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Finding the right pair of men's running shoes can make all the difference, whether you're heading out on your your morning jog or training for a marathon. Choosing the right pair involves more than just picking out the best looking ones, however. You'll want to find the right pair of shoes for your feet, running style, and type of running you'll be doing.
Foot type: There are three main types of feet: flat, neutral, and high-arched. The type of foot you have has significant bearing on the type of athletic shoes you need. You can easily find out what type of foot you have by stepping on a piece of paper with a wet foot. Look at your wet footprint. If it is solid from toe to heel, you are flat-footed. If the footprint only shows the outer edge of the middle portion of your foot, you have a high arch. You have a neutral arch if your footprint is halfway between the other two.
Running style: Pronation and supination are normal components of movement in the feet but can be problematic when excessive. Pronation happens when the foot rolls inward to absorb shock, and supination happens when the foot rolls outward to propel you forward. Most people either overpronate or oversupinate on their feet while running. In general, flat-footed runners overpronate and runners with high arches oversupinate, while neutral arches can do either. If you overpronate, look for running shoes with motion control to maintain stability; these shoes will have a sole that compresses less on the inside of the arch to keep the foot from rolling inward. If you oversupinate, you'll want shoes with a flexible midsole to absorb shock and heavy cushioning to support your arch.
Sizing: You'll want your running shoes to be one-half to one size larger than your street shoes because feet tend to swell during exercise. You should have a thumb's width of space between the tip of your big toe and the tip of your running shoe. If you use insoles while running, you'll want to go up a size to accommodate them.
Type of running: If you are doing light running or short-distance running, you may want to look for flexible, lightweight athletic shoes. In contrast, if you run long distances or run frequently, you'll want a pair of running shoes that are stiffer and offer more support.
The most important part of buying running shoes is making sure they are comfortable on your feet. Before running outside, wear your new shoes around the house for a few hours to make sure they are comfortable on your feet for extended periods of time.
Even the best pair of running shoes will eventually need to be replaced. Replace your shoes every 400 to 500 miles or when the soles begin to show serious wear.
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