So you need a pair of running shoes? What a simple task this should be right? Just get in your car and drive to the store and then pick out a pair of shoes and buy them, right?

If you followed this process you would be able to buy running shoes, but you should remember that you are buying these shoes for a particular purpose…to support “your body” while you are running. I put “your body” in quotation marks because it is always important to remember that everyone is an individual and this affects every decision you make just as it should affect what happens when you are looking to buy a pair of running shoes. In order to make this process a little easier I have come up with some tips and guidelines that you should follow when you are looking to purchase a new pair of running shoes.

Whether you are an experienced runner or you are taking your first steps to getting into this world you are most likely aware of the fact that running is a great workout that will help you become healthier and more fit. Running is a very affordable sport where the only essential thing you need is a good pair of shoes. A good pair of running shoes can be the difference between developing running injuries and having great continual work outs. When it comes time to buying a new pair of running shoes there are a few things you need to be aware of.

The first thing you should be aware of when you are looking to buy new running shoes is that you should know what kind of feet you have. There are three basic categories that feet can be divided into when it comes to buying running shoes. These are neutral runners, over-pronators, and supinators. The feet of neutral runners go through less extreme motions when they are running; while over-pronators actually have their ankles and the arches of their feet rolling in as they run; and finally, supinators actually have their ankles and arches of their feet rolling out as they run. Now, the best way to find out which kind of feet you have is to go to a running shoe store, a place like the running room for example, where they specialize in running shoes and apparel. Their staff will be able to easily point out to you everything you need to know. However, if you do not have time for this or you do not have a store like this located near you there is also a do-it-yourself method for figuring out what type of feet you have. You can wet your foot and step on a piece of paper. If the footprint looks like your whole foot touched the paper it is most likely that you are an over-pronator. However, if your footprint is an S shape you most likely are a mild over-pronator or you fall into the neutral category. If your heel and the ball of your foot do not even touch on the paper than it is most likely that you belong to the supinator category. Once you know what type of feet you have you can continue on to the next step.

There are three categories of shoes which correspond to the types of feet. These are 1) motion control shoes, 2) stability shoes, and 3) cushioning shoes. When you are buying your new running shoes it is important to realize that motion control shoes are made for those of us who are extreme over-pronators as they firm and supportive and they help to stop your foot from rolling in as you run. While stability shoes are firm but also offer a wider range of support for those of us who have varying degrees of over-pronation. Finally, cushioning shoes are meant for those of us who are supinators or have neutral feet. They simply provide a lot of cushioning and do not provide any corrective support.

Just like when you buy any sort of clothing item it is a great idea to try on many different models of shoes to see which ones fit you best and feel the best. Make sure you try them out by running in them too, not just walking around the store. Quite often shoe stores will let you go for a run inside, or even outside their store (weather permitting), and some stores will even allow you to take your shoes home to try them out inside on a treadmill for example with the option of returning them if they do not seem to be the right shoe.

Some other things to take into consideration when buying new running shoes include: make sure the shoe is finger-width at the toe, as your feet swell when you run; they should be snug in the heel; they should fit the shape of your foot; and you should ask other runners about the success they have had in their shoes and not worry so much about what the shoe looks like but rather how it performs.

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