Shopping for the right shoes can be a daunting task, but there are five things that don’t matter in running shoes. Keep these in mind the next time you hit up your local running shop, and you will be sure to find the ones that feel great, and provide excellent performance for your needs!
The straight truth is that there is no “best brand.” There is only the “best brand for you.” Some people can easily switch between makes and models with zero issues. Others find a certain name and style is markedly better than anything else. For example, Brooks work so well for me, especially after my injury, so that’s my go-to. Walking into a shoe store with a brand in mind with no idea how it fits can certainly lead to a shoe that may not work best for your unique biomechanics. Be open-minded about the brands, and give them all a fair chance before make a decision. You may be surprised.
One thing I never understood is people who get upset about having a larger shoe size. I’m here to tell you that (shoe) size is very much just a number, and that the size label is actually inside the shoe, so your secret is safe. Too-small shoes lead to blisters and black toenails, so please don’t worry about going larger and give yourself some room. Running shoes should fit slightly larger than your foot measures. My foot is a 9.5/10 US, but I regularly (and proudly) wear a 10.5 in my running shoes. Ideally, you should have a thumb’s width from your big toe to the end of the shoe. This allows for any swelling, and gives your toes space to spread and grip as you run.
What Your Friends Wear
Just because your friend swear by the Nike Pegasus doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Everyone has different feet, form, and preferences, and it’s important to recognize that when you are shopping for running shoes. While I always love recommendations from my friends, it’s a good idea to figure out the best shoe matches free of outside influence.
How They Make Your Feet Look
When I’m in the market for a pair of strappy stilettos, how they look on my feet is an important consideration in my selection. For running shoes, I am way more concerned with the feel and fit than the appearance. I want shoes that hug my arch, provide the right stability for my pronation, and securely hold my heel. Additionally, I want the most comfortable drop for me, enough room in the toe, and not too much cushion. If I can check those boxes, then I am good to go. The appearance on my foot has no bearing on their performance.
I know I’m going to catch heat for this, but the color REALLY doesn’t matter when it comes to a well-fitting shoe. Yes, I’m guilty of it, too, and will buy online when my local running store can’t provide the brightest, most fun color. But today, I needed new shoes, and the available color was gray with light aqua. I’m coming from vibrant pink, and I’ll be replacing them again in 500 miles, so it is what it is. Remember, certain styles only come in limited colors, so don’t discount a great-fitting shoe because of a cosmetic issue.
Do these five things matter to you when you’re buying new shoes?
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