Thursday, July 3, 2008

Need a New Pair of Running Shoes

Running and racing a lot, people often ask me what is the best running shoe. My honest answer is you have to find the running shoe that best fits you. By this I mean you have to find the running shoe that fits your running style i.e. your body mechanics

Most running stores can help you to find that perfect running shoe. TrySports has a five point system that helps get runners into the right shoe.

But getting into the right running shoe is only part of the process. Care for and knowing when to replace running shoes needs to be addressed.

From my many years of running I have pulled together this list of running shoe guidelines that I like to follow:

1) Buy more than 1 pair of running shoes and alternate or rotate through them
2) Buy different brands of running shoes. Different brands use different technologies so the shoes wear differently.
3) Allow running shoes to dry completely before running in them again. This is especially true during summer runs when shoes can become soaked during a long run.
4) Allow 24 to 48 hours before running in the same shoe again. This gives the shoes time to rebound the pounding of the run
5) Use shoes appropriate for the workout i.e. lighter shoes for tempo and speed work and mod/heavier shoes for easy runs.
6) Start looking to replace your running if your running shoes no longer set flat on the floor but are rounded upward at the heel and toe. They forming to your stride and are no longer providing you with the support that you need.
7) Replace your shoes if you knees begin to ache. (the is the truest sign that someone needs new shoes)

Now this last one can be a little tricky. This is especially true if you have multiple pairs. My rule here is if I have run more than 200 miles in a pair of shoes, I start to look to replace it.

Another thing that I found is that for me a 100 dollar shoe tends to wear better than a 50 dollar shoe. I suspect this has more to do with the construction of the shoes than my running style. But since I like getting new shoes regularly, I ususally get the 50 to 60 dollar shoes. I have one exception to this rule. For marathon training, I get the 100 dollar shoes. From my experience, they take the pounding better especially if you are using them for your long runs. In prep for my last marathon, I got a pair of NB 1223 and they handled my long runs just fine. I am planning on getting a new pair in prep for my fall marathon training.

So there you have it. A quick running factoid on how to care for and when to buy new running shoes.

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