Running shoes: Where to start

May 10, 2013

This is a guest post by Jordan.

Spring has finally sprung, and already the number of runners and power-walkers out on the street is increasing. While we’d all like to think we could brave the cold to go running, it’s rare that we look out at snow-covered England with any considerable degree of excitement first thing in the morning, so joggers everywhere must be breathing a sigh of relief at the milder April temperatures!

Running Shoes

It’s now the perfect time to pick up running – it’s a fantastic hobby and a great way to keep fit, not just physically but mentally and emotionally, too. Studies have shown that a regular running pattern can raise your self-esteem, lift your mood and even help to combat the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Whether you’re hoping to become a dedicated morning runner or an after-work regular at the local gym, it’s as rewarding as it is healthy.

Beginner runners may be tempted to wear whatever’s most comfortable when they first start running, but this really isn’t ideal; running puts a huge amount of pressure on different parts of your body, including your feet, knees and back, so it’s important to ensure you have the right support. You can pick up a decent pair of trainers from Debenhams, which is a good option for beginners – to give you a headstart, here’s some advice from the experts.

How you run

The way your foot hits the ground as you run is called “pronation”, and is the single most important thing to take into consideration when choosing a pair of running shoes. This encompasses everything from when your heel hits the ground to when your toe lifts up again at the end of each step. Your best bet is to speak to an expert, who will be able to take a look at your feet and find the most supportive shape and size shoe for your running style.

If your feet aren’t properly cushioned at the areas where your foot hits the ground hardest, the resulting pressure can have a knock-on effect on other joints in the body. Shoes can be chosen to compensate for high or low arches as well as wide or narrow sizes, so there’s no excuse for making these a priority!

Getting measured

When you go to have your feet measured, there are certain things you’ll need to bear in mind to ensure you get the pair that’s right for you. I’ve put together a quick guide to the essentials – don’t be afraid to ask if there’s something you’re not sure about on the day!

Don’t be put off if you’re offered a shoe size that isn’t what you’re used to. It’s a myth that our shoe size stays the same as adults, and you may find it more comfortable to have a tighter fit or a roomier shoe, depending on the shape of your feet.

Feet swell throughout the day, so visit in the evening for a fit that will stay comfortable. Make sure you wear the socks you’re likely to be running in, too, so they can ensure shoes won’t be too restrictive.

Another popular myth is that shoes need “breaking in” – running shoes should be comfortable the moment you put them on, so don’t be afraid to have a little walk or jog around, to make sure they give you the movement and support you need.
Experts say you should replace your shoes once every 300-400 miles. That might sound like a lot to beginner runners, but if you’re running 5km a day three times a week, you’re looking at a new pair of shoes every 8-12 months.

Get yourself a great pair of running shoes and start to lose that weight!

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