My Tips on How to Find the Right Running Shoes

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When I found a shoe that worked for me, and this usually involved trying on dozens in the store, buying a couple to test for a few days, I then bought several pairs of the best ‘feeling” shoe. That set me up for 1-2 years of trouble free and comfortable running. If only I knew how to look for the right running shoes.

My running shoes are like my wife. Wonderful, unique, and hopefully partners for a life time. Changing shoe models is like getting divorced and trying to find a new mate: awkward, uncomfortable, painful, and you wonder if you will ever find happiness again.

Buy your shoes from a running store. Pay the money for their expertise and return policy. Many will give you a refund on the pair that didn’t work out for another chance at podiatric bliss.

If possible run exclusively on dirt trails and varied terrain: uphill, downhill, uneven ground. This breaks up the tendency to land the same way, so sole wear is spread out. it also teaches you to “think with your feet”. Each time your foot strikes, it’s at a different angle, speed, stride length, surface accommodation (sand, roots, mud, hard pan, etc).

This makes running way more interesting, and you will become your own running coach as you figure out how to run each part of the trail. And before I forget it, Shoebuy is a great online store for running shoes. They run sales and promotions regularly.

I ran regularly for several years and found that basic shoes with good cushion worked best for me and my gait. In general, decent shoes lasted me roughly 600 kms on mixed terrain – trails, roads, gravel – if I decided to save money by purchasing last year’s shoes at a discount outlet, they lasted about 300 kms, so the money saving was false since I needed to buy more frequently. I ran about 50 kms/week and went through 4 pairs a year (5 in years that I ran a half-marathon race). Running shoes (after much trial and error, my regular, preferred shoe became the Adidas Super Nova cushion and it’s successors) generally were in the $100 to $130 range in Canada; my wife used to complain that I should buy cheaper shoes like she did, but that ended when I pointed out that she went through way more shoes and injury/discomfort, which ultimately cost more. Plus, $100 to $130 for a good running shoe really isn’t that much in the long run.

I’ve been a runner for about 17 years. It’s a good workout, but it must be done pretty much every day to get real results. As I got older, everything started hurting, specially my right hip, leg.

The very last time I ran, maybe that was a bit too long, about 7 miles, I ended up having to
limp the last half mile, barely making it home.

After a few days, needing to feel the results of a workout, I decided to get on a bike. OMG what a difference!

After about 5 miles of pedaling, my body felt like 10 miles of running! No pain, anywhere! I highly recommend biking instead. My whole body feels tight, fit, and I feel fantastic. BTW, I’m 50 and I feel I wasted those 17 years running when I could have been biking all along. I myself will never run again. It’s really too hard on your body.

I used to scoff when I heard from running stores that one should change ones runnning shoes often. I never did it and wore them down to the last bit. Now I have foot problems, specifically Mortons Neuroma, a painful inflamed nerve between the metatarsals. My advice to anyone now: don’t skimp on your shoes. When they start to significantly lose tread, or cushioning, replace them.

Strengthen your hips glutes and abs. Concentrate on engaging your hips as you run. Start with strides/sprint intervals and transition slowly. You’ll notice a natural lean bringing your center of gravity forward and helping you strike with your forefoot. Practice during strides/sprint intervals then transition slowly.

Mary says: A lot of the issue is that with the wider hips that most women have, our hips are not over our knees, as are men’s, so we have to wiggle as we walk to center them, at least somewhat.

While no man would want that wiggle to ever completely disappear, it does mean the women need to be more cognizant of our strides and foot strikes, else we pay the price.