If you are a runner, or if you are intending to become one in any capacity, picking out the proper running shoe is the best first step and one of the most important things you can do. Here are a few things you can look out for to make sure your feet are taken care of and injury is avoided:

  • Give yourself some room. As Runner’s World suggests, you should ensure that your feet have some breathing room when you pick out your shoes. You don’t want them to be too loose, but your feet will swell up and lengthen when you run, especially during long runs. The snug fit may work in the store, but once you get those feet moving, they’ll be happier feet if you allow them a little room to expand. Tight-fitting shoes can lead to blisters, injured toenails or something worse.
  • Check for the flex point of your shoe. It should bend along the same line that your foot creases. If it doesn’t, it could be a bad fit and improper alignment, resulting in a greater potential for Achilles or calf strain injuries.
  • Choose the right support. Here are some specifics on how to do just that from Road Runner Sports:
    • If you notice that you have a high arch, then your foot tends to be less flexible and you require the minimum level of support. Choose your ideal running shoes from the neutral, neutral plus, or performance neutral shoe categories.
    • If you have a medium arch, meaning your foot tends to be moderately flexible and you require medium support. Choose your best fit in the stability, stability plus, or performance stability shoe categories.
    • Low-arched runners have very flexible feet. Choose a running shoe that offers the maximum level of support. The best fit for you is a running shoe from the motion control or motion control plus shoe categories.
  • Try on several pairs of shoes. Take a short jog inside the store to find out what is best and most comfortable for you. Most running stores can analyze your gait and biomechanics to make sure you’re in the best shoe for you.

Take these tips and put them to work as you get ready for the fun that is in the run. Here’s to happier, healthier feet!