One of the best things about running is how accessible it is. You can head out the door with the right pair of shoes and just start running. But what about those shoes? There are so many different varieties of sneakers, running shoes, exercise shoes and how do we know we have made the best selection to protect our feet? Well, here are some tips to making the right choice in your footwear shopping spree.

1. Choose the Right Type

Believe it or not but there are 3 different types of running shoes:

Everyday- Most versatile option, strong, great for everyday runner use

Lightweight- Designed for fast races, less durable than everyday

Trail- Designed for running in the sand or dirt, lugs on the bottom for better grip, more durable than everyday.

2. Know Your Body

Your starting weight should impact the type of shoe you select. The higher the weight the more cushioning a shoe should have. A raised heel may be needed to help your foot absorb the stress put on them from running.

3. Get the Right Fit

Obviously when you go to the shoe store you can’t take the shoes out for a run so there are things to look out for.

Swelling- It’s good to remember our feet swell throughout the day and especially when we run.

Thumb Width- The shoes should be comfortable but not too big. There should be a thumb width between the end of the shoe

Comfort- The shoe should wrap around your foot. If it is uncomfortable in the store it will only get worse when you are running!

Width- If needed look for the Wide sizes of a shoe to give you more comfort while running

4. Flat or Not?

It’s important to know how you walk. If you are flat-footed than a shoe with a lot of support and a rigid shoe with a heel raise is the best choice. If you a strong foot than you need a more flexible shoe with minimal heel drop and lots of cushioning.

5. No Sneakers

It may seem like a shoe is a shoe but running shoes are designed to absorb the repetitive force of running unlike ordinary sneakers. They have shock absorption and special design features to give you a better experience. They are basically the same price as other athletic shoes so why not get the ones that are designed for the sport of running? It just makes sense.

6. Quality not Price

Finally, don’t get duped into spending more for a flashy sounding shoe. While the expensive shoes can have additional technology they may be more brand-oriented and as well done as a less popular brand. Look for the quality of the shoes more than the branding or price. Usually running shoes run from $100 to $250. Before purchase consider how much you plan on running, how fast and what the problem areas are on your feet. It may turn out a lower cost variety is more  suited for your needs or it may be time to invest in a more expensive pair.

And don’t forget you can use Zim’s Max Freeze Gel to get some relief from those achy feet once you begin running in those new shoes!

What have you found to be helpful in selecting running shoes? We’d love to hear in the comments section