How do you know when they are “right”?
When searching for running shoes, I always advise people to get fitted at their local running store. Employees that work in a running store have seen dozens of brands, styles, and companies. Plus, they know shoes well. They’ve talked to brands directly; they know different shapes of shoes and how the shoe is running (short, narrow, big).
The short answer of the right running shoe: Does it feel good?
Yes, then it’s the right shoe for you.
No? Then it’s not the right shoe for you.
Here are some important details when getting fitted for running shoes:
I cannot emphasize this enough. Do not buy your shoes too small. Your feet can swell and lengthen anywhere from a half to a full size during the day. This is magnified during running! Always make sure there is a thumb’s width of space between your biggest toe and the end of the shoe. When getting fitted for running shoes, employees will help determine your running shoe size. It is different than your casual shoe size.
Yes, your feet lengthen over time and age, so make sure you get your measured frequently. After putting your shoes on, make sure you can wiggle all of your toes. If you can’t, the shoe is too tight or too narrow. This brings us to point number 2.
The width of a shoe is one of the most underlooked aspects of a shoe. When getting fitted for running shoes, people are surprised to learn they actually need a wide. Most running specialty stores carry at least wide, if not double wide! Do not be scared to go into a wider shoe. If you are getting holes on the side of your shoe from your pinkie toe, this could be a sign the shoe is too narrow. Having extra room is always better than not enough. I never knew I needed a wide until working at the store. Now, I love it.
In any running shoe, your heel should feel both snug and secure. It should never feel tight. If you feel as though you are “slipping,” lace your shoe to the final eyelet. This will lock your heel more into place. Employees can teach you several ways to tie your running shoe when you are getting fitted. Some shoes are cut lower than others but make sure you’re comfortable in the cut of the back too.
The heel should never feel tight, but there can be a little movement. If the heel feels uncomfortable in the store, then it won’t feel good while running.
Finally, you need to get fitted for running shoes so you can feel different technologies and how they work with you. You can be fit into the appropriate shoe, but it doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t. How a shoe feels to you is one of the most critical aspects of the shoe. You want a shoe that feels natural. You don’t want a shoe that “you’ll have to get used to.” Don’t get a shoe to alter your stride because that can create many more issues. Running Stores recommend taking the shoe for a quick run in the store. Those initial few steps often can tell you an immediate yes or no. Also, most running stores have an exchange policy to work with you.
So Why Do You Need to Be Fitted for Running Shoes?
With so many different shoes out there, it can be hard to figure out which one is “best for you.” Remember, there is no right or wrong answer, but only what feels right and keeps you injury-free. Whether you are a new runner or veteran, you need to get fitted for running shoes. You never know what a difference it can make.
Questions for you:
What is your current favorite running shoe?
When was the last time you were fitted for running shoes?