Whether you’re just getting into distance running or are a veteran marathon runner, the hunt for the perfect running shoe is a common dilemma.

There is a lengthy list of factors to take into consideration when looking for your perfect shoe including: weight, price, durability, your running biomechanics, support, running terrain, and even the appearance of the shoe.

With all of these factors and more in play it is important to ask yourself these questions before you head to the store shell out your hard-earned cash:

Where do you run?

If you spend most of your time running on trails you may opt for a trail running shoe with a bit more traction and support for navigating rough terrain comfortably. If you spend most of your time training on pavement or a treadmill you should opt for road-running shoes that weigh in a bit lighter and offer more flexibility


Do you have a normal arch, high arch, or a flat arch?

Runners with normal arch will find comfort with a neutral shoe. If you have a high arch you may benefit from a neutral shoe with additional cushioning and flexibility. Lastly, those with a low arch or flat foot should opt for a shoe with increased medial support with a stiffer sole for support, commonly known as motion control or stability shoes.

When do you run?

If you often run at night you may want a shoe with some reflective material for added visibility.

Now that you have a good idea of what you’re looking for its time to head to your local running shoe store. Be sure to bring the shoes you currently run in, your running socks, any orthotic you may wear, and wear clothing you can run in.

The wear and tear of your current shoes can give your salesperson insight into your foot alignment and gait style and bringing the socks and orthotics you normally use will allow you to be sure you have a good fit. The next step is to try on some shoes! Find a pair that match your needs and take advantage of the treadmill your store may have or run around the store for a little. While you may have selected the recommended fit and style make sure that your feet are comfortable!

You can have the correct shoe for you running gait and biomechanics but if you’re not comfortable those are not the shoes for you. After you’ve found the pair of shoes that are perfect for your feet be sure to price shop online to see if you can find any better deals to save yourself some money.

Lastly, now that you have your new shoes be sure to wear them for at least a week prior to racing in them to allow them to accommodate to your foot’s unique shape and running style.

If you experience a training injury or have an ongoing issue limiting your training, please contact the Excelsior STRIDES Team. To learn more about Excelsior and our STRIDES program, click here.
You may also contact us via phone at 716-250-6539. Be sure to let our Patient Contact Specialist know that you’re registered for the Buffalo Marathon and we will get you in to see a member of our STRIDES program ASAP.