There is only one thing that will have the biggest impact on your running. It’s not nutrition, weather, workouts, or gear. It’s shoes.

Most people strive for two keywords when it comes to their footwear: cushioning and lightweight. While cushioning is indeed important and having a lightweight shoe is nice, just about every running shoe on the market has these characteristics. What actually differentiates proper running shoes from improper running shoes for your feet is how well the shoe compensates for your biomechanical inefficiencies. 

Running shoe manufacturers build a lineup of differently structured shoes that enable many different types of runners with varying foot mechanics to all run with an efficient, neutral gait. This, in turn, allows for a more even compression of the shoes’ cushioning, which leaves everything about the runner’s feet, knees, hips, back, etc. less susceptible to injury. 

A local specialty running store is the best place to get a shoe that matches your needs. Getting fit for running shoes is an easy process that should begin with a conversation about your goals as a runner, where you’re starting from, and your injury history. The store associate should then observe you walk and run to understand your pronation and biomechanics. They can then recommend different brands and models that match your style of movement. The fun part is taking them for a spin to see which feels most comfortable and supportive.

Most running shoes follow the idea that “you get what you pay for.” The average range for specialty running shoes is $130–$160. They typically provide enough cushioning and durability to last around 300–500 miles. The right shoe is worth it and can make all the difference in your performance.

See Your Feet the Way We Do

Fleet Feet now offers fit ID, a 3-D scanning technology that provides a full scan of your feet in five seconds, measuring everything that matters.

Do you have questions about finding the right fit for your feet? Stop in and talk to anyone on our staff. We’ll be happy to help!

Rachel Randall is the go-to girl for all marketing, media, and events at Fleet Feet Sports. She has run more marathons that she can count, including the 2017 NYC marathon in November.