Picking the right running shoes can make or break your experience. Here’s how you can make sure you enjoy the sport.
If you’ve decided to take up running this summer to get fit, you’ve got to learn the basics and the number one is to own a pair of good running shoes. Buying one, however, isn’t your typical shopping excursion where style often trumps everything else. There are a lot of things to consider, but it’s your feet – the shape, arch, and your gait – that require your attention first.
Cris Guia, brand manager of an athletic footwear brand, recommends doing the “wet test” to see the imprint of your feet. Dip your foot on water and see the shape of your footprint on a dry floor or piece of paper. An experienced running shoe retailer should have its own version of the wet test.
Guia says your imprints should be any of the following:
The Normal Foot – A normal arch leaves an imprint that has a flare but shows the forefoot and heel connected by a wide band. When this foot hits the ground the outside part of the heel makes the first contact. Best running shoes: Stability
The High Arched Foot – The imprint that shows a narrow band connecting the forefoot and the heel. A curved, high-arched foot is generally termed a supinated or underpronated foot. Best running shoes: Cushioned to neutral
The Flat Foot – It leaves a nearly complete imprint. There is little inward curve where the arch should be. This usually indicates an overpronated foot that strikes on the outside of the heel and rolls inward excessively. Best running shoes: Motion-control
Once you know your foot type, it’s time for your fitting and it’s crucial you do it right.
Wear Socks. Never buy shoes that you fitted without socks. And thicker socks aren’t always the better. At Runnr, the socks they sell have a skin-right fit. Joy Rojas, the first Filipina and Southeast Asian woman to run across the US and the first Pinay to run from Mindanao to Luzon, doesn’t wear sports socks but the white ones kids wear to school.
Choose a Bigger Size. Ask for a size that’s half an inch to one inch bigger and do the fitting in the afternoon. Joy explains, “Running involves miles of your feet pounding on pavement. If you run long distances, your feet will “swell” at some point.” Nikko Peralta, a sports conditioning expert also recommends having the width of your foot measured. “Feet with large widths are what we call the E sizes. Their feet will favour brands like New Balance and Brooks.”
Pick the one that feels good on your feet. Listen to what your feet is telling you as you fit your shoes. Joy highly suggests walking, jogging and even jumping around in the store to see how your feet feel. “It took years and a lot of experience to realize that my best shoe fit is a men’s 9 ½ from Adidas. I feel great in them, and I rarely get blisters or injuries on my feet. Running stores have become more specialized and high-tech, but the best way still is to see how you feel when you try the shoe. Your feel will know.”