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Winter running shoes: How to shop for the right pair


Winter is not here yet, but Canadian runners across the country are well aware that it’s only a matter of time. For those of us who run through the coldest months of the year, we know that there’s a lot of that goes into preparing the wardrobe to outfit those freezing runs adequately. Getting the right pair shoes are likely top on the list (what else is new?). Runners need tough kicks to bring them through kilometres of ice, fresh snow and messy slush this winter. Here’s what to look for:

Extra grip: This is a biggie. If the shoes come with good-sized lugs and increased grip to save you from some nasty falls on the sidewalk, that’s a pair you’re going to want to invest in. A toothy-soled shoe that can stand up to black ice is what runners need for a Canadian winter. Look for something that almost looks similar to a trail shoe.

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Waterproof lining: A shoe that comes with a Gortex lining pretty much aces it when it comes to ranking winter sneakers. Gortex-lined shoes will keep the feet dry and the toes toasty. Accidentally slip into a pool of slush? No chilly messy snow to seep through the toe box (we all know how that ruins a run).

Durability: If you’re into the barely-there feel in a running shoe, you might want to go with something a little heavier for December through to March this year. That’s because runners are typically harder on shoes when they are taking them through punishing runs that battle the elements. You don’t want winter conditions to destroy your new pair by the beginning of the season.

A wider toe box: On real cold days, an extra pair of socks might be just the thing to keep the blood flowing to the toes. For that, a more roomy toe box might be needed to accommodate the extra layer(s).