This is why buying new running shoes is a major dear. Here’s your compass through the jungle of endless possibilities.
Good cushioning, an extra thick sole with an air cushion? Or barefoot shoes? If you go shopping for running shoes for the first time or after a long hiatus from running, you’ll probably find it difficult to choose from the vast variety, even if your feet are totally „normal“.
Normal feet? That’s where the trouble starts. Are my feet normal, are they narrow or wide, have I got splayfeet or flat feet, do I supinate or overpronate? What? Plus, hypes are ten a penny, and they change faster than fashion trends. One day, it’s all about perfect cushioning, heel or forefoot, according to your running style, and the next day, barefoot shoes are all the rage, sausage skins with soles. How are we supposed to make sense of all of this? One thing’s for certain: Your first pair of running shoes must be bought from a specialist retailer. Period.
Before you head for the shoe store, you need to figure out a few things yourself. First and foremost: Do you have a pair of old running shoes sitting in your basement? If you do, bring them along. They speak volumes – to a pro. If you are wearing orthopaedic insoles, they need come to the store with you as well. Then come the questions: Are you a beginner, aiming at jogging leisurely for an hour once or twice a week? Do you want to run in the woods or on the sidewalk? Urs Gerig, sports coach with Ochsner Sport, advises: „Have you had any troubles before when you went for a walk? Was there anything that would hurt? The more clues you can provide, the better will the sales person be able to assist you.“ Gerig says you should really have the nerve to jog back and forth in the store: „No matter how much know in theory: You can only tell if a shoe really fits and if you feel comfortable wearing it once you’ve been jogging around in it.“
© Ochsner Sport
If you go jogging on a regular basis, you might consider owning more than one pair of running shoes. That way, your shoes can air and dry out completely between sessions. Plus, alternation can prevent one-sided strain and injury in the long run. Purchase shoes with different cushioning systems: If you go for a longer run, an average runner is better off with a well-damping sole. For shorter, faster runs you might try lighter, more flexible shoes because the give the muscles oft he foot a workout and thus encourage a better running technique.
If you run on terrain and off-track only you’d better buy a real trail shoe with improved grip soles. After using your shoes for a while, you ought to send them into well-deserved retirement: After 500 to 1000 kilometers, they’re done. „The life of a shoe and its cushioning depends on the runner’s weight and on his or her style of running“, Urs Gerig says. „Here’s your rule of thumb: If you go jogging on a regular basis, you can use a pair of shoes for one year. If you use two pairs alternately, each lasts twice as long.“