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Running Shoes 101 Things You Need to Know Before You Purchase Your Shoes

Things to consider:

1) Size of your foot: Let's begin with your foot. Don't assume that you know the size of your foot.

Have the running shoe store person (RSSP) measure you preferably towards the end of the day, when your feet are the largest from standing on them all day. Your toes should NOT reach the end of the shoes. You should be able to place your thumb at the end of your longest toe and the shoe should end there. If the shoe is any shorter, you will end up with blisters, hammertoes and black toenails. (More about those things in future blogs). When I say RSSP, I do not mean the sales person. I mean go to a certified running store that is owned by someone who runs and can fit you properly.

2) What is the shape of your foot? : Don't guess about this. You probably will be wrong. Ask the RSSP or a qualified podiatrist or pedorthist to explain to you the shape of your foot in both the weight bearing and non- weight bearing positions. One of the most important things you have to keep in mind….The shape of the shoe MUST fit the shape of your foot. This is not negotiable!!!!

3) $$$: Money is important, but as a runner, you have chosen a relatively inexpensive sport. The only main expense is your shoes, unless you want to be a fashionista. Bad, inexpensive shoes can cost you more money in the long run, especially if you get injured. However, that being said, a good running shoe does not have to cost you and arm and a leg. The average cost of a good running shoe will be in the $90-$125 price range. There are a myriad of brands, styles and prices to choose from. Don't be "lured in" by a name brand that someone else has told you about. This is only the beginning of your "shoe trek" and you want to keep all of your options open.

4) Be open minded. You should be more concerned with comfort and proper fit over style and color. This is a sport for you to maintain or a healthy life style. Worry about being fashion conscious at a later time.

5) Wear a comfortable, cushioned pair of socks. A sock with a poly/cotton blend is the best for everyday wear. Sweat wicking blends like Coolmaxx or Dry-weave are best for running. If you have a chronic fungal infection or itchy feet, you may like socks impregnated with silver or copper to decrease the fungus and bacteria collecting in between your toes.Leave the "thin nylon socks" for your dress shoes.

6) Lacing of the shoes: Not all of the holes in the shoes need to have the laces going thru them. Running shoes are made to be adaptable for the subtle and vast differences found in the human foot. Experience will dictate which holes to use and how snug to tie them.

7) Removable insole. This is not a negotiable item. If the insole is glued in, the shoes are usually of an inferior quality, regardless of the name brand or even the price you paid. Removable insoles will also allow you to easily insert your functional orthotics.

8) The modern day running shoe should feel great from your first few steps. However, this does not mean you buy a new pair of shoes right before race day. You should train with your new shoes for 3 weeks prior to your race, but start with your short runs and then build up your mileage.

I think this is enough information to get you started on the right foot in your search for the greatest and most comfortable running shoe.

Be open minded and if you take away only one idea from this blog that would be: The shape of your shoe MUST fit the shape of your foot! "

About Author Peter Wishnie :

Dr. Peter Wishnie is a podiatrist who specializes in foot and ankle surgery. His office is in Piscataway/Hillsborough,NJ. His goals are to educate the public on the care of their feet and ankles and to get them functioning as quickly as possible. <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Friday, July 13, 2012
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