the space between the toe that is the longest, and where the shoe ends.
This amount of space needs to be about the width of your thumb. Any more and the shoe will be too big, and vice versa.
8. Overall Feel
It’s hard to know whether the shoes you are trying on in the store feel just right when you are only sitting, standing and walking a few paces around the shop in them.
If possible, try to have a short jog in them (even if it is down the street and back, or on the treadmill if the sore has one).
You will be able determine much more easily whether or not the shoes still feel as comfy as they did whilst standing in them.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do the shoes contour and move with your feet?
- Do they work with your stride without altering the way you run?
- Do they feel supportive?
- Do they feel snug without restricting your movement?
If yes to all of the above, then you’ve got yourself a winner!
Find the perfect pair of shoes
There are so many things you need to think about when talking about running shoes, especially those which my fellow triathlon lovers are going to enjoy long-term.
We’ve created an amazingly in-depth guide to help you to make up your mind on selecting the best running shoes for your next race.