Over the years I’ve seen runners show up at their first workout with every type of shoe on their feet. Tennis shoes, boating shoes, and plain old Keds. One woman even showed up with a pair of city shoes with heels. And she ran in them too! Most beginners open their closet and pull out any pair that they deem fit for sports, a sort of a multi-tasking mule. The same pair gets used for activities ranging from gardening to a walk around the block. I'm not here to tell you which running shoe to buy. There are currently 132 companies worldwide that manufacture running shoes, you can only imagine how different many types and models you can choose from. Besides, we’re all a little like Cinderella, we’ll only know which shoe is right for us once we slip it on our feet. In any case, here’s a few tips to help you sort through them.

- Purchase your running shoes from a store that sells mostly running shoes. They always have an expert on hand to help you out and whose one and only job is to hook you up with the right running shoe. Finding them is easy, Just go online and search: Running Store - Your City. Easy!
- Bring along the shoes that you’re currently using for running. That way the salesperson will have an idea what kind of shoes you’re used to running in and the wear and tear they have on them.
- Make your first purchase a neutral shoe. Your foot, for better or for worse, has its own way of landing and pushing off the ground when you run and walk. Trying to correct any pronation or supination could eventually cause damage. If you run in a neutral shoe you’ll allow your foot to move they way it’s used to.

Once you have your new running shoes start recording their mileage. Think of them as car tires; sooner or later they’ll need to be replaced. To keep track of how many miles you run use an app like Shoedometer or simply write it down on paper. The duration of a shoe depends on a lot of factors (your running style, the terrain you run on, the material it’s made from) but we can estimate the natural life of a running shoe to go from 600 to 1000 km or 400 to 600 miles. When they’re ready for retirement you can use them to wear around the house or donate them to a project like Soles3Souls.

Next week: Your feet!

Julia Jones is online at www.upandrunningonline.org
Questions? Write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.