One common question in the minds of a majority of runners is “Which is the best running shoe?” With so many brands and models in the market, making a decision becomes tough. The purpose of this article is to bust a few myths and suggest a few parameters that could be looked into before zeroing in on the right pair.
Before we go into analyzing the various aspects, we have to understand and accept that there is never a “best shoe.” A higher priced shoe does not mean that it is a better shoe. What a person is looking for in a shoe varies from individual to individual and having said that, one has to decide the purpose for buying a shoe. The purpose could be more miles/recovery runs for some people, intervals/tempo/race day runs for some or simply a one for all shoe. The weight, the style and the structure of the shoe usually varies according to this purpose. Mentioned below are some guidelines which will help you choose a good shoe in line with your need, purpose and most importantly your wallet!
Gait analysis usually involves walking or running on a treadmill. In some cases the professional will simply watch the way that you move, looking in particular at your feet, ankles, knees and hips.
Choosing a shoe suitable for one’s Gait minimizes the risk of injury. Running specialty stores have trained staff who help the runners choose a shoe after performing the above mentioned analysis.
The next step is to choose the size that fits well. This helps to minimize chances of getting blisters or a black toe. Make sure to check the size of both feet, as it’s quite normal for one foot to be tad longer than the other.
It is advisable to have a thumb’s width in the front (of longest toe) for long distance running. The width of a shoe is equally important. The 2E width (D for women) shoes are the comfortable option for people having broad feet.
4E > 2E > D > B
4E & 2E – Men Wide shoes
D – Men Normal/women wide
B – Women Normal
The fit and sizing varies from brand to brand. A US 9 in Asics might not give the same feel as a US 9 in BROOKS. Hence, it is recommended that you try a shoe before making a decision, preferably in the evening when the feet is at its maximum volume.
Lastly, it’s very important not to get confused reading too many reviews online. As mentioned earlier, a pair of shoes may not necessarily work the same way for everyone. Hence, go with an open mind, try a couple of options, jog a bit inside the store and be sure it is the one for you …. They are after all going to be your ‘sole-mates’ for the next 800 kilometers.