Buying your running shoes
A guide to buying your running trainers
Running shoes are the most vital piece of kit you are going to require so it's important that you get the right ones from the outset. Read on to ensure you get exactly what you need when buying your running trainers.
Do you need new running shoes?
To test if you need new running shoes, try and make the shoe rock with one finger on the heel counter. If you can, that is usually a sign that it’s time to get a new pair. If the shoe is well worn in one area more than the rest of the shoe, that is also a sign that you need to replace them. If you can see that the midsole has compressed, replace your shoes.
As a general rule, you should replace your running shoes after 500 to 600 miles have been completed in them. If the bulk of your running is on the roads, as opposed to on softer ground, you may need to replace your shoes at the lower mileage level.
Purchase your shoes when you are building up the volume, but before you get into the serious mileage in the two months before an event. If you have been injured, and you have tried a gradual build up of your training, visit a podiatrist who will be able to look at your foot function and determine if there is any need for an orthotic (shaped shoe insert). The orthotic may function better in a particular shoe, so it pays to do this prior to purchasing.
Your running technique and body size are going to determine the best type of shoe for you. If you are a heavier runner you will get less mileage out of you shoe than a lighter runner. Also, consider the event you are training for and the terrain on which you will do the bulk of your training.
Choosing a place to buy your new running shoes
Don't just visit your local sportwear store to buy your trainers, instead go to a specialist running retailer. Find out from other runners where they go to buy their trainers and what their experience was like. Consider whether the store stocks all the major brands and whether the staff are runners themselves. One of the best measures of a good shoe retailer is if they can offer you 'gait analysis' by monitoring your running style on a video.
Always resist the temptation to buy shoes just because they are on offer. Buy the best you can possibly afford. You can always buy subsequent pairs of the same running shoe cheaper by ordering them online once you have established in store that they are the right shoe for you.