Q: I want to start running. How do I choose a shoe that's right for me?
Maureen Hagan's answer:
Finding the shoe that's right for you will depend entirely on the shape of your foot, your biomechanics (the way you run) and the distance you run. Experiment with different brands and models until you find the shoe that best fits your foot. But first, consider the following.
• Buy shoes made for running. They're designed to provide traction on different surfaces, absorb impact shock up to 2.5 times your body weight and provide cushioning in both your heels and forefoot.
• Find out what type of arches you have – flat, high or neutral (neither flat nor high). You can do this by talking to a knowledgeable salesperson in a running store or, if you prefer, you can go online to www.coolrunning.com and read the "running shoe guide for dummies." If you have flat feet, you are likely a "pronator," which means your foot or ankle rolls in; if your arch is really high, your foot likely rolls to the outside, or "supinates." If your arch is neutral, you will have fewer problems and a wider selection of shoes to choose from. The salesperson can recommend the proper shoe based on your assessment.
• Take your old shoes, so staff can tell how your foot moves by seeing where the shoe is worn down.
• Be sure your shoe provides the proper flexibility, stability and motion control, midsole cushioning, breathability and, if you run at night, reflectivity.
Running can be a fun and effective way to get into shape, burn calories, and manage weight and stress. Be sure to invest in your feet to keep you safe and ensure your success!
• How to start your own walking or running regimen
• Tips on optimal running form
• The basics: Walking, running and cycling
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