Choose the Right Pair of Running Shoes

Posted on Mar 15, 2008 under Random | 11 Comments

Running Shoes

I saw this article on Yahoo about how to choose the right pair of shoes for your sport and it reminded me of all the different running shoes I have had over the years. I can’t remember what years I had what shoes, but I have had almost every brand you can name: Nike, Adidas, Asics, New Balance, Brooks? In the beginning of the article it says that a pair of shoes will not make you better at any given sport, but it will prevent any unnecessary injuries that bad shoes will do to you. I have had quite a running few injuries in my day, including shin splints, as well as knee and hip injuries. But I never drew to the conclusion that one particular pair of shoes caused that particular injury. And that’s because I don’t think it’s true. I do believe that certain brands offer different features when it comes to running shoes. Some brands are more focused on weight so they lack a little in support and the other way around. Other shoes are made for specific types of feet shapes and sizes.

I remember back in Junior year when I got some really cheap racing flats. My feet would be burning so much that in a three mile race, my feet would be on fire by the first mile! I made the mistake of continuing to race in them, thinking, ‘oh it was a one time thing, it should be fine in the next race.’ It never was. And then one day one of my teammates offered an extra pair of flats that he had and they were also cheap too. But it felt so good running in those, it was the greatest feeling ever (in a race). He was nice enough to let me keep racing in them. The ironic thing was my other teammate raced in those same flats that burned my feet and he had no problems with it.

Every runner is different, and this story shows it. While one shoe may be terrible for one runner, it will be okay for another. This is why you test out shoes before you buy them, maybe run around in them if possible (some stores actually let you do that).

If you are looking for a casual, but stylish alternative to running shoes, you may consider looking into oxford shoes.

11 Responses to “Choose the Right Pair of Running Shoes”

  1. Alex Says:

    You bring up an interesting point and I think it hits home now more than ever with the advent of full length cushion shoes. Many people have developed foot problems because their feet do not respond to the changing balance points from the foot strike not felt through a full cushion shoes. The barefoot style shoes seem to be a response to this and restrengthening that natural balance .

  2. jonathan Says:

    Most people start with “shoe problems” as soon as they are born. Parents put shoes on small tiny feet and thus problems start.

    The western culture is very “shoe centric” and most beginner runners I speak to complain of “shoe problems” when really they mean feet problems..

    Another point is that sizes and fitting vary even in the same model of shoe from the same manufacturer…

  3. pchieng Says:

    @Alex: I have done workouts on the inside grass of a track and I have to admit, it feels so much better than running with actual shoes. It just feels like I have more grip to the ground and am not constricted with shoes. However, it can distract you because you are constantly worrying about stepping on something. It’s good to know that they are finally making shoes that feel like you’re barefoot.

  4. pchieng Says:

    @jonathan: At first I thought you were talking about the Chinese culture of feet binding, but I guess not. Good point about the whole, ‘it’s a feet problem, rather than a shoe problem’. It’s surprising when you say that the same model will be different, but that makes sense because no two shoes are identically the same..

  5. Diana Says:

    Hey! Thanks for the comment. I just wanted to give you more info on the Nike+ system. Basically, if you have a Nano (any generation) you can purchase a transmitter and sesnor ($29 for both). The tranmistter plugs into your nano, and the sensor goes into your shoe. They are meant to work with Nike sneakers, but there are lots of ways to use the system without buying nike shoes. I have cut out a hole underneath the insole to put the sensor into and it works great and I don’t ever feel it. It’s a nice and cheap alternative to a garmin.

  6. Topher Says:

    Found your blog on CRN. It’s great to read other runner’s perspectives on things. Best of luck with your running!

  7. RunColo Says:

    Thinking back to high school cross country. I rememer this one kid who ran in high tops, real high tops, the kind you play basketball in. He was the 10th guy on the team, rather slow.

    Then one day he bought some running shoes, the next race he drops a minute off his 5k time and moves up to the sixth spot on our team.

    I kept thinking, I wonder how much time he could knock off if he bought some racing spikes, but he never did.

  8. pchieng Says:

    @Diana: Thanks for the great info, I will totally consider the Nike+, if I ever decide to run more than the ~3 miles I currently run, lol.

    @Topher: Thanks for the visit/comment, hope you come back soon.

    @RunColo: Hearing that story from you just shows that sometimes, it is about the shoes. The high tops were simply an anchor, holding him back from really running fast. Spikes would have totally set him free..


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