Repost from: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/tips-for-buying-running-shoes
TIPS FOR BUYING RUNNING SHOES
6 Tips for Buying Running Shoes
The right footwear can help keep your feet, legs, and joints injury-free
Soft cushioning in your shoes may feel great, but it turns out the extra padding does little for your body: Shock-absorbing running shoes don’t prevent injuries any better than other running shoes, according to a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Researchers recruited 247 seasoned runners for a five-month trial. Participants trained at least once a week wearing either a hard-soled running shoe or a soft-soled running shoe. By the end of the study, there was no significant difference in injuries between the two shoe types. This finding goes against commonly held wisdom that extra cushioning is necessary to prevent injuries. People may adjust their running patterns naturally to minimize discomfort, which could cancel any positive effects of a soft-soled shoe, researchers wrote. Authors also noted that a person’s weight and injury history impacted their performance more than their shoes.
So how should you shop for running shoes? It’s pretty simple really: “Whatever feels the best, that’s what you should go with,” says Brian Fullem, D.P.M., secretary-treasurer of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, who was not involved in the study.
To make sure your shoes can go the distance without hurting your body, Fullem suggests these tips to keep in mind.
Shop at Smaller Stores
Major department chains can’t always answer your specific needs, so look for smaller specialty stores like Nike or your local running store. These shops have a knowledgeable staff to help you pick the right shoes for your running routine, says Fullem.
Think About the Length and Width
Your feet need some breathing room as you run, so get a size that’s half an inch longer than what you normally wear. If running shoes tend to irritate the sides of your feet, then try a different width—brands like New Balance come in a wide range of widths, says Fullem.
Give Them a Test Run
Just like you wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a spin, the same goes for running shoes. Ask a store clerk if you can take a lap around the store or step outside for a test run, says Fullem. It’s the only way you’ll truly know if a shoe works for you.
When new shoe models comes out every few months, it can be a huge pain to go through the hunt again. Fullem recommends buying more than one pair at a time. This way you’ll know exactly what shoe works for your body. You can also wait to stock up until the next model comes out, because the pair you have might be on sale at that point.
Don’t Assume Your Size
Always re-measure your foot and try on a shoe because no two shoes will fit you the same way, says Fullem. Your size 7 Pumas might fit perfectly, but you might be a 7.5 in Reebok.
Don’t Believe Gimmicks
If this study proves anything, it’s that “special features” in shoes don’t necessarily lead to better, injury-free performances, says Fullem. Unless a doctor recommends something like gel inserts, stick with the basic—and affordable—option.