10 Mistakes When Buying Running Shoes
Don’t Make These Mistakes When Buying Shoes
Whether you’re a professional trackster or an avid fan of trail running, you’ll need the best running shoes for your feet. Not only does this ensure optimum running performance, it can also provide you comfort with each stride. Better comfort means less pressure on your feet. Less pressure translates to greater stride power. Unfortunately, there are those who make the mistake of picking the wrong running shoes. They end up hurting their feet or, worse, undermining their months-long preparation for the big day. If you want to make the most out of your running endeavors, make sure to avoid these 10 mistakes whenever you’re buying running shoes.
Picking A Running Shoe That Is Too Small For Comfort
Newbie runners have this notion that running shoes should have a perfect fit. They think that the fitter the shoes are, the better they will be able to function on the track or the trail. The idea is that if the shoe is loose, it might fall off all the time.
The thing is that if the shoes are very tight, they can restrict circulation in the feet. This can starve the toenails of essential blood, leading to blackened nails. Too tight a shoe can also promote friction against the skin. This can increase the likelihood of blister formation. With blisters on your feet, it would be almost impossible for you to run in an efficient way.
Picking the correct size of shoes is dependent on the type of running that you will be engaging in. For example, trail running will require a different kind of shoe. The same is true for road-running adventures and treadmill-only activities. Make sure that in each of these types of running, you provide about half-size to one-size allowance.
Ignoring Sound Consumer Reviews
There is a very good reason why there are many consumer reviews today. And you, as a potential consumer, should never ignore these pieces of information. Unfortunately, many buyers of running shoes often ignore such reviews. Some believe that the reviews are not honest and that most have vested interests in the product that they are reviewing. While this is true to a certain extent, one can always look at the disclosure statement of the reviewer.
One good thing about reviews is that they give you an idea of the shoe’s real-world performance. More often than not, people will be saying almost the same thing about a particular running shoe. They may rate its comfort and how it “bounces” their feet off the ground with each stride that they take. They may also provide you with details such as the packaging, customer service, and other post-purchase activities.
Online consumer reviews will always have positives and negatives. Make sure to read both reviews to gain a better understanding of the qualities of the product. A more important consideration is to read only the reviews from reputable sites.
Putting Too Much Emphasis On Style
There are individuals who put form above anything else. They go for those with fancy decorative elements that do nothing to improve running performance. And if a popular athlete happens to have his or her signature on the upper of the running shoe, people know that it’s going to be an instant hit.
It is sad that some people put too much focus on the styling of the running shoe. Think of it this way, when you’re running at 5 miles per hour, people will no longer notice how good and stylish your shoes are. They will be looking at your stride and how fast you can run; not your shoes.
Hence, it is best to focus on the other aspects of the shoe design. Look at the quality of its construction. Try evaluating the degree of comfort it can provide to your feet. Does it come with protective features like ample cushioning? These are things that you will not see at once from a running shoe. You’ve got to dig deeper if you want to bring home the best running shoes for you.
Buying Shoes In The Morning
You may find this “mistake” as absurd, but there are people who love to go shopping as soon as the stores open in the morning. This is quite understandable. There are fewer shoppers around this time of the day, except during the Black Friday madness, of course. It is a lot more convenient and more comfortable to shop in the morning than in the afternoon or evening. The queue at the cashier is shorter and salespersons have all the time to help you out.
However, when it comes to buying shoes, morning is not the best time of the day to buy. Why is that? Your feet swell as the day progresses. You may have a small-sized foot by the time you wake up, but this will grow to about half-size by 6 in the evening.
The reason is simple. In the morning, your feet are still adjusting to the flow of blood from a horizontal position (lying on your bed). When you wake up and begin with your everyday activities, blood from the feet will have a more difficult time going back to the heart because it’s in a vertical position. Blood pools in the feet, causing it to engorge or swell.
So, skip the morning shopping and go to your favorite shoe store in the afternoon or the evening.
Not Wearing Socks When Buying New Footwear
Some folks go out and choose a pair of running shoes without their socks on. Not only is this “disrespectful” for the next fellow who may want to try on the “shoe”. It also begets inaccurate shoe sizing. Unless you are going to run without wearing any socks, then it is imperative that you wear one on the day you choose and buy a running shoe.
The big question now is what kind of socks you should wear when buying a running shoe. Everything depends on how and where you’re going to use the running shoe. If you’re going to use it more as an everyday casual footwear, then an ordinary dress sock should be enough. But if you’re the type who is going to use it on the track or on the trail, then having a real running sock works best.
The important thing to remember is to wear socks that you will use when you’re already running. This will give you an idea of the comfort and fit of the shoe. This can also help in the determination of the correct size of the footwear.
Relying On The Shoe Size Printed On The Box Or The Shoe Label
There are some people who rely so much on the shoe size they see on the outside of the shoebox. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can go wrong with this approach. It is possible that a differently-sized shoe is inadvertently placed in the wrong box. This can happen during rush hour shopping, where many people will be jostling with various sizes of shoes.
It is, thus, wise to check the actual size of the shoe by trying it on. Do not also rely on the printed size on its label. Sometimes, manufacturing errors can give you a product with a wrong size label. As such, it is best to try the shoe on.
Sizing errors are worse when ordering online. The online seller may present you with available shoe sizes that come in different standards. For example, there are those that use the Clarks EU sizing chart while others will use the UK sizing chart. In the US alone, you also have the customary and Brannock. There’s also the Mondopoint system. It’s best to learn how the size of one metric will compare to another metric.
Shying Away From Specialty Stores
Many runners often shun specialty stores that cater to running shoes on an exclusive basis. The reason is simple and quite understandable. Specialty stores often put a premium on their merchandise. This can make it less appealing to budget-conscious folks.
However, given that specialty stores also have shoe experts in their employ, they’re the best places to go when shopping for a running shoe. These stores often have staff who can assist you in your selection of running shoes. They can give you insights on the things that you need to consider when picking a footwear. This is in addition to the remarkable array of running shoes that they may have for you.
Local shoe stores may not have staff with the same level of footwear expertise. They may not be able to give you advice on what you need to look for. Sure, you’ll get a shoe but that’s just about it. Hence, it’s best to go to a specialty running shoe store if you want the best.
Not Knowing Your Own Style Of Running
Running shoes all look the same. This is the line of thinking of newbie runners. The fact of the matter is that there are different types of running shoes that correspond to the different types or styles of running.
In general, one can classify this type of footwear into two broad categories: indoor and outdoor. Indoor running shoes are perfect for those who run on treadmills or on indoor tracks. These surfaces are more even compared to those found outdoors. Hence, you may not need much cushioning and arch support. As long as it can provide you with optimum comfort, then it should do fine.
On the other hand, outdoor running can also have different types. You can run on paved roads or dirt tracks. Roadrunners need a shoe that has a soft upper. Trail runners, meanwhile, will need more cushioning and protection on uneven terrain. Comfort for the feet is important in both road and trail running shoes. Protection and arch support are also crucial.
Not Having The Correct Foot Size Measurement
Size matters when it comes to shoes. Unfortunately, many athletes do not spend enough time understanding the implications of getting the correct size measurement of their feet. A very important consideration here is the foot’s heel-to-toe length and its arch length. This will give you an idea of the flex point of your feet.
All shoes flex or bend at a specific point in their design. This follows the natural flex point of the human foot. The idea here is that the flex points of both the shoe and the wearer’s foot should match. Otherwise, discomfort can ensue and undermine one’s enjoyment of the running activity.
To do this, place one foot on a blank sheet of paper and use a pen to draw an outline of the outer edges of your foot. Once you’re done with the drawing, try measuring the dimensions of the drawn foot using a ruler. Measure the length of the foot from the heel to the outermost toe. Next, measure the widest part of the foot. This is often that section at the junction of the foot and the toes. Use these two measurements to determine your shoe size.
Giving In To Peer Pressure
It’s always nice to go shopping with a friend as you can have someone to share your thoughts about a particular shoe you may like. There’s one minor problem, though. Your friend may not know what you need. He or she may only be voicing out what he or she believes to be good for you when in fact your friend is echoing his or her “wants”.
Your pal may go for a shoe with an outlandish design. He or she may want you to pick something based on what he or she read. Or maybe your buddy also has a pair at home and he or she would want you to have the same.
It’s good to bring your friend along but leave the decision-making to yourself. After all, you are the one who is going to wear the running shoes; not your friend.
Knowing the mistakes to avoid when buying a pair of running shoes can help you pick the right footwear for your adventures.