The Complete Guide To Buying Running Shoes
With so many shiny, bouncy running shoes to choose from, how are you supposed to know which are right for you?
Aside from shorts and T-shirt (no one wants to run naked, after all) running shoes are the most important bit of kit you need to get your jog on. And buying running shoes that are right for you and the way you run is vital if you want to avoid blisters and injury.
A decent pair of running-specific trainers will cushion your feet and legs from the impact of repeatedly hitting the pavement
A decent pair of running-specific trainers will cushion your feet and legs from the impact of repeatedly hitting the pavement, they’ll be flexible in all the right places to help you run more comfortably, and they’ll help protect against common injuries.
But how do you go about finding the best pair for you? We asked Jason Curzon, manager of The London Marathon Store, for some top tips. He’s a man who knows his trainers.
Where should I go to buy running shoes?
"You may be able to find some bargain running shoes online, but unless you know exactly what you’re looking for, I’d always advise visiting a reputable running store. The staff will usually be runners themselves, so they’ll know what you’re talking about.
Sizing can vary quite a bit across different brands, so you need to try before you buy
"They’ll be able to assess your running style, advise you on different shoes, and, most importantly, let you try them on to find the best fit. Sizing can vary quite a bit across different brands, so you definitely need to try before you buy."
How will they work out the best running shoes for me?
"We have a treadmill that we film people running on. Most running shops will have a treadmill as this gives us an idea of your running style and how your feet hit the floor, so they can work out where you may need more cushioning or support from your shoe.
"At The London Marathon Store we go through gait and motion analysis, looking at how you walk and how you run, the position of your feet, and where your weight falls. Your height and body size will play a part in choosing shoes too.
We look at how you run, the position of your feet, and where your weight falls
"The most important bit, though, is trying shoes on and giving them a trial run on the shop floor or treadmill. To start, we’ll usually bring out three pairs that match your running style, but there’s no limit to the number you can try on. While we can suggest numerous different shoes, the most important thing is how they feel on your feet."
Do I need to spend loads of money on running shoes?
"Not at all, and don’t be afraid to say what budget you’re working to when you visit a store. There are such a wide selection of running shoes out there now that there’s something for every price point.
New Year and Summer sales are an ideal time to buy, as you can get great shoes at discounted prices
"New year and summer sales are an ideal time to buy too, as you can get some great shoes at discounted prices.
"Obviously some of the more innovative shoes, with new technology, do cost more, but if you’re just starting out, just get a shoe that’s within your budget and works for you. You can always upgrade in the future.
If I go to a running shop will they look down on me if I’ve never run 10k before?
"I’d hope not! Any reputable store will ask you lots of questions about how long you’ve been running, your goals and aspirations, so they can understand more about what you’re looking for. Our goal is to get more people running and enjoying the sport. No one’s going to laugh at you if you've never run a 10k before."
What would you say are the three most important things to look for when buying running shoes?
Always invest in a decent pair of socks to draw heat and moisture away from your feet
"Comfort and fit are paramount. Thirdly, I’d say, socks! Always invest in a decent pair of socks to draw heat and moisture away from your feet. If your feet are happy then you don’t need to worry about them when you run and can concentrate on everything else instead."
Does the brand matter?
While certain shoes may be great for your friend, they might not be so good for you
"There are definitely some brands that prove more popular than others, but we'll always suggest the best brands for your particular foot shape and running style.
"Lots of people will come in the shop and say, 'My friend says these are great shoes.' While they may be great for your friend, they might not be so good for you. Everybody’s feet are different, so it’s about finding your best match."
Do I need different shoes for different types of running?
"A good shop will look at where and how far you’re running and find the best shoe for your needs. There are a whole array of different types: well-cushioned for longer distances, lighter for athletes who are racing, trail shoes with good grip and durable uppers for running off-road..."
"Don’t worry if it all sounds baffling – running shops are here to empower you to make the best choice for your needs."