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How To Choose The Right Running Shoe

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Choosing the right running shoe isn't simply a matter of picking the one you like the look of. How often you intend to run, your running style, weight, typical running surface and your individual level of pronation can all affect your choice of running shoe.
What you'll need: 
Internet connection
Specialist shoe shop
Good quality socks
Choosing a running shoe is an entirely individual process. No one shoe can be 'prescribed' to all runners. Start by ascertaining what it is you want from your running shoe. Determine your likely mileage, whether you intend to run on the road or primarily cross-country, your current weight, how much running you've done in the past and your specific gait and pronation (this can be done with professional assistance).
Once you have a rough idea of the shoe type you're looking for, do some preliminary investigation of individual brands online.
Visiting a specialist running shop and asking the staff for personal assistance is often helpful when choosing your ideal shoe. Many running shops have treadmills with which to roughly determine your gait and level of pronation. This can help to inform your choice of shoe.
Runner's World advocates the 'wet test' as a method of determining the level of support and stability you are likely to require from your running shoe. To perform the wet test, wet one foot, shake off any excess water and then place your foot on a dry floor or piece of kitchen roll. Repeat for the other foot.
The wet test can help to identify three basic foot types, namely the normal, flat and high-arched foot. 'Normal' feet show a flared front joined to the heel by a broad band. Flat feet will appear as a full footprint and imply a low arch. The other extreme from the normal foot is the high-arch which will show little or no connection between fore and hind foot.
The normal foot requires little support, the flat foot necessitates a high-stability shoe while the high-arch requires a flexible, cushioned sole.
'Pronation' is the amount of natural roll from heel to toe when your foot comes into contact with the ground. This is individual and is central to your shoe choice.
Overpronation (excess roll from outside to inside of the foot) requires stable, motion-control shoes while underpronation (excess rolling from inside to outside of the foot) requires a cushioned running shoe. The neutral or normal foot requires a stability shoe.
Size is a vital consideration in shoe choice. Check that the shoe is large enough not only in terms of length but also in width. Overly large shoes will cause sliding in the shoe and will result in blisters and bruised toes.
Choosing the right running shoe can be the difference between injury and long-term enjoyment; take the time to research both your shoe and your individual needs.
Determine your gait and style of pronation as soon as possible. Get professional assistance if needed.
Staff at specialist running stores can be very useful resources but keep in mind that they are also there to sell a product.
Try to take each shoe for a 'test-run' on a treadmill if possible.
Only purchase a shoe if you are able to get the correct size.


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