There has been a good deal of debate about the value of good running shoes. The bottom line is, good shoes do matter but running mechanics matter more.


Running without injury

Ask any runner and you’re likely to get lots of advice about the best shoes for stability or whatever metric is popular at the moment. To determine the right shoe for you, head to a running specialty store and try on many different kinds. You’ll need to run in them too. Hop on the treadmill and let staff take a look at your gait. 


Making your choice

The best running shoe offers comfort and adequate cushioning. Keep these two things in mind as you try on pairs. Remember that feet swell with running so your running shoe size may be larger than your regular shoe size. Notice if there is any rubbing, pinching or tightness. If the shoe is not comfortable in the store it will be torturous on the run.


Consider a running clinic

Not even the best shoe will help you avoid injury if your mechanics are bad. Some basics tips include keeping elbows back and aiming for a soft footfall. A running coach or video can help you improve your stride thus reducing the likelihood of injury. Improving your mechanics may also help you run faster and longer.


Cross train

Add other kinds of exercise to your fitness routine to build strength and help avoid injury. For example, weak hamstrings can increase your chances of hurting your knees. Weak hips can lead to IT band pain. Yoga is excellent for opening and strengthening hips, building core and hamstring strength. You can also do single leg squats and calf raises to get your legs ready for the work of running.


Warm up

Start your run with some walking or jogging at a gentle pace. This helps your muscles loosen and prepare for the demands of running. 


Monitor miles

Change out your shoes at around 300 miles. Replace them sooner if they show excessive wear or cause discomfort.


Choosing a good running shoe matters, but that is only one part of the healthy running puzzle. How you run in the shoe also matters. Buy your shoes at a running store and consult with a coach to be sure you have the most effective running mechanics for your body type.