What to Look for in a Good Running Shoe

You’ve decided to become a runner and want to get started right away. Your sports medicine professional recommends a very important piece of equipment before you do so, and that is the right running shoe. You may not think that shoes matter to a runner, but they can make the difference between a good run and a terrible injury. Here’s what to look for when selecting running shoes.

Proper Fit

Everyone’s foot is different, and a shoe that may feel great to a fellow runner may be very uncomfortable to your foot. Your shoes should fit perfectly, snug enough to be an extension of your foot and loose enough to be comfortable. Shoes that are too large or small may cause painful blisters and improper contact between your foot, the shoe, and the ground. Talk to a pro that specializes in athletic footwear (preferably running) to get help with this. He or she will analyze your foot type, arch support needs, and gait to recommend the perfect running shoe.

Made for Running

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Not every sneaker is good for running. Only buy shoes that are specifically designed for runners, because they have the right cushioning to absorb the impact as your feet meet the pavement. Purchasing the wrong shoe is likely to lead you directly to the door of a sports medicine specialist, because you’ll inevitably end up with a stress fracture, shin splints, sprains, and tendon issues. Think of your running shoes as an investment in preventing future injuries.

The Right Material

Today’s running shoes are incredibly light, reducing the weight that your feet must carry. Two main materials are used in today’s shoes: EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) and PU (Polyurethane). EVA is lighter, but repeated use causes it to break down a little faster than PU. Some shoes use a combination of both materials to keep the shoe light, but durable and with the”bounce” that runners prefer.

Running is a wonderful sport, but caution must be taken in selecting the right footwear to keep you comfortable and healthy when running. Talk to your sports medicine professional for more information on running safety.

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