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New Running Shoes 

what to watch out for and how to find the right shoe...


*Spring approaching and the start into the year's running season often means, new shoes!  

A running shoe is not "just" a shoe, but a piece of you, in which you share many kilometers and a lot of time, if not also emotions!  Having to say good-bye to our trusted favorites, is not always an easy task, but important for good foot and joint health.  


Aside from regular joint-supporting exercises and ABC's, the shoes we run in are essential to our overall skeletal health.  Many times, an injury can be improved, simply in buying a new pair of shoes.  Soles will wear down over time, even if they have never been worn. The newest shoes being designed, are incorporating carbon into the fibers, to help slow down this natural break-down process and help maintain a faster recovery.  But, this aside, the average running shoe will need to be replaced anywhere between 850 - 1,000 km, or every 6 months - 1 year (2yrs max).  So, there you are being faced with the next €120 - €180 and an overwhelming spectrum of shoes on the market!  Not an easy task, especially if the shoe you've invested in, turns out not to be the right one.



How do you know which shoe is correct for you? 

For an all-round, basic training shoe, it will also depend on the terrain you're running in, so narrow down your search by: Off-road or pavement.  Mountain or flat.  There are shoes out there made for each different type of running. Once you've narrowed your terrain down, you may be tempted to look online for a good price, but you might not always get what you should be getting!  


The best, most reliable way of finding the right shoe for you, is to go to a reputable running store, that does a video running analysis.  They will look first at the load of your feet, when standing (high arches, flat arches, etc.) then film you running barefoot on a tread mill, analyzing your skeletal system in motion, from your foot up through your hip and spine.  They will check your foot-knee-hip alignment as well and choose a pair or two, of shoes that would optimize your gate and running alignment.


What do you do if you don't have the access to such an analysis?  

My 7 tips for you: 


  • Make sure the shoe fits snuggly around your mid-foot area, but all 5 toes should be able to move freely! None of your toes should be pressed in by the walls of the shoe.


  • The heel should fit like a glove, without the rim pressing into your Achilles.


  • Make sure there's space between your toes and the front of the shoe.  General rule is 2 fingers or 1 thumb.  For street shoes, a must, since your foot needs the space to spread out over the course of the run.  The longer the run, the more the foot will need to spread.  For trail shoes, a slight bit less space than 2 fingers in the front is recommended, since a bunch of room can lead to tripping over stones and roots. But, all 5 toes should still move freely!


  • Take the shoes outside for a short test-jog.  Test out the feel of the shoe in different situations: The landing phase when you run on your toes only, when you land firmly (but gently) on your heels and roll forward, and when you run mid-foot.  Run up a small boulder and back down or up steps and back down.  Does the shoe encourage you to land more on your heel (not recommended), or more on your toes (also not necessarily a good thing) or does it feel more neutral when you land?  Does it press in anywhere on your foot or feel too hard or too soft to land in?


  • Try on at least 2-3 pairs of shoes to compare. 


  • Test the sole.  Depending on the type of running, test out the sole by twisting it and bending it, to see where the stabile part of the shoe is. If you are a beginner runner or run less than 10 kilometers per week, a shoe that is overall very flexible is generally not recommended.  Here it's better to have a shoe with more stability, whereas a seasoned running foot can work with more flexibility, since their foot muscles are built up for it. 


  • Last, but not least, can you return the shoe if it doesn't work for you?  VERY important!  Sometimes it's too difficult to really know how a shoe will fit, unless it's been worn for an actual run.  A reputable store should have a return policy, providing you keep the shoes clean.


With these tips in mind and careful thought in the searching process, you and your new shoes will be up and running in no time!  





Folgen Sie dem Tagebuch von Steffi Brenninger! Die Sportredakteurin ist eine der Local Heroes des Eberl Chiemsee Triathlons - Top Form ist die Haupttrainerin die Triathletin und begleitet sie auf ihrem Weg zum Ironman!




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