Tips on buying running shoes
Every foot is different, which is why there are all kinds of different types of running shoes. If you are going to buy new running shoes, it is therefore quite difficult to choose the right shoe. What should you keep in mind? With these tips, you’ll head to the running store well prepared.
It’s best not to wait too long to buy new footwear: if the outsole of your old shoes is worn out, you’re actually already too late. By then, the shock absorption of the midsole is so reduced that the shoe only increases the risk of injury. When you go to a running store, it may be a good idea to bring your old shoes. This is because an expert salesman can already tell a lot about your feet from the wear and tear on the sole.
It is important to choose the right size when you buy new running shoes. This is not an objective fact, as sizes can vary from country to country or even from brand to brand. Expert salespeople know exactly how certain brands turn out in terms of size. When you try on shoes, it is a good idea to do so while wearing the socks you also wear while running. When trying them on, make sure you leave enough room at your toes: at least 4 millimeters of space between the tips of your toes and the edge of the shoe.
The heel cap must adequately secure and guide the heel during the landing and takeoff phase. The height of the heel cap is important. If this heel cap is too low, the shoe will be quick to slip. Too high is not good either, as it increases the risk of Achilles tendon injuries due to localised pressure.
When you buy new running shoes, take a good look at the sole. The profile of the sole should be matched to the surface you will mainly be running on. In addition, the flexion point of the sole should be under the ball of the forefoot (approximately two-thirds of its length). A slightly raised heel can make landing and walking easier.
Since, as we said, there are different types of feet, there are also different fits for running shoes. For example, there are straight shoes or shoes intended to correct supination (where the foot rolls towards the outside on landing). There are also shoes for narrower feet.
Standard insole or orthotic
Running shoes come with a standard insole. If this insole is not the right one for your feet, you can replace it. This can be replaced with a different insole, which can be bought separately in the sports shop, or with a custom-made insole. These orthotics are made by an orthopaedic shoemaker when the foot require extra support, for example, if you suffer from ‘flat feet’, or 'overpronation' in professional terms.
Support soles can prevent injuries, but if they are not really necessary or if they are not fitted properly, you may also experience other complaints. So get good advice on this from a sports doctor or physiotherapist.
When you buy new running shoes, be sure to also feel the inside of the shoe. The seams should be well stitched and there should be no hard edges to be felt. Such a stitching edge can cause painful blisters and chafing marks.