If you are thinking about taking up running, you will need to invest in a decent pair of running shoes. Some people think it's fine to just grab the first pair they see on the shelf of the local sports shop but this is rarely a good idea. So what do you need to consider when buying your first pair of running shoes?
Having a quality pair of running shoes can make you feel more comfortable when you wear them as well as lower your risk of developing any injuries. Any old pair may not be suitable for the shape of your foot, causing you to fall and hurt yourself. Your weight plays a part, as does the type of running you plan on doing so you need to do your research before making a purchase.
Decide on the type of running you want to do because sprinting will need a very different shoe to long distance running.
You need to decide what surfaces you will mainly be running on. Obviously, the pavement is a much harder surface than grass so you will need a different type of padding in the shoe depending on where you're going to run. Marathon runners tend to spend more of their time on the pavement and, consequently, their feet can take quite a beating. However, if you prefer a gentle jog around the park in the mornings, you may find the grass stops your feet being so sore.
It's worth bearing in mind that just because a surface is softer, it isn't automatically kinder to your body. The softness can make you tired more quickly and it can also be quite an uneven surface, particularly in open fields. If you already have weak ankles, you may find yourself falling more so you need to consider this.
You may have done all the research into the type of surfaces you'll be running on, the distances you plan on travelling and what you want to gain out of running yet you're still unsure on a shoe. Professional or long-time runners may have give you recommendations as well and, while this can be helpful, it can also just confuse you even more. There are some brands that people just fall in love with, for no particular reason. It might be worth preparing yourself to go through several different types of running shoes before finding one that's perfect.
That's not to say that your first few pairs will be awful but you may find that one particular style or brand is just that little bit more comfortable, better on your ankles or just looks nicer and becomes a firm favorite. You often find that long-time runners have a set shoe and always come back to it so don't be surprised if you end up being the same after a while. It's always worth experimenting with different ones, as long as they are suitable for your individual running criteria and, eventually, you'll find that pair that fits like a glove.
Note: This article for The Running Outlet was produced by Lauren Sutton, who also loves to run wearing the latest footwear and carrying the latest gadgets.