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Four questions you should ask before you buy running shoes

Buying running shoes can be tricky, but these questions can help you find your perfect fit

Legs and shoes of four young adults running in forest

Buying running shoes isn’t easy, and it can be a tricky thing to get right if you’re a first-time buyer. Everyone’s feet are different, but there are models on the market suited for different feet and purposes. There are many factors that you have to take into account. Here are four questions you should ask before you buy a pair of running shoes.

Can you measure the length and width of my foot?

Your feet are ever-changing and so are the shoe models offered by brands. Your feet can change size and shape over time due to many reasons such as age, fluctuation in weight, exercise habits, and health conditions relating to your feet. Therefore, it is important to get your feet measured each time you buy a new pair of shoes.

Although measuring your foot gives you a rough idea of what size you need, it is important to try the shoe on. All brands and models will fit differently. The shoe you are looking for may fit differently based on the type of shoe it is, where it was manufactured, or a change in the shoe compared to the model before it.

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What shoes suit my running gait?

Your running gait is the cycle of your leg as it travels through motion during a stride. Assessing your gait can give you an idea of where your leg and foot are making contact with the ground. This assessment can help you narrow down your options, and find a pair of shoes that are right for your foot.

What shoe will best suit what I am training for?

If you are running 5 km once a week, you do not need to spend an arm and leg on a pair of shoes, and if you are training for a marathon, you’ll want to look for a durable pair. If you purchase a lower quality shoe, odds are, it won’t last you long and you’ll end up throwing the pair out after three weeks of training. You want your pair of shoes to correlate toward what you are training for, and assess all the options.

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What surfaces are these shoes good for?

This question can narrow down the type of shoes you are looking for. A majority of running stores carry three types of running shoes: trail shoes, road shoes and race shoes. Some run specialty stores carry track spikes and hiking shoes, but these are less common categories.

If you are only running on the road or the trail, it can certainly narrow down your search. However, if you running on multiple surfaces each week, you can try a road shoe with a grippy outsole, which would work for both road and trail surfaces.

RELATED: What to do: run on the trails, track or roads?

If you are looking to buy a new pair of runners, go down to your local running shop and ask these questions. Most staff that work in a running store are passionate about running and know a thing or two about shoes.  

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