You’ve heard it once, twice, possibly three (or 300) times: running is the cheapest form of exercise.
While this is somewhat true as you don’t need a gym membership or scary-looking
torture devices equipment; splashing out on a really good pair of running shoes is so important. Take it from me: as a girl who’s been super-silly and/or a cheapskate, and had multiple injuries to show for it… get those bad boys fitted. And I promise you, they’re worth every pretty penny you’ll spend.
“But what’s the big deal?” you may ask. “I see people out running in what appears to be their grandma’s croquet shoes from the 60s. Therefore, Crocs aren’t going to kill me.”
Oh dear. You have much to learn, young grasshopper. Properly-fitted running shoes will not just benefit your overall performance, but they’ll prevent injuries when you’re really clocking up the miles. Injuries are so easy to get when you’re wearing the wrong shoes, as it throws off your biomechanics. The right shoes compliment the way you run, or correct problems you currently have.
I’m going to give you aspiring runners a little guide to explain exactly how you meet your running-shoe match. Make sure you head into a store to get fitted by experts.
STEP 1: FIND OUT WHAT TYPE OF FOOT ARCH YOU HAVE.
I hear ya, this can seem a little over the top, but I assure you it’s not. Each person’s foot has a different arch, and you’ve got to find a shoe specifically to suit it and support it.
Your arches can be high, flat or neutral. For example, I’ve got pretty flat arches, so I always opt for shoes that have arch support/motion control so mine don’t collapse as I run. I head to Athlete’s Foot, and they ask you to walk across a pad that determines whether you pronate (roll inwards) or supinate (roll outwards).
STEP 2: DISCUSS YOUR RUNNING SCHEDULE.
One runner might be a weekend warrior, running a few 5k runs on the weekends, pretty casually. Another person could be a dedicated marathoner, about to train for their first ultra-marathon. Or that guy over there could be an awesome track runner, needing different shoes entirely.
There’s a huge spectrum, and it’s important to take into account how much running you’ll be doing. Also, have a chat about what kind of surface you’ll be jogging on: is it grass? Cement? Trails? Each option needs a different type of shoe. The person fitting you will then direct you to a pair that’s good for your type of activity.
STEP 3: FIGURE OUT YOUR PERSONAL RUNNING STYLE.
Everybody has their own way to run, kind of like a running-signature if you will. Before you buy new shoes, you need to pay attention to your style. Ask yourself: “Do my heels hit the floor first, or my forefoot?” This info will really help when deciding where most of the cushioning needs to be.
Make sure you disclose any running injuries you have, or have had in the past. It might be things like plantar fasciitis (not fun, been there!), tendonitis, shin splints… these are all conditions that can actually be remedied by wearing the right shoes for you!
I know it’s tempting to go straight to the newest, brightest models on the market – believe me, I get it. I’ve done the whole “I need the most fashionable shoes that ever existed in the history of the world!”… and guess what? They turned out to be horrible for my feet. Cue fun things like a stress fracture and plantar fasciitis. So find the right ones for you, and own them!
To get one lucky reader off to the right start on their running journey, I’ve got a Paul’s Warehouse $30 voucher to giveaway!
Simply click on the link below, and follow the prompts to rack up points by entering as many times as you want. Whoever has the most by Tuesday 11th February, wins! 🙂
Only for my Aussie readers as Paul’s only delivers Australia-wide, sorry!
What running shoes brand do you swear by?
What kind of runner are you: weekend warrior, marathoner, half-marathoner?
Have you had any injuries/problems associated with wearing the wrong shoes?