If you’re here, chances are good you have some questions about finding the right running shoe. In this article, we’ll clue you in on the process of finding a shoe as well as answer some common shoe questions.
Your feet are a pretty important part of your activity – which means you’ll want to give them some careful consideration when taking on a running, walking, or fitness program. We’re here to help, so let’s get some good shoes!
Running shoes can be confusing and overwhelming. Running shoe manufactures change models yearly, making it hard to keep up with models, materials, and marketing. When you walk into a store or scroll online, you are met with a lot of options that all look the same or tout the same benefits of “Good support” or “Great Cushion.”
They can’t all be the best, right? The truth of the matter is there are a lot of well constructed, high quality shoes being made today. But a good quality shoe doesn’t mean it will be automatically right for your needs. Great running shoes are designed with different users in mind, so we’ll need to get a bit more specific. Get a great shoe that isn’t made to work with how you move, and you can still have discomfort, pain, or even injury.
When you walk into your local Marathon Sports, our goal is to simplify the shoe wall and guide you to the proper footwear through the Right Fit. We’ll learn about you, your history and goals, activity, and how you absorb shock to make sure you find the best running shoe (for you). We want a shoe that properly fits and comfortably supports you in your activity and helps you meet and exceed your fitness goals!
There are a few variables that we look at when you come to us for a running shoe fitting, but a visual gait analysis is a big part of understanding your body. Gait analysis assesses how your body absorbs shock. By analyzing things like your foot shape, bone structure, and pronation as you walk and run, we will match you up with the best running shoe that properly fits and supports you in your activity.
So now we know how you absorb shock, but running and fitness don’t happen in a vacuum. Knowing where, when, how often and how far you run, walk, or work out goes a long way in finding the best running shoe (and other gear) for you.
While you’re with us we’ll learn a little bit of your back story:
Do you have a history of chronic injuries?
Do you wear orthotics or insoles?
Are you a former athlete trying to get back in shape, or are you a beginner?
What surfaces do you run on?
What are your goals and what motivates you?
Armed with this knowledge, we will work with you to help you make some good shoe choices.
“I’m not a runner, do you have shoes for walkers?” is a common question we encounter. We always fit walkers into running shoes, because they’re just more comfortable than traditional “walking shoes!” Running shoes offer a wide variety of shape, cushioning and support systems that allow us to get really specific in order to get you The Right Fit.
Running and walking both put a lot of stress on your lower body, and because the dynamics of both activities are relatively similar, your feet will be happiest in a running shoe, regardless of which activity you’re doing!
Whether it’s in a newly constructed home gym, streaming fitness instructors, the local park, or in person taking spaced classes at Orangetheory or Barry’s, a properly fit running shoe is going to provide you with the most comfort and the best fit. We often choose lighter weight, firmer, and shoes with lower offset to adjust for the different range of dynamic motion in those activities.
There’s a reason people call running shoes ‘trainers’ in the UK – they’re ideal for almost any kind of training you’re doing! (Except for things like tennis or basketball, which definitely require a more sport-specific shoe, especially in the upper.)
Ideally, we should be able to get you the support you need in a shoe without you even noticing it on your foot. Your sneakers should feel like slippers. Depending on your experience of shoes, you may feel some contact, but that should subside in the process of trying them on and testing them in store.
If you feel any odd pressure points or the shoe just feels a little ‘off,’ let us know – because there isn’t much of a break-in period with these shoes. The way they feel when you’re trying them on is how they’re going to feel for the duration of their lifespan.
Running shoes are rated for 300-500 miles. This number can fluctuate due to a number of factors, including time of activity, gait, surfaces, and how you care for them. In practice, we find that 400 miles is a fair life expectancy for a pair of sneakers.
If you keep track of your activity, you can do some simple math to give yourself an expectation of wear. Say if you’re walking and/or running about 15 miles per week. That means you’re putting roughly 60 miles a month on your shoes. You’ll reach 400 miles in just under 7 months. Training for a marathon? You should purchase multiple pairs of shoes.
However, if you are wearing them beyond your fitness activity for everyday walking, running errands, etc., the lifespan will be shorter. Generally, we recommend that you start paying attention to your body around the 4-6 month mark. If you notice little aches that you didn’t have before, it may be the shoe’s way of telling you that it is worn out and needs to be replaced.