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How to Buy Running Shoes?

  • A guide to buying running shoes.
Modified 04 Feb 2019, 16:31 IST

It may look simple (go into the store and buy the best looking shoe). Trust me on this, it is never that simple when buying a right running shoe to meet your demands. Everyone has different needs and there’s no best all-in-one shoe. But fear not, your work will be a whole lot easier if you keep these tips in your mind while buying your next running shoes.

First and foremost, know your foot size

This is the most important part when you want to buy a running shoe. Leave alone a running shoe, you have to do this for every shoe you want to buy. Many of us assume that we know our foot size but we rarely check the foot size.

The size of your foot changes with age and a size 8 Adidas shoe may not be the same as a size 8 Nike shoe. Your foot size determines your shoe size. A proper shoe size is essential for a comfortable fit. The best thing to do is get it measured at the time of purchase of a new shoe.

Know your running profile

After finding out your shoe size, you have to identify your running profile. Running profile here means why do you need a running shoe. Do you need it for jogging? Road running? Trail running? Are you training for a race? One should look into all these factors as there are different shoes available for different activities.

For example, Adidas Supernova Glide Boost 7 is a great shoe for road running but is not that good for cross-fit training. You’ll need a Nike Metcon 1 for cross-fit training but this is not a good road running shoe.

Know your foot shape and running style

Your foot shape determines the way you strike the foot on the ground. Again, just like foot sizes, everyone has different feet shapes. Do you have a normal foot? A flat foot? A high arched foot?


Normal Feet have a medium sized arch. The forefoot and heel connected by a broad band. It usually lands on the outside of the heel and rolls inward. The recommended shoe is a Stability shoe.

The Flat Foot has a low arch. It indicates an over pronated foot. It strikes on the outside of the heel and rolls inwards excessively. Over time this may cause injuries. Motion Control shoes are recommended.

The High-Arched Foot has a very narrow band or no band at all between the forefoot and the heel. Neutral shoes are recommended.

Types of Foot Arches
Types of Foot Arches

An easy way to determine your foot shape, wet your foot sole, walk a few steps and examine the print.

Always shop in the evening

Feet swell during the day. You may have a larger sized foot at around 4:00 PM when compared to 6:00 AM (on the same day). Feet also swell while running. So, it is advisable to get your shoes when your feet are the largest as it gives you the maximum comfort.

Weight plays a key role

Yes, weight plays a huge role in running shoes. Weight refers to two things. Runner’s weight and shoe weight.

If you’re doing long distance running, the lighter the shoe the better it is.

If you’re a bigger built runner, go for a shoe that offers a lot of support.

Don’t go for fashion

Always buy shoes that are comfortable over shoes that are fashionable. At the end, all the matters is your comfort.

Modern day running shoes last for a good 500 km, so don’t hesitate to invest in them. Always remember to take your time to buy running shoes, do not take quick decisions. 

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Published 07 May 2015, 11:24 IST
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