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How to Choose Good Running Shoes

A pair of good running shoes is very important for your health and comfort. It may not seem to provide a good connection, but if you really want a healthy lifestyle, running as an exercise is the simplest yet most effective way to achieve this, and a good pair of running shoes will go a long way.

As every person is unique, every pair of feet is different. Thus, the first step in choosing quality running shoes is to find out what you want from your new running shoes. You need to ascertain your level of pronation.  In human anatomy, pronation is the rotational ability of the foot that causes the sole to face more across than when you are in standing position. It is the opposite of supination.

If you have the tendency to pronate too much, your feet can turn abnormally resulting to flat arches. When you have high pronation, you can notice that the soles of your shoes have more torn area on the interior side. If you are less likely to pronate, your feet leans toward the exterior, resulting to high arches and the soles of your shoes have more torn area both on the interior and exterior of the shoes.

When you have ascertained the specific aspects of your feet, you will have the general idea on what features to look for in your new running shoes. Three main characteristics to verify are the thickness of the padding, the durability and the level of action control. If you have a high arch, then you are over-pronating, you should pick running shoes with more padding. If you have a medium arch, you should look for running shoes that are extra durable. If you have flat arches, then you should look for running shoes with good action control. If you have normal arches, you should pick running shoes with extra padding and durability. You can check the guides from different manufacturers so that you can have more idea on examining potential running shoes that suit your needs.

Do not pick shoes that are too tight or too spacious. It should have enough space to let your feet relax, in a sense, allow it to breathe. There should be a thumb’s-width of enough space between the end of your toe and the end of the shoe. There should also be enough space in the toe area to move your toes. Purchase good socks and make sure that you wear them when you try the shoes during a visit to the store.

You can walk around the store to test the durability and comfort of the shoes. if you need assistance to check your appropriate shoe size or the correct fit, visit a shoe store with trained sales clerks that can help you through your shoe hunt. Some stores that sell running shoes are specializing in foot orthotics to help you in finding the right feet with the maximum features.

However, you should follow your own decision. Shoe stores are still in the business industry and they would always try to convince you to buy their most expensive shoes. Do not buy them if you are not sure, and ask for running shoes that are less expensive, but have also the right features.

if you have a very high intensity running regimen, you should invest well in your running shoes. For example, if you are a professional marathon athlete, you should consider buying two pairs of good running shoes to alternate its usage.

# How to Select Running Shoes

Although most running shoes would seem generic from the inside, they are not. Modern technology and extensive research have allowed many features to provide a design to suit every individual needs. Not only can they affect your running speed, but they can also affect your health. Badly designed running shoes can cause injuries of the knees, legs and feet.

Choosing the appropriate running shoes can greatly affect your running performance, but it can be confusing when you need to choose from a wide range of running shoes that all seems very good. However, if you would invest your time and effort to choose the right kind of running shoes, you can find the best one that will help you in your running goals.

The first thing you have to do is to find a store that sells top quality and guaranteed running shoes. You can find running shoes in a local store near you and can always ask a sales clerk for advice. However, you should be very well-acquainted with your body so you yourself can pick the running shoes that you think would suit your running needs. Sales clerk are there to guide you, not to tell you what to buy. If you find it difficult, you can ask your friends who also run. A good recommendation from a friend is worthwhile. You can also check the latest designs from magazines or ask for a free catalogue from manufacturers of running shoes. Just do some research beforehand to be sure.

Also, check the soles of your old shoes. This will give you an idea which kind of running shoes you should find. If you have noticed a torn spot, that is the part where your feet carries most of the weight.  Place your shoes on a flat surface. If they slant towards the front, you should find running shoes that need more strength than your old running shoes. If they slant to the sides, you should find running shoes that have high shock absorption.

If you have noticed that there are torn spots in the shoe area where you place your toes, and when you use the shoes in running you feel discomfort, find running shoes with a wider interior.

You should also consider the intensity of your running routine. If you are a professional runner or marathon athlete, you should pick high-standard and quality running shoes. On the other hand, if you are running for leisure, that is you run at least twice a week, you can choose a basic design, but with the available comforts to suit your needs and avoid injuries. The higher your running intensity regimen is, the higher you should invest in a good pair of running shoes.

Visit different shoe stores. Check the different models and prices so you can also make a good bargain. It is always good to ask the store clerk or store manager for their recommendations. You can raise your problems with your old running shoes, and they are most willing to help.

If you think you found your choice, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance from the store if you can try it. Most stores have an area where you can take a run or at least a jog. You can try on as many shoes as you like until you find the best one. Try each pair of running shoes for at least 10-15 minutes. This will let you know of the durability of the shoes. You should take note that when picking running shoes, it is not the design or the price that counts, it’s your comfort.

# How to Determine Your Foot Type For Buying Running Shoes

To determine which kind of running shoes you should purchase, you should first need to figure out your foot type. A well-informed and well-trained sales clerk at a shoe store selling running shoes can guide you to determine the right type of running shoes based on your foot type, but you can also determine your own foot type, if you want to. One method is to closely observe your feet. A more specific way is to observe your footprints by walking over sand or on a flat surface with wet feet.

Generally, there are three different kinds of feet.

High-arched Feet

It is very easy to figure out if you have high arches; you will spot a high and prominent arch on your foot. If you have performed the footprint test, your footprint will have an inward curvature, making the middle section of your feet look very scrawny. When you thrust your hand underneath your foot, your arch will stay hard.
The problem with high arched feet is the tendency to under-pronate, this is when your feet turns outward as you walk or run. It’s very essential that athletes with high arches observe their feet from time to time since running can cause their arches to slowly deteriorate, making their feet look longer.

If you have high-arched feet, you need to purchase running shoes with extra flexibility and a comfortable midsole that is shockproof. When you are purchasing running shoes, find options with the words flexible or extra padding included in the shoe description

Flat Feet

If you observe your foot, you will determine that you are a flat-foot person if you don’t see any arch at all. The underneath of your foot, from the toes to the heels, is totally flat or even. If you perform the footprint test, the footprints will look like a foot smudge. You will not spot an inward curvature from your big toe to the heel. The problem with flat feet individuals is the tendency of their feet to overpronate, this is when your feet turn inwards when you walk or run.

If you are flat-footed, you should find running shoes that keep its firmness when you stand, walk or run. Find the features “action control” and durability” on the description of the running shoes you are eyeing. Furthermore, with the action control running shoes, most flat-footed athletes also need to use orthotics shoes, which are custom-made.

Normal Feet

If you have observed your feet or your footprints and they are not flat-footed or high arched, you probably have a normal foot. Your footprint will have a prominent curve inwards, but they are not that great compared to the high-arched foot.

Provided that you purchase running shoes, which do not offset your foot type, you will not meet any foot problems or injuries. The normal foot is the most common kind of foot, and it is minimally prone to injury as long as it is properly fitted with appropriate running shoes.

If you have normal feet, you can purchase from a wide range of running shoes, such as those which are made for normal-feet runners or those people with minimal flat-foot or high arch. Never purchase running shoes that have the extra durability and action control if your feet do not need them.

# How to Select Trail Running Shoes

Trail running is a variant on running that diverge distinctly from road running. It basically takes place on hiking trails, usually on single track trails, even though fire roads are not unusual. A distinct feature of the trails is that they are regularly inaccessible by major roads but of the trail heads. The trails have the tendency to cross different terrains such as swamps, hills, forests and narrow pathways, thus a different type of running shoes are needed.

Trail running has become a very popular sport in the passing years, with about 600,000 pairs of trail running shoes sold in the year 2006 alone. Trail running is a sport popular not only in the United States but also in Australia and Canada.

Most trail runners wear specially designed running shoes that have rigid, knobby soles that are usually stronger than regular running shoes. Trail running shoes are low to the surface to allow the optimum stability on hard terrain. The material compound in the midsole is to safeguard your feet from blisters and wounds from sharp objects, the shoes are less padded than a regular running shoes. Since trail running is performed on softer surfaces such as grass or narrow trails, than road races, padding is not as essential.

Trail running shoes must be more strong and durable than normal running shoes to safeguard your feet from the more rocky terrain. Trail running shoes should keep your foot free from moist and be definitely dry, and also include a sole designed to gain toehold on damp, hard or rocky road terrain.

The first thing you need to do is to find a trail running shoe that has a stronger and more durable, bent sole which will help you to gain more footing on rocks and mud. The sole should also efficiently be shock proof, from running on hard and rocky surfaces, such as pebbles, mud and rocks.

You can also find trail running shoes that have strong upper soles that are water proof and easy to clean. The uppers must be made from a component, usually nylon or polyester, that can wick moisture away from the feet, maintaining it dry and cool. More expensive trail running shoes may have specialized uppers that are made from a material that is highly waterproof common to hiking and climbing shoes.

Make sure that your trail running shoes fit tightly so that will aid you to prevent slips and feet sores. Also, you may need to purchase a trail running shoe that will extend enough to hold thick socks during bad weather.

Choose a light trail running shoe that will help decrease exhaustion over longer trail runs. Most trail running shoes weigh not more than 2 lbs. that is less than half the weight of regular hiking shoes.

Pick a pair of trail running shoes from a quality brand to have extra durability and stability. You can visit a shoe store that specially sells trail running shoes. The sales clerk at these shoe stores has enough knowledge with the different products and the latest features of the trail running shoes they offer.

Purchase the right kind of socks when you buy a new pair of trail running shoes. Socks should also be lightweight yet durable, and they should allow your feet to breathe. You must choose socks that are compatible with your trail running shoes to keep your feet free from moisture, cool and blisters.  

# Running Shoes for a Marathon

If you are training for a marathon, then it’s a high possibility that you know that you should not run in old, torn running shoes. During your marathon training, you should get new shoes when you have exhausted the limit of the typical running shoes, which is about 400 to 500 miles.

During the day of the marathon, it is obviously not a great idea to run with torn running shoes, but freshly purchased running shoes are not also better. You should use running shoes that are just slightly used, for about 50-60 miles, so that they still have the appropriate padding and fit. Thus, you can purchase a new pair of running shoes about two to three weeks before the marathon and run several miles for you to be acquainted with them. If the training is fine, you can get another pair, exact design and size of your current running shoes. There’s not enough reason to try other running shoes when the marathon day is just days away. Like in automobiles, you should have a breaking in period.

Using your running shoes before the actual marathon will just compress your shoes. Instead, wear a different pair of shoes or flip flops when you are walking around before the marathon day.

Maybe you are bombarded with different advertisements claiming that each kind of shoe is the best for marathons, such as Nike, Adidas, Rebbok and etc. However, there is no best brand for everyone, since people have different type of feet. Generally, there are three factors to consider when you are purchasing a running shoe for marathon. The first factor includes what foot type you have (high arch, flat, neutral/normal). The second one is the athlete’s strike (heel striker, mid-foot striker, forefoot striker). Lastly, the stride rhythm (pronator, supinator or normal). However, we will discuss the common consideration in selecting running shoes for a marathon.

1.    Buy running shoes from shoe stores specializing in running shoes or from a professional well-trained on determining the right kind of running shoes based on your foot type and stride pattern.

2.    Try out shoes later in the day when your feet have swollen to its maximum capacity.

3.    In determining the appropriate size of your shoe you need, make sure that there is about at least .5 inch of room between the front of the shoe and your longest toe.

4.    On the day of your purchase, carry your socks you will use for the marathon. It is recommended to wear synthetic socks since cotton socks traps dampness.

5.    Consider the need to buy running shoes depending on the miles you have done your run using your old pair. Never base your decision to buy a new pair by spotting how much stumps are left on the exterior sole. The middle sole of most running shoes deteriorates at 400-500 miles, or lesser on certain factors and deals minimal or zero protection after the maximum mileage. It is essential to remember that running shoes offer the premium line of protection against future injuries during the marathon.

6.    Buy new running shoes that you will use on the day of the marathon at least two to three weeks before the actual marathon. These running shoes should be the exact design that you find you are comfortable with during your marathon training. The key idea here is to have enough time to compress the new running shoes, by running 50-60 miles involving one marathon-like run before the marathon day.

# Save Money with Your Running Shoes

The rule of thumb in replacing your running shoes is to find a new one when you have run at least 400-500 miles on your old ones. However, if you are a frequent runner, buying a new pair of running shoes every two or three months can be very costly. You can save on extra bucks if you would take care of your running shoes. The more you care about your running shoes, the longer they will last. Here are some ways to make your shoes last longer:

Use your running shoes only for running.

Even though running shoes are very comfortable, don’t use them for everyday activities aside from running, jogging or working out. Although you’re just doing simple tasks, you’re still compressing your running shoes and the cushioning will be gradually torn. Wear flip flops when you stay in your home, and if you are going out for a short walk or a stroll in a park, wear a good walking shoes instead. Running shoes are called so, because they are intended for running.

Wear and take them off properly.

When you are in a hurry, you tend to wear or take off your shoes without untying the shoe laces. Make sure you untie the laces before you take them off or wear them. The more your shoes are stressed with the tension brought by limited space, the faster they will wear off.

Do not use direct heat to dry off your shoes.

If you wash your shoes or it gets wet, never dry them out on direct heat such as a radiator. Intense heat will dry out the shoe materials such as leather. In drying your shoes properly, untie the laces, take off the insoles, and air dry them, away from direct heat such as sunlight. To dry your running shoes faster, you can also use crumpled paper inside the shoes to absorb water.

Alternate running shoes.

If you are a frequent runner, it is very good to alternate two pair of running shoes. Your running shoes will last longer when you provide them with enough time to breathe-out or decompress between your running routines.

Store your shoes properly.

Store your running shoes in a cool, dry place away from moist and direct heat. Never leave them in cramped places such as an overcrowded duffel bag or a compressed car trunk.

Never wash your shoes using the washing machine.

If your running shoes need washing, use your hands to scrub off the dirt. Do not use strong detergents or hot water. Air dry is better that direct heat.

You will eventually save more bucks on running shoes by getting the appropriate fit from the best running shoes store you can find in your area, where professional runners usually purchase their running shoes. While a pair of good running shoes would cost at least $ 50- $ 120, they will save money by slashing the occurrence of injuries. If you buy a pair of running shoes which cost about $ 25 - $ 40, that are usually badly designed, the occurrence of leg injuries increases. Most specialized running shoes store have after sales policies so you are guaranteed with your demands whenever you running shoes got some problems.  Online stores are also efficient, but you need to be very specific on your orders, since it will cost you extra time when the delivered shoes are not suitable to your running needs.

# Avoid Your Running Shoes From Getting Stinky

Running shoes get stinky because of sweat, that’s the most basic reason. If your toes stay wet from the sweat, the stink gets worse because a certain kind of bacteria grows between your toes. Here are some ways to help you to keep your running shoes from smelling like a dump:

1.    Wear the right kind of running socks. Wearing good running socks can help your shoes from being moist. Running socks made of non-cotton materials are better such as synthetic socks since they will prevent moisture, rather than staying sweaty, which is very common if you use cotton socks.

You can buy running socks made from different synthetic materials. When you are purchasing socks for your running routine, you should remember to base your decision on materials. Cotton stays wet when damped by sweat, thus when your feet starts to gather moist, it will stay that way unless you take them off. The rule of thumb is, stay away from cotton socks. When running during winter, wearing cotton socks will allow your feet to retain extra moisture, and during summer it can cause feet sores. The best running socks are those which are made from synthetic materials such as acrylic and polyester. During winter, you can use wool-based socks. If you are very vulnerable to blisters, you can utilize double-layered socks to get extra protection.

2.    Proper storage. Keep your running shoes in a cool and dry place. Whenever you keep your running shoes away, remove the sole inserts to prevent bacterial growth.

3.    Alternate shoes. The more running shoes you have, the better. The recommended number is two pairs of running shoes so that you can give each pair a breath-out period when you’re not using them. If you are running every day, it is great to give your running shoes a breathing period between your routines. Your running shoes can last longer when you give them enough time to relax between your running routines. This is very essential during winter days. Running with a fresh pair of running shoes will help you to decrease the occurrence of injuries associated with running. If you don’t have the capacity to get two pairs of shoes at one time, try getting a new pair in the middle of the life of your present running shoes.

4.    The extra padding in the shoes will help you to ensure safety to your leg joints and muscles. Giving your shoes a breath-out period will also decrease the risk of athlete’s foot. This condition is a fungal infection that flourishes in moisture-rich places, such as between your toes. If you find your feet itchy and between your toes and soles, and the skin are cracking, you may already have athlete’s foot. This is caused by a kind of mold-like fungi that grows best in warm, damp places. You can get this condition when you touch the feet of a person with athlete’s foot. However, you can also pick this up from moisture-rich surfaces such as your running shoes that are not properly dried out or washed properly. You can prevent athlete’s foot by ensuring that your feet are dry before you wear your socks and running shoes. There are a plethora of products that are now available to control the condition, such as foot powder with anti-fungal properties.

5.    Baking soda can also help you to avoid smelly feet. Sprinkle some soda powder in your shoes after your run. It will absorb the moisture and prevent bad odor.

# When Should I Replace My Running Shoes?

Probably that is the most frequent question of running athletes or marathoners. Running in old or torn shoes is one of the main causes of injuries. Generally, running shoes with torn and worn padding are less shock proof, and less durability. Using worn out running shoes continuously increases the stress and shock on your feet and legs that can be a cause of joint injuries. The easiest measure you can do to prevent future injuries is to purchase a new pair of running shoes as soon as your old pair are worn out.

But how can you determine if your old pair needs replacing? Never use the treads of your running shoes to determine if you must replace your running shoes. The part of the shoe called the midsole that provides padding and durability, normally tears down before the bottom shows major signs of tear. If you’ve been feeling muscle sprains or any kind of pain in your muscles and joints, particularly in your knees, you may be wearing running shoes that are no longer durable. Also, if a part of your running shoes are damaged, then it needs replacing.

The rule of thumb is to keep your running shoes for at least 500 miles of running intensity, based on your running routine, body mass and the surface ground where you run. People who have less body mass can get new running shoes, after exhausting the maximum running miles while heavier people should at least reach the minimum of 300 miles. If you run through on pebbled roads, you need to replace your running shoes than if you run on smoother surface grounds.

To be accurate, mark your calendar on the date you started your new running shoes so you will remember when to get a new one. If you are using a training routine with a running log, you should also record the date when you started using your running shoes to help you to keep track how many miles you’ve used them. Recording the start date on the interior padding of the shoes such as the tongue is also a great way to help your remember when you first started your new running shoes.

On the average lifespan of your running shoes, you can also buy another pair to alternate your runs. Your running shoes will last longer when you allow them to “breathe” and relax between your running routines. As well, getting a new pair of running shoes as an alternate will help you to get the idea when your old running shoes are ready to be discarded.

Even though you need a new pair of running shoes for every 500 miles worth of running, there are also ways to get to the optimum end of this running range. You can read on precautionary measures available on guides accompanying your purchase. Some store clerks are well-trained to help you with the idea of making your shoes last longer. Some running habits make the shoes more vulnerable to wear and tear. Generally, if you would always use your running shoes, do not expect higher durability and longer life expectancy.

If your old shoes are already worn out, but they are still okay, do not throw them away. You can give them to donation boxes for charitable institutions.

# How to Break in New Running Shoes

Running shoes are the most essential gear for any amateur or professional runner. Taking the correct care in choosing and breaking in a new pair of running shoes can spell the difference between an easy run and a difficult one which will result to feet full of blisters and pain.

Begin breaking in your running shoes before your purchase them, yep, you heard right. The time of the day you shop around for running shoes is also essential in determining the appropriate pair of shoes. You can visit the shops during the later part of the day when your feet are swollen in its maximum capacity. Try the pair you like and at least walk around the shop for 30-45 minutes to determine if they are best for you. You should also wear the socks you normally wear when you run.

Choose running shoes with about .half an inch of space between your biggest toe and the front of the shoe. You can ensure this by purchasing a pair of running shoes with at least a ½ size allowance size larger than your normal shoes.

If you are a frequent runner, you should invest on a good pair of running shoes to avoid future injuries. You can rotate the use of two pairs each day to help expand the life expectancy of each pair and avoid uneven wear and tear.

Break in your running shoes by running at least 50-60 miles. You can plan on running at least one long run with your new pair as part of the process added to some shorter runs to break in your new shoes.

Break in running shoes intended for a marathon or other running event at least two to three weeks before the big occasion. Particularly in the case of long runs, it is important to buy a new pair of running shoes for that event.

Buy running shoes from shoe stores that are specially dealing with running shoes. Most of these stores can provide you with an allowance time for a run test using a treadmill before you buy them. When running, you should observe areas of slackness just above the heel and take note that the toe room at the front of the foot should have enough space and should not cramp your feet, which means you will be able to wiggle your toes while wearing the shoes.  

No specific sum of breaking in would transform the fit of badly fitting running shoes. Do your homework. Do some research, before purchasing any running shoes to figure out what kind of foot type you have and which producers design specific running shoes that can fit your needs.

Some running shoes are very particular in their wearing over time. Unlike normal shoes that are torn from the inside out, decreasing padding and energy return, some running shoes are designed to fall from the outside in.

Most shoes are designed for and perform best on rocky surfaces, and they can be used on trodden pathways, trails and even mountain climbing. Thus, if you are running in a hard terrain, you should consult the sales clerk for a pair of running shoes designed for this specific surface. However, if your will be running in smooth surfaces, there is no need to pay extra added features which you will not use frequently.

If you are a mid-foot runner, that is you strike in the midsole, you should look forward to the same amount of running miles out of your running shoes as your current shoes. When you feel that your shoes are no longer safe and protective, get a new one.

# How to Clean Running Shoes

A pair of running shoes should be treated as sport equipment rather than an ordinary walking shoes or an apparel of fashion. And there are many good and practical reasons as to why you should keep your running shoes clean. If you are not certain on how to clean running shoes without causing damage, here are a few tips to help you out.

Based on the method on how you clean your running shoes, you can also learn about the constraints of a specific cleaning method.

Most runners may not consider it, but there are several reasons to clean running shoes. Depending on how much your shoes gets dirty, you should pick the correct cleaning method.

You should also consider that your running shoes have a specific life expectancy, and if you pick too strong a cleaning method, your shoe would not last any longer. Conversely, keeping your running shoes smudged with dirt can contribute to the development of wear, tear and smell.

To prevent moisture, you can also spray your running shoes with a water-proof sprayer to allow a protective sheath. If your safeguard your shoes beforehand they are easier to clean. Once protected, smudges and mud will not set in easily.

Spray your running shoes with a water-proofer to provide a protective coating.

Smelly running shoes are a common consequence of moldy fungi and bacterial growth living between your toes, caused by the sweat and dirt particles in your shoes. These dirt particles thrive in moist and warm environment and thus during summer is normally perfect for smelly feet. Smelly feet is a common harm to your shoes, but you can greatly decrease the risks by letting it breathe your shoes and letting them dry after you use them, or using particular anti-fungal powders or foot sprays.

However, the remains of these fungi and bacteria will just keep on growing on your shoes. The best way to avoid this bacterial growth, and eventually smelly feet is washing you running shoes periodically. Do not use a washing machine. Use your hands and a scrub instead to scrub off both the exterior and interior of the running shoes. You can flush out the dirt, including the bacteria from the smallest pores of the shoes to the padding and mesh.

Sometimes, it is inevitable to step into damp dirt, mud, or maybe you have ran across a muddy road under construction that is just being repaired and does not have asphalt yet. More often than not, you will pick up mud on your shoes and it will add on extra weight.

However, if the mud gets inside the shoe, or in the mesh, it will get dirty and can cause a smell. Mud does not usually break in the shoe fabric. If it does, then it will never seep down the shoe mesh. The easiest method to clean your running shoes is to dry out the mud and then brush them off. If there are still smudges left, and the shoe looks dirty, then wash them using your hands, an old toothbrush or a scrub, and a mild detergent.

Some lumps of mud can contain sands or even small pebbles that can damage your washing machine.

If your running shoes already have a yellowish lattice and you cannot whiten them, you can use a mild bleach or detergent on the lattice. This should get your shoes as white as possible.


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