Find Your Fit: How to Pick Out Your Next Pair of Shoes

‘Tis the season for holiday gifts! Whether you end up buying a new pair of shoes as a gift for the athlete in your life or as a reward for your achievements in 2017, make sure you’re picking out the best shoe possible!

Step One: Consider the Purpose of the Shoe

When choosing a shoe, consider what you intend to use the shoe for the most. Trail running? Basketball? Tennis? Many athletic shoes have certain qualities that make them more favorable for one sport or another. Take tennis shoes, for example–they have a more durable outsole to withstand the surface of the tennis court and offer lateral support for your feet. Running shoes, on the other hand, have a thinner outsole designed to provide some cushion to your joints, and little to no lateral support.

Step Two: Consider the Surface You Run On

If you’re picking out shoes for the trail runner in your life, they may differ slightly from the shoes for your road-running friend. Even within running, one of the most popular casual sports, the shoes may vary depending on the kind of surface you are running on. Trail running shoes have thicker tread than thin treads on road shoes. The reason there are thicker treads on road shoes is that the trail running shoes need more grip than the road shoes.

Step Three: Consider the Mileage

If you’re going to run more than 25 miles a week, consider a little bit of extra padding on the bottom of the sole. An additional bit of cushion makes running long distances a little more comfortable on your feet.

Extra Tips to Fit Your Shoe

The heel of the shoe should be loose enough that you could pull your foot out if you still have your shoes laced, but not too loose that it’s uncomfortable. Any discomfort will become worse when you run. A shoe’s upper should be snug against the top of your foot. If your shoes feel tight under the laces, then try re-lacing them before you go on to the next pair of shoes. The width of the shoes should be enough so that your foot can move from side to side without stepping over the insole. For length, you should be able to have a thumb’s width of space between your toes and the top of your shoe.

Tips for Buying your Shoes

Don’t buy for looks! As tempting as it might be to buy the brightest, prettiest pair of shoes, buy for fit rather than for looks. Your feet will thank you later! When you do head to the store to buy your shoes, be sure and try them on. A size 8 in Nike is more than likely different than a size 8 in Reebok! And be sure to ask for deals, as many stores offer discounts for running clubs that might be worth considering.

Do you have any tips for buying shoes or any favorite shoe brands? Let us know in the comments section below!

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