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Picking the Right Pair of Running Shoes

It is very important that the footwear be appropriate for the activity that is planned. For example, you don't want to wear a basketball sneaker for a 10K run. The biomechanics of each of these events are different, and therefore have different needs from the shoe gear.

You should replace your shoes every 300 - 400 miles. A great way to remember to do this is to write the date that you bought the shoes on the inside sole with a permanent marker. So, if you run about 15 miles a week, you would need to replace your shoes in about 5 months. You also want to look over your shoes every so often. Look for excessive wear on the outsole, wrinkly cushion on the midsole, or collapsing or tearing in the upper. If any of these exist, it is time for a new pair.

When shopping for a new pair, there are a couple of tips that will help you pick out the best pair for the activity that you participate in. Shop in the evening, since your feet swell about half a shoe size when you run, you will want to try on shoes after being on your feet all day. A good fit means that your longest toe is about a thumb's length from the end of the shoe and you can wiggle your toes without feeling cramped. Also, jog slowly around the store and make sure that your heel doesn't move around or slip out of the shoe. Lastly, balance on one foot. If the shoe is too narrow for your foot, you will be able to tell because the ball of your foot will jut out over the sides.

If you are shopping for cross trainers, you will want a little snugger fit than the running shoes. Cross trainers are made for side to side movement and quick starts and stops, that means they should be very true to size without as much toe space but not overly snug. An easy way to test the fit of the cross trainers is to jab your forefeet into the floor a couple of times and do some lunges. Your toes shouldn't crush into the shoe and your heel should stay in place.