The title of this blog may sound a bit like your favorite childhood stomping ground and that was my intention. Athletic shoes have become like toys for many active women. Feeling exhilarated? Grab your brightest pair and head out for a brisk walk in the park. Think you spotted Mr. Right at the gym? Throw on the pair that will take your workout attire into high gear. Yes, sneakers are the toys that allow us to play, which bring me back to my theory of regression to progression—in your mind take exercising back to the playground. Don’t make it overwhelming, intimidating and monotonous—make it fun! But, I digress….back to the sneakers. There are a few things that we must think about before we make a purchase. With that being said, here’s your guide to choosing the right shoe for you:
1. Timing is everything: The best time to buy your new kicks is later in the day. That's when your feet are the largest. Make sure there's a half inch of space in front of your longest toe, and that you can easily wiggle your toes. Then slip off the shoes and compare them with your bare feet. If each shoe isn't obviously wider and longer than your foot, go half a size bigger.
2. What foot-type are you? Knowing your foot-type helps you choose the right shoe. Simply wet the bottom of one foot and step on a brown paper bag. Then, trace over the wet image with a pencil and bring it into your local running store. You'll be matched up with the correct fit and enjoy your runs a lot more!
3. Got knee pain? Check Your Shoes: To avoid injuries, write an "expiration date" on your shoes as soon as you buy them. Five months is the ideal time to change shoes. Shoes last about 500 miles, so simply divide 500 by your average weekly mileage to determine how many weeks your shoes are likely to last.
4. Know your needs: Every runner has their favorite sneaks. I get it and understand that running is an emotional high and what works for you is "best." However, consider your body and your needs. If you are a marathon runner, you have different needs than the casual runner.
Here are a few of my personal picks:
· Reebok Real Flex Run: For minimalist runners
· Asics Gel-Cumulus: For runners needing extra cushioning
· Mizuno Wave Alchemy: For stability runners
· Puma Faas 400 Bolt: For training and performance runners