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Gear for Runners


Posted on April 22, 2013

Picking the correct sneakers for running is crucial.  Get it right, and you will give yourself the best chance to keep you feet, ankles, and knees healthy as you enjoy the greatest sport in the world.  Pick the wrong pair, and you may find yourself on the short path to a running related injury.   The challenge lies in the fact that most runners have no idea how to find the correct sneaker.   Over the coming weeks, I am going to be offering a series of articles on how to buy the perfect pair of running sneakers.  I would like to kick things off with my four rules for picking the right ones:

Rule #1       You should have a pair of sneakers exclusively for running.
Running sneakers have a finite lifespan.  After about 500 miles, the protective midsole in the sneakers will wear down to a point at which it no longer does its job.  This can put you at increased risk of injury.  If you use your sneakers for tasks other than running, you will prematurely wear out the midsole.  Therefore you should have a pair of sneakers just for running.

Rule #2       Buy your sneakers at a specialty running store
A good running store will be staffed by educated employees who are expert at helping people pick out the right sneakers for their needs.  They will be able to offer you a gait analysis, which is a crucial tool when it comes to picking the right running shoes for your specific needs.  Following their advice after this analysis will give you the best chance of finding a comfortable sneaker that helps you to avoid injury.

Rule #3       Tell the people at the store your price range
There is no reason to buy the most expensive sneakers in the store.  Shoes at lower price points go just as good a job as the more expensive sneakers.  Any good store will understand this, and respect the amount you want to spend.  If they don’t, its time to look for a new store.

Rule #4       Pick by fit, not by color
This is my most important tip on this subject.  When shopping for sneakers, your choices will be limited based on the needs of your feet.  Unfortunately this means that you may find yourself in the situation, that what works for your needs, may not be to your taste.  Regardless of how they look, it is always in your best interest to pick by fit.  Your sneakers may not match your outfit, but that’s much better than running in a pair that looks great, but ends up hurting your feet.  Always pick by fit, not by color.

Obviously there is more to getting the right sneakers than just following these four rules.  In the coming weeks, I will cover the other topics that you need to understand to make an educated decision when you pick your sneakers.   This will make the process less confusing, and in turn make sneaker buying more enjoyable.   Stick with me, and you will soon know everything you need to know about sneakers (but were always afraid to ask.)