Living between two of New York City’s greatest parks, Central Park and Riverside Park, I'm inspired to get moving myself with every dedicated runner that passes by. Several of my friends are currently training for a marathon and while I'm intrigued by their dedication and perseverance, I'm starting slow and steady, and sticking with little short jogs around the parks for now.
Believe it or not, the most intimidating aspect of running for me is what kind of running shoe I should buy to really get started. To be honest, I usually just go for brand recognition and color palettes but I've learned that I could be risking injury or fatigue without the proper gear.
Fortunately, I had the pleasure of meeting the team from ShoeBuy.com recently, and being that they're the world’s largest shoe buying site, I asked my most pressing questions and got the scoop on these 5 tips for buying running shoes:
TIP 1: If you’re just getting started with running, you don’t want to over-think your buying options but should also keep in mind that the running gear that works for a friend or significant other who runs marathons may not necessarily be the right gear for you. Research your own options that make sense for your mileage goals and arch-type.
TIP 2: Start with a moderate to medium stability shoe. After you learn more about your running style and learn your body’s reaction, you can revisit what you shoe you need for prolonged running. If you feel you need more stability, having some could help you stave off injury. If you don’t need the stability, you’re not likely to be negatively affected by the presence of stability.
TIP 3: The biggest indicator of what running shoe is right for you is the extent to which you pronate (how your foot moves inward as you're running and striking the ground). The size of your foot's arch affects your foot's ability to pronate and your body's ability to absorb shock optimally. The right running shoe can help aid proper shock absorption. For example, if you have a lower arch, you may need firmer foam on the medial side of the mid-sole to slow your rate of pronation. Conversely, high arch runners under-pronate and typically need a neutral-cushioned shoe. If you don't know what kind of arch you have, speak with your physician or visit a specialty running shop to evaluate.
TIP 4: If you're an experienced runner, stay within the same family of shoes you are running in if they are working well for you. For example, if a shoe has a new model out with the new season, and you love the past one, you might want to scoop up a pair or two of the version you’ve got, knowing that you’ll wear through them in a few months.
TIP 5: Start with tried and true runner favorites. Here are ShoeBuy's most popular running shoes: for the beginner runner try the ASICS GEL-Exalt 2 or ASICS GEL-Exalt 2 Lite-Show. Both offer good stability at a great price, so you’re not making a huge investment while you get started as a runner. For the neutral runner (i.e., if you haven’t had past knee or shin injuries or don’t over-pronate) try the New Balance 890-v5. For those that want a stable run (these usually feature moderate+ support, and are a better fit for those that are mild to moderate over-pronators) try the Saucony Guide 8.
I’m definitely going to take these recommendations into consideration and probably try a pair of ASICS to start.
Now I just need a running buddy. Anyone?
NANCY DEANE is a former marketing and lifestyle maven now on her biggest project yet: raising twins in Manhattan. This Canadian via California girl enjoys exploring beauty, fashion, travel and design (for adults and kids alike) and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram as @toastncandy.Read all of Nancy’s posts.