Importance of good running shoes

Importance of good running shoes

Brooks Shoe running on road

There are a lot of benefits to a good (and properly fitting) running shoe

There are a lot of myths and falsehoods out there about running shoes. And given that they can be a substantial investment, it’s important to educate yourself a little. First things first, regardless of what you call them (sneakers, tennis shoes, athletic shoes, running shoes), these shoes are not created equal. There’s a reason (actually there are a lot of reasons) we recommend you invest in a good pair of shoes, but what it comes down to is that you’ll run farther, faster and in little to no pain when you’re in the right pair of shoes. Obviously there’s always muscle fatigue, especially when you start to really up your mileage, but for the most part you should be able to run pain-free. That’s our goal for you and it starts with your shoes.

retail shoe wall

4 myths about running shoes we want you to forget

Myth #1: What works for your best friend will also work for you

Runners who have found a shoe that works for them are often devoted fans of that shoe. If you have any of these people as your friends, I’m sure they’ve waxed poetic on the virtues of their shoe above all others. They’ll probably try to convince you that their shoe or their brand of shoe is the right one for you. The thing is, we all have vastly different things going on with the shape and function of our feet, not to mention our gaits when running. Different body types in general will also change what type of shoe you should be in. The best way to figure out the right shoe for you is to come into your local Gazelle Sports for a FREE shoe fitting. We’ll take a look at your feet and gait, talk through your activities and goals and find a shoe that will be perfect for you. You’ll walk away with something that great for your feet, and the awesome thing is that we’ll guarantee it. If you take that shoe home and have any issues after putting some mileage on them, we encourage you to bring them back so we can make it right.

Myth #2: That Nordstrom Rack (or other discount) shoe will work just fine for distance running

There’s a reason that you’ll pay more for a quality running shoe, and it’s not just good marketing. The technologies that go into premium running shoes are not the same ones you’ll find in the bargain shoes. From the cushioning material, to the shoe last (which affects the overall shape and fit of the shoe) to the upper and sock liner, there’s a whole lot that goes into the shoes you’ll lace up run after run. The best technologies start at the top and slowly trickle down, so to ensure you have something that will be amazing for your feet, you have to invest a little more money. But I can guarantee you that it’s worth it for distance running.

Myth #3: What worked for you five (or ten or even two) years ago is still good for you

Reference runner from Myth #1 with the fervent dedication to their perfect shoe. Sometimes the shoe you started in and loved will continue to work for you. But there are a lot of variables that will be constantly changing that might make a different shoe or shoes even better options. Changes in your weight, the distance you’re running, what cross-training you’re doing and even just that thing none of us can escape called aging can drastically change what shoe might work best for you. For that reason, it’s a good idea to come see us and have us re-evaluate you every so often. Did we mention our shoe fittings are free? And come with our Moving Matters Guarantee?

Myth #4: Monogamy is a virtue

Those runners who are wholly dedicated to a single shoe are often doing themselves a disservice for another reason - pounding the pavement in the same shoe time after time isn’t necessarily the right thing to be doing for your body. Changing between shoes for different types of runs (long runs versus speed workouts or fartleks) can actually be really beneficial. When you change your shoe, the way your feet and body interact with the pavement changes, even if you’re switching between two different high-cushion shoes. This will provide some variation and give your joints and muscles a break that can help reduce injury and issues from overwork. The change can be just enough to keep you going the distance!

With running, there’s a surprising amount of information and gear involved for such a simple sport. It can definitely be intimidating, but we’re here to help! We welcome first timers who are just getting started to those looking to PR on their next big race. We’ve got trained staff who are excited to help you on your running journey!

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