by Victoria Simpson
Buying new running shoes isn’t an easy task. There are so many brands and styles available out there ready to suit various needs and desires that it can be hard to pick a straight line through the crowd to identify what vehicle of highly crafted nylon and rubber is the best for you, and which one is going to send you straight back to bed in pain the moment you hit the road.
But you’re smart, right? You’ve seen the latest style on your friend’s feet. They are exactly what you need.
Before you do grab your wallet, here is a list of ten common mistakes people make when buying runners.
1) You Go for the Hottest Guy (or Girl) in Class
You buy for looks. Trends change all the time. Some shoes are really hot. Hotter than others. But this doesn’t mean that they necessarily have anything good to offer you. Just remember this. When you’re sitting by yourself wondering what went wrong ask yourself-was the flashy, fluorescent minimalist footwear going to cuddle you at night when you need it? Do they really fit your needs?
2) You Don’t Ask For a Deal
What? Are we at a flea market in Beijing? Yes! Well, not exactly but sometimes discounts are available, even outside of China. Runner’s World.com recommends asking at the cash to find out if any discounts exist where you are shopping. Legend has it that some specialty stores offer discounts of 10-20% on the sale of shoes if you are a member of a local track club.
3) You Aren’t Sure What You Will do With the Shoes
You may have gotten a discount, but it’s no good if you didn’t know your running profile while you were shopping. Whether you are training for marathons, you are running away from home via the woods, skimming over dirt paths with gnarly roots sticking out of the ground and unseen creeks underfoot, or your feet are hitching a ride on a smooth cement path to freedom, manufacturers have thought of a different shoe for every training need. Sales agents in a specialty store can help you find your best fit.
4) You Don’t Know Your Running Style
The type of running you do and how you run can dictate the type of shoe you should buy. Does the outside of your heel hit the ground first, or the inside? Bruce Wilk, a physical therapist and owner of The Runner’s High, a running specialty store in Miami says, “If the point of initial contact is mainly through the forefoot (as for many athletes and sprinters), then there’s not a lot of shoe needed behind the forefoot. Why would you want to have a lot of cushion in the heel when you’re not going to spend any time there anyway?”
5) You Buy Your Shoes in the Morning
Sounds odd, but your feet are usually smaller in the morning than they are in the afternoon, once they’ve had all day to stretch out. According to running sources, feet start swelling in the morning and expand all day until 4 pm, when they finally stop. It’s advised to buy shoes after work, or any time in the late afternoon, to get an accurate fit.
6) You Don’t Try the Treadmill
If you are in a running store, bets are they have a treadmill to try out your new footwear. Using it can help a sales person analyze your gate and it can give you the chance to try your shoes of choice in action. You’re doing a test drive- find out if the windshield wipers work- and the brakes.
7) There Is No Space for a Thumb Above Your Longest Toe
If your shoes are too tight, nothing feels right. Mike Johnson of Road Runner Sports in San Diego says on Runner’s World.com that you should be able to, “’play the piano with your toes,’ meaning the fit should be roomy enough in the forefoot-about half an inch-but not sloppy.”
8) The Heel Is Too Tight
The toes and the heels both need enough room for a good fit. There should be a snug fit at the heel, but not too tight. You should be able to slip your foot out with your shoes laced up, but untied.
9) You Have Too Much Pressure on Your Instep
Your foot should feel snug and secure around your instep, but again, it shouldn’t be too tight. If you feel tightness, it will be magnified on a run. Try another size or style.
10) The Shoe Isn’t Wide Enough
For a proper fit, your foot should be able to move side-to-side at the top of your shoe without slipping over the edges of the insole.
Every passion has its destiny. May you the wind be always at your back.