Selecting the Right Shoe

Gait and foot analysis can be done in the store at Up and Running.

Nothing is more critical to your success as a runner than a proper running shoe. To determine what kind of foot you have, and to ensure that you are choosing the right running shoe, make a wet footprint on a piece of dry paper.

Normal arches: If you have normal arches, your footprint will show the full foot, with a slight inward curve of the arch. For normal feet, stability running shoes provide a good level of cushioning, medial support (inner foot support), and greater durability.

Low arches (flat feet): If you have low arches or flat feet, your footprint will not curve in at the arch. You may be an overpronator, meaning that your foot rolls too far inward when you run. Overpronation can cause injuries, so protect yourself with the proper shoes. Motion control shoes are marked by firm midsoles and greater stability.

High arches: If you have a high arch, your footprint may show only the ball and heel of your foot, without the connection between them. Your foot may be supinated or underpronated, meaning that it does not roll inward far enough. In this case, steer clear of both stability and motion control shoes and instead select running shoes with plenty of cushioning.

In addition to considering the kind of foot that you have, also consider the type of running that you will do.

Performance training shoes: These shoes are lightweight and highly responsive, making them ideal for quick, efficient, and experienced runners. You will give up cushioning in order to get pure, light running shoes.

Racing shoes: These shoes are ultra-lightweight and are meant for very fast runners, especially those who are accustomed to running with little or no cushioning or stability features.

Off-road running shoes: These are ideal for running trails and uneven, bumpy surfaces. Equipped with toe bumpers and reinforced stitching, these shoes provide higher durability.

Replace Your Running Shoes

Though many runners have several pairs of favorite running shoes that they cherish from year to year, it is important to replace your running shoes regularly. Those well-loved, well-worn shoes just can not offer you the cushioning support you need once they have logged a certain amount of miles.

A good rule of thumb is to replace your shoes every 35 – 400 miles of wear. Estimate your mileage or use a log to keep track. Some online logging systems will even remind you when it is time for a new pair of shoes.

Shoes with worn soles or decreased traction should be replaced. You should definitely buy a new pair if your shoes are starting to break down or come apart at the seams.