Sports & Fitness

Finding The Right Shoes For Beginner Runners

You’ve decided this is the year you’re going to start running, but all you’ve got is a beat up pair of shoes that barely managed to get you around the block. The first thing you’re going to need is a good pair of running shoes.

Right Shoe For Beginner Runners

Buying new running shoes can be an overwhelming task. There are so many brands, so many styles, and so many price points. Where do you begin?

The first thing to know is that there is no such thing as the “best” shoe, there is only the best shoe for you. One of the easiest ways to find the best shoe for you is to go to your local speciality running shoe store and ask for help. A personal fit and answers to as many questions as you can think of is what they are there for.

Faze spoke with ultra-marathoner Inge Boerma and she seems to agree. When asked about the first thing to consider when buying new shoes Inge said, “Visit your nearest Nike Store for a free Run Analysis. This is when you run on the treadmill so Nike experts check your gait and see what shoes best fit your biomechanics. It takes a few minutes and will ensure you are kitted with the perfect pair.”

But before heading out, you should learn some running shoe basics so you have a better understanding of what the experts are talking about when helping to find your perfect shoe.

Know your feet

Foot Arch Types Runner Running Shoes

There is a lot more to our feet than a heel and (hopefully) ten toes. When it comes to running one of the most important things to know is the type of arch you have. You could have a high arch, a normal arch, or a low arch. To figure out what type of arch you have try doing the wet test. Wet your feet and stand on a surface that will show your footprints clearly. Compare your print to the image above.

Knowing what type of arch you have will help to determine how you run, specifically how your feet hit the ground while running. The size of your arch affects your pronation—your foots ability to roll in order to distribute the force of impact as you run. A normal arch probably means you are a normal pronator. Runners with a low arch tend to overpronate (the arch and inside of your foot takes most of your weight), and those with a high arch typically underpronate (the outside of your foot takes most of your weight). How you pronate will help you determine what type of shoe is best for you.

Different types of running shoes

Right Shoe For Beginner Runners

There are three main categories of running shoes—stability shoes, motion control shoes, and neutral/cushioned shoes. Each type of shoe corrects or controls your feet in different ways.

  • Stability shoes support the foot, ankle, and arch when running. They help with mild pronation and are good for runners with a normal arch.
  • Motion control shoes give a significant amount of ankle stability, cushioning, and pronation control. This type of shoe is good for runners with a low arch.
  • Neutral/cushioned shoes strive primarily to cushion your ground strikes. These are designed for runners with a normal to high arch.

It’s important to know the different shoe options available to you so you can make an informed decision based on your needs. Inge said, “Get the shoes that fits your needs. Like anything you spend a lot of time in, running shoes are no different. You want to ensure your shoes are comfortable and have the correct amount of support for you.”

Running surface

Right Shoe For Beginner Runners

We tend to think that running is running no matter where we do it, but the type of surface you will be running on can make a huge difference. If you know where you want to run, it will help in selecting the best shoe. Running in a gym is very different from running on a road, or a track, or a trail. But keep your neighbourhood in mind when thinking about running surfaces. If there are no trails, or parks near you then to start off you’ll probably be running on pavement even if your heart is set on something else.

Here’s what Inge had to say about buying the right shoe for your running discipline, “If most of your runs are through the city streets, it’s best to get a shoe better suited to pavement. This can range depending on what kind of support you need. If you need a lot of support we recommend a stability shoe, like a Nike Air Zoom Structure or Nike Air Zoom Vomero. If you are better suited for a barefoot like feel, it’s best to try go with the Nike Free RN. If you are in between, try a neutral shoe to start, like a Nike Air VaporMax or Nike Zoom Pegasus.”

Right Shoe For Beginner Runners

As you can tell, there are a lot of things to know when it comes to buying running shoes. That’s why it’s important to take the time to learn the basics before jumping in. Having the right shoe can have a very beneficial impact on your running technique.

When asked what advice she would give a beginner runner looking to buy their first pair of shoes Inge said, “You want to pick a running shoe that you look and feel great in, something comfortable is the most important, style is a nice bonus. Every runner needs a shoe that makes each stride feel great. As a beginner, you really want something that will help propel you forward and keep you motivated to clock more kms….don’t over think it. Lace up and get out!”

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