Wednesday, July 23, 2014

5 Tips For Buying Running Shoes

Finding the right running shoe can be difficult sometimes. There are so many things to consider. Yes, we like pretty shoes but comfort should be priority. I am a big fan of the Brooks Ghost running shoes because they have worked the best for me. I need shoes that are supportive but work well with my low arches and wide foot.

The first pair
I went to Academy Sports to pick up another pair of Brooks Ghost 6. Apparently, they stopped producing them after the Ghost 7 came out (duh, why didn't I think of that). They had one pair left but it was not in my size. They were also out of my size in the Ghost 7 so I tried on a couple of other shoes including the Brooks Adrenaline. I put back the really cool neon shoes and stuck with the Adrenalines even though I was not impressed with the way they felt on my feet (big mistake). I could have shopped on but I like to personally try on my shoes, plus the support and soles on my old shoes were almost gone, and I had a 10 miler the next day.

The run was not pretty! And even though I kept my same size (I figured all Brook shoes ran the same size), they were tight on the top of my fit and hurt my arches. I took them back to Academy and got a refund. Then I found out that Hibbets had my size in the Ghost 7, so I snagged me a pair with a 20% coupon, score! Now my feet are happy!

The new pair! Very pretty and they feel great!

There are several things to consider when selecting the right shoe for your feet. What type of arches do you have? Do you have wide feet, etc? Some brands run narrower than others. Sizes can be off. A size 7 in Brooks may not feel a size 7 in Nikes.

Here are 5 shoe buying strategies for buying running shoes based on how your foot sits in the shoe. You can also read more advice and tips here.

1. Does your heel fit snug? That's a good thing, but if it feels tight you could be asking for problems during your run.
2. A shoe's upper needs to feel snug and secure around your instep but not tight and restricting.
3. Your feet should be able to spread out a little.
4. A good fit leaves a little wiggle room. A thumb's width of space between your longest toe is a good guide.
5. Walk or run around first in the shoes if you can to get a good feel. How does the shoes feel on your arches? Are they comfortable? How is the support?

Here is a handy guide that helps you choose the right kind/brand of shoe based on your arches, what kind of support you need, your heel drop and foot strike, how you pronate, and even based on the running surface/activity (yes trail shoes are slightly different).

Or you can use the Runner's World's shoe adviser. It asks you a few questions and finds the right shoe and brand for you based on your answers. If you are interested, here is their Spring 2014 Shoe Guide.

If your not happy with your shoes, chances are you will not enjoy running with them. Any tightness or discomfort will be amplified while running and may not go away after you break your shoes in.


  1. I'm in the middle of putting together a blog post filled with running tips so I will definitely be including a link to this post!

  2. Love the color of your new shoes! Great tips on figuring out how to buy the best fit- I never know how to figure it out so I always go to a specialty store and have them figure it out for me!

    1. Their not neon but I do too! One of these days I will actually get around to getting to a specialty store! :)