As a runner, the question I get asked most freqently is:
I’m getting into running and I need a good pair of shoes, what do you recommend?
Unfortunately, as much as I know about running, this question is almost impossible to answer. Everybody’s foot is different, and everyone’s mechanics are different. The best suggestion I have for a new runner is to visit a GOOD running shoe store. Not Sports Authority, not Dick’s Sporting Good, not Foot Locker, but a specialty running store.
A good running store will have you take off your shoes and get on a treadmill, where they’ll evaluate your gate and stride and look for things like pronation or supination.
Pronation foot is one in which the heel bone angles inward and the arch tends to collapse. Supination is the opposite. I myself tend to supinate on the stride out and pronate on the way in. My mechanics particularly call for somewhat of a stability shoe.
Armed with this information, you’ll be able to try multiple shoes across many different brands. Some brands tend to run wide, narrow, big toe box, small toe box, etc. So once you know the type of shoe you want, compare brands to see which one works for you and your feet!
Be warned, you will pay a little more for shoes at these stores, but it’s worth it to get good advice and get you into a shoe that will have you running well and (hopefully) injury free!
If you really can’t afford the shoes in the specialty store, I recommend you buy your first pair there, and then look online for replacements at a better price. I’d recommend a site like Running Warehouse – They have great prices, an excellent return policy, and free shipping!
One last piece of advice – Don’t keep your shoes too long. Common practice is to keep your shoes for 500 miles. For some runners, that’s anywhere from a month and a half on up! Keep a log of your miles on a calendar. Once you’ve used them, consider donating them to an organization like Soles for Souls or another similar organization. You don’t need those shoes anymore, and they will certainly help someone else!
So get out there, get fitted, and GET RUNNING!!