What To Look For In A Pair Of Running Shoes
By Mekita Rivas, VIDA editor/member
Summer is finally here! And that means we’re starting to take some of our workouts outside. Whether you’re cycling around the District, attending an outdoors VIDA Bootcamp, or going for a run, exercising with the sun on your back just feels so good. But before you hit the pavement, you might want to reassess your running shoe situation. Jeff Horowitz, a personal trainer at VIDA Fitness U Street, is here to break down everything you should consider.
What are the common mistakes people make when selecting and purchasing running shoes?
People often choose shoes based on price and style instead of its function, and that’s a mistake. Different shoes are engineered for different types of runners. You want to make sure the shoe you pick is right for you. The best way to get a pair of shoes is to go to an established running store and talking to one of their salespeople. They’ll guide you through the right options to consider.
Which factors are important to think about?
Your injury history, weekly mileage, and anything you know about your footstrike. Have you had plantar fasciitis in the past? Do you plan to train for a marathon? Do you have flat feet? All of that would be important information for a salesperson to know so that they can help steer you to the right shoe. Bring in the shoes you’ve been using to show the salesperson — a lot can be learned from the wear patterns on your old shoes.
How does having the right pair of shoes affect your running game?
I like to say that you’ll never notice the right pair of shoes, but you’ll be painfully aware of the wrong ones. Shoe technology and theory has changed a lot over the years — from bulky shoes, to minimalist and maximalist shoes, to the current trend of “energy-return” shoes. But the constant is that a good pair of running shoes should help support you if necessary, cushion you where required, and otherwise go unnoticed.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into running but has no idea where to start?
Try on a bunch of different pairs by different manufacturers. The best advice is to choose a pair that feels comfortable to you. And remember that shoes can help your running to some degree, but there’s no substitute for working on improving core strength and running form. More than anything, your training is what will keep you injury-free.
Want to get into running? Email Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org for some one on one help getting started!