The Best Way To Choose A Pair of Running Shoes
I was recently in the market for a new pair of running shoes. It’s no secret that I’m easily overwhelmed, and so one day after lots of research I kind of snapped. I drove to Academy and just started trying on a million shoes. I would lace up a pair, race up and down the aisles, only to throw them off and try on something else. There were multiple stacks of boxes up to my chest, and at the end of it all I just bought the pair that felt most comfortable.
I felt a little guilty about it, because most experts say you should buy a shoe that corrects any problems with your gait or that decreases the impact of your heel strike. But the next day I came across an article that says I may have accidentally picked out the perfect shoe for myself. Dr. Nigg, a leading expert in biomechanics, says that comfort should be your primary concern when picking out a running shoe.
Our bodies are actually “very good judges” of how each of us should move and run, [Dr. Nigg] said. When we ignore or fight our bodies’ natural movement pattern, he said, such as by trying to control pronation, the risk of injury rises.
Instead, he said, we should pay close attention to our body’s opinion about running shoe options.
“Try on four or five pairs,” Dr. Nigg said. Jog around the store or the block in each.
“People can usually tell right away which shoe feels the most comfortable,” Dr. Nigg said. “That is the one to choose.”
I couldn’t help smiling at his suggested method for picking out a pair of shoes. How funny that in my buyer’s angst (is that a thing?) I might have actually chosen the right shoe for myself? I sure hope he knows that he’s talking about! :)
I almost always choose Asics because they have less arch support and are very light shoes, something that just feels better to me. But several of my running friends swear by Brooks, and my marathon running buddy lives in Saucony.
What about you? What running shoes do you find the most comfortable? Did you read the article? What do you think about Dr. Nigg’s studies? It basically goes against all conventional wisdom on the subject! Have you found that certain shoes increase or decrease injuries? I’m interested to know!
(Photo via Tracksmith)