It’s tough to find a cheaper way to exercise than going for a run. An investment in a good pair of running shoes in lieu of a gym membership can help you stretch your budget. Getting your feet and your gait analyzed is the best way to find the shoes that are right for you.
It’s tough to find a cheaper way to exercise than going for a run. An investment in a good pair of running shoes in lieu of a gym membership can help you stretch your budget.
Getting your feet and your gait analyzed is the best way to find the shoes that are right for you.
“It’s almost akin to getting fitted for eyeglasses,” said Colin Peddie, owner of the Marathon Sports chain.
Sam Pitts, manager of the Greater Boston Running Co. in Hingham, Mass., said that based on the assessment, he determines customers’ running style. A neutral shoe is meant for someone with a well-defined arch that stays rigid, while a stability shoe provides extra support for someone with a lower arch that tends to roll inward when he or she runs.
There can also be a third category, said Jason Kehoe, assistant manager of the Bill Rodgers Running Center in Boston. Motion control shoes are the most stable, and are meant for people with very flat feet that cave in a great deal. “The goal is always to get the foot to come right down the middle,” he said.
Cushioning is a given in modern running shoes, though certain types of feet can benefit from extra cushioning. A high-arch, rigid foot needs the extra shock absorption of more cushioning, Kehoe said. Pitts said that runners who get pain in their shins or their knees can also benefit from a cushioned shoe.
Injuries like shin splints and knee pain can often be avoided, though, by wearing the correct shoes. And a comfortable shoe may make you more inclined to want to go running in the first place.
“I feel that a lot of people would participate in running and walking if they had the right footwear,” Peddie said. “If you don’t feel good and you’re not happy, you’re not going to be consistent with the training.”
Though you may pay between $85 and $150 for a pair of shoes at a specialty running store, you’ll know they are appropriate for your feet if you work with a knowledgeable sales clerk.
“Anybody who’s exercising consistently is definitely going to see a benefit,” Pitts said.
Patriot Ledger writer Julie Onufrak may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RUNNING SHOE TIPS
- If you’re already a runner, bring your current shoes with you to the store. The salesperson can look at the wear on the bottom of your shoes to get more insight into your running style.
- Make sure the salesperson measures your foot while you’re standing up.
- If you use orthotics or custom-fit insoles, bring them with you to try on your shoes. You need shoes that are roomy enough to accommodate your insoles.
- Don’t pick running shoes based on the colors or style. Just because they look cute doesn’t mean they'll be the best shoe for you.