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7 Tips to buy the right shoes

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7 Tips to buy the right shoes

Follow a few simple steps to find the perfect pair to suit you.

Buying the right shoe can be the most important decision you make to avoid injury and run faster.  Our team of runners at intraining will help you make an informed choice while you run in them at the store.  Here are 7 tips we use to help you.

Step 1: Look at shoe and injury history

Check  your footwear history.  Which shoes have worked in the past and which shoes haven’t?  What kind of support do the ones that worked have compared to the ones that did not work?

Know your injury history.  What kind of injuries have you been prone to get?  What features do you need to deal with these injuries?  Are your shoes contributing to them?

Step 2: Have a sense of how you run 

How you run has a huge impact on the shoe you use.  Are you a pounder or do you glide across the ground?  Do you strike with the heel or with a flat foot?  Are you graceful or do you run like a duck with your feet rotated out?  Do you pronate, supinate or not roll at all?  Do you have other form faults like a limp or a leg length difference?

Your weight, how hard you strike the ground, and how long each step you take need to be examined

Step 3: Know your foot shape

The shape of your foot has got to match the shape of the shoe.  Do you have a wide or narrow foot, a flexible or rigid foot, a high arched or flat foot?  Do you have any other problems like bunions requiring special fitting and support?  PLUS  you need to be aware of what happens to your foot shape with every step.  If it flattens, you need a wider shoe!  This last one is the trickiest and the one most overlooked.

Step 4: Check the wear and tear of your current pair

 Your previous shoes can tell you a story about what forces you exert on your shoes.  The wear patterns on the sole tells you how and where you move against the ground.  Any distortion in the uppers indicates where you might need the shoe to be stronger or fit better.  The location on the midsole where resistance has been lost tells you where most of the shock passes and where you need the most cushioning.  You can tell how much life (if any) they have left, and if you have been running in them for too long.  When you come into intraining it’s helpful to BRING OUR SHOES.  

Step 5: Fashion vs Function 

Brand loyalty is not good for you.   Find the shoes that suits you best.  You may get a different brand each time but you will be buying the best shoe to suit you every time.

Beware of poor advice.  What your friends liked or what top runners wear has nothing to do with your needs.  Do not just buy the first pair you try on.  Try on all the shoes that may suit your needs and be selective as you go.

Step 6: Seek expert advice:

If you want a good shoe for running, see the runners who know, have tried and are immersed in the running community. The best decision you can make is going to buy your shoes from a specialist running store.  Not only are our team keen runners, but they talk running all day, they listen to how every person likes or dislikes about the shoes they try on.   This is a  knowledge and experience that only comes from being a runner.  


The final step in the process involves actually RUNNING in the shoe.  While at the intraining shop, run outside.  You will feel how the shoe moves with your foot.  You will feel the lumps and bumps and you will know when you hit the sweet spot.  

Listen to your feet as they hit the ground running and feel if they are smooth when you move.  

Have a great  year of running with a great shoe for you. 

Steve Manning is a Podiatrist and Coach at the intraining Running Centre in Brisbane and works as an associate lecturer at QUT in Brisbane.