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How to buy running shoes: Tips to treat your feet well


Go wider

"Shoe width is also important," says Tim. "The best way to work out which fit is best for you is to try on a range of shoes, this way you can work out what feels right. Having a shoe that is too narrow for you can end up not only giving you blisters but also stop you striking the ground naturally, potentially resulting in more serious injuries."

Shop at the end of the day

Feet swell during the day, so the shoes you buy in the morning can start to feel tighter as the day goes on.

They also swell during a run, so try on running shoes when your feet are at their largest to give you the most comfortable fit.

Take your old shoes

"Take your old trainers," advises Nick. The shop assistant can look at the way your old shoe is worn to confirm your running patterns and what part of your foot generally strikes the floor first.

Get measured

Feet tend to change as we age and as adults we rarely have our feet measured because we just assume we know our size.

"Your shoes should be supportive but not tight with a little room at the front," says Tim, and "take your usual pair of running socks with you. It just gives you a more accurate gauge of comfort when trying the shoe on."

Different brands will come up in different sizes too, so be flexible on size.

Shoes that are too small can cause problems from black toenails, blisters, stress fractures and shin splints, so it’s vital that you get it right.

Dress the part

"As well as wearing your normal running socks, take special shoe inserts or orthotics if you wear them," says Nick "and take your time."

Try on several brand options and don’t be afraid to go for a jog around the store.

Forget fashion

Be careful about buying a shoe for its looks and don’t pick a shoe off the display because you like the colour.

"Fashionable, funky looking shoes are great, however, picking a running shoe because it looks cool, rather than because it suits your biomechanics and running style could lead to injury," Tim says.

Runners should select a shoe by first looking at the way they run, speaking with an advisor who can do gait analysis and giving the shoes a test run. Just like you wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a spin, the same goes for running shoes.

Try before you buy

Try and buy from a store with a lenient returns policy. Many shops these days will allow you to bring back any trainers bought in store within 30 days of purchase – even if they’ve been used outdoors, but you usually need to have used their gait-analysis service, to show that you have done everything possible to find the right shoe.

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