Certainly, shopping and buying online only can leave you disappointed with what turns up in the post.
Your best bet is to head to a specialist running shop, where they will understand your individual needs and stock more choice, giving you a greater chance of finding the perfect shoe. The biggest plus though, is that you can try them on, run in them and work out what suits you best.
Part of this process in the shop could be a brief assessment or gait analysis, where the staff member will either look at your feet as you walk or while you run on a treadmill.
At this point they will be on the look-out for pronation, and whether you over-pronate, which means your foot rolls in a little too much as it hits the floor. For some over-pronators, a shoe that offers sufficient support to correct this is a big help.
But whatever recommendation you’re given in-store, it is wise to try on plenty of pairs and to trust how you feel in the shoe just as much as the information given to you by the sales assistant.
There will be three basic choices of shoe style: minimal, neutral and support. Minimal trainers have the least cushioning, neutral trainers have some support and cushioning and support shoes will have lots of support and cushioning; which may well be better for you if you over-pronate.
Once you’re settled on a style and are trying on plenty of pairs, one of the key things to remember – and that a good shop staff member will advise – is that going up half a size is advisable, because your feet swell when you run, and you will need that extra room. If you have especially wide feet, it’s also worth asking if the shoes you like come in a wider fit.
If you’re unsure how one pair feels compared to another, it is also a good idea to put one of each on and that should give you a good idea as to which is the most comfortable.
Don’t be afraid to walk out without buying if you’re unsure that you’ve nailed the perfect pair for you. There will be another shop where the right shoes for you could be waiting.