Tips to keep you on your toes

By Kaye Lopez | Photos by Hunter Johnson and Raka Rachgo

Finding your perfect running shoe is a bit similar finding your soulmate. It doesn’t happen overnight, but you know there’s one out there for you. While believing you’re meant to be with one person in the universe is based on faith, there’s more science involved when searching for your running foot mate.

Go for a Gait Analysis

Finding a running shoe that works for you isn’t as simple as knowing whether you have neutral, high-arched, or flat feet. I’ve noticed this firsthand with my students. Despite choosing the correct shoe for their arch profile, some still get injured. When shopping for running shoes, go to a store that has a treadmill as well as knowledgeable staff who can analyze your gait and recommend based on your movements. Gait patterns such as impact forces, contact time, and stride length are unique to each runner and should be considered when buying shoes.

Choose the Right Shoe for a Particular Activity

You should select a pair for a particular activity. It’s not uncommon for triathletes to use just one pair of shoes for long runs and track sessions or speedwork. But if you want to stay away from injury, I strongly suggest buying at least two pairs of shoes, one for each type of run session.

Comfort is King

The most important factor is comfort. Assess your foot shape to determine if you need wide or narrow shoes. It’s been scientifically proven that running economy or efficiency increases when wearing comfortable shoes. Aside from being able to run more miles, comfortable shoes maintain proper running form and prevents the risk of injury.