Your Best-Ever Guide To Buying Running Shoes

Make your next running shoe purchase perfect with our 101 shoe buying guide

Every runner knows how important shoes are for training and racing. Finding your ideal pair of running shoes is better than discovering your perfect shade of lipstick and your signature perfume – at once! And it’s much more important (at least we think it is!) Here’s how to get your next running shoe purchase right – whether you’re half marathon training, about to race, or heading into off season.

Which Brand Is Best?

There’s no single best brand of running shoes. But it can be confusing to be faced with hundreds of brands, from household name favourites to new kids on the block. There are pros and cons to each – the big brands have been around for ages and have plenty of consumer data behind them. But the smaller niche brands are running specialists, who put all their expertise into creating shoes for runners. The best way to choose a running shoe is to go to a specialist shop that carries big brands, smaller brands, new launches, and old favourites. Ask the experts in store for their help. That way you’ll be able to look past brand names and aesthetics to find a shoe that suits your body.

Let Your Body Dictate The Purchase

Buy running shoes based on your body, not on the shoe. This means an honest look at your weight, build, running style, gait, pace, typical distance, and future running goals. A poor choice of shoe can leave you with knee pain, plantar fasciitis, shin splints or worse. And it’s an expensive mistake to make! Are you an over pronator (your feet roll inwards), under pronator (your feet roll outwards), or neutral runner? This will affect the style, weight, and cushioning of your perfect shoe.

Where To Buy Running Shoes

In this day and age it can seem an imposition to have to actual visit a physical shop to buy something. And yes you can buy running shoes online. But we urge you to go to a specialist shop – at least until you’ve found the holy grail of your ideal shoe. Once you know the brand and model you love, go ahead and buy it online in future. But for now, visit a running shop. The experts there will give you all the help you need. They will look at your running style, discuss your plans, and help you sift through the options. It’s their passion – they’ll be delighted to help you find your perfect shoe!

How Often Should You Buy Running Shoes?

Ageing running shoes can cause a lot of problems. Once they start losing their cushioning and support, you are open to injuries through stress and impact. So keep track of how many miles you’ve run in each pair of shoes. (A good way to do this is by noting which shoes you wore for every training run). Think about buying a new pair every 300-500 miles. Your bodyweight, the terrain, your speed, and the weather you run in will affect how long your shoes last for. Keep an eye on the sole for worn-down tread, cracking, and damage. And if you start to feel niggles and pains, it might be your shoes.

Running Shoes For A Half Marathon

If a half marathon is on the cards, you need running shoes that can support you through training and race day. For most of us, this means shoes with plenty of cushioning and support. You will put in 100s of miles in training, after all. Consider buying two pairs of your perfect shoe, in case you need to switch to a new pair a few weeks before race day. Think about socks, too (the specialist running shop will be able to help with this). Thin everyday socks won’t cut it when you’re training for a half. You need running socks that won’t rub, ruck, or fall under your heels!