Oh, the closet floor. I try and stay on top of racking my shoes after each wear, but most days they just get tossed onto the bottom rack. Let’s all be kinder to our shoes people! They are one of the most important tools a runner needs. And you KNOW what happens when you run in bad shoes, blisters, plantar fasciitis, bunions,… I could go on. So let’s talk shoe tips:
#1- Have a dedicated pair for your long runs. This will be the pair of shoes you wear for the race itself. If you buy new shoes for a race, get them broken in well before race day. No new shoes on race day (no new anything... but that'll be a post for another day)
#2- Rotate shoes during your training. Have at least two dedicated running shoes. Rotating shoes helps reduce injuries to your foot and lower limb by varying the impact. I switch between my Pink and Purple/Green shoes for running.
#3 - Have a dedicated shoe for different activities. Cross training shoe, weight lifting shoe, Zumba/dance shoe, walking/hiking shoe…. Whatever your activities are, having a shoe designed to support that activity is a good idea. When you do buy a new shoe, test it out on a treadmill if you can (it’ll keep the tread clean). If you like them , start off with short runs only. You don’t want to do a long run in a new pair of shoes!
#4 - Don’t just buy a shoe for looks. This is a tough one for me. I love shopping and I love having the newest designs and colors. But sometimes, the best shoe that feels right is the cheesy 90s shiny silver and blue looking kind my dad wears. (Sorry dad/ Sorry Asics ). Respect your feet and keep trying on shoes until you find your best fit and function. You can always check color options on-line….
#5 - Wear heels less. (For the ladies or very adventurous man) In my normal everyday life, I work from home. So this is much easier for me to accomplish than when I worked in an office. It wasn’t just any office, it was a fashionable office and dressing was fun, especially when heels were involved! Give your feet a break whenever you can and wear roomy comfortable flats at least 4 days out of the week. Or save the heels for lookin’ awesome walking from the copy machine to your cubicle… then promptly change into your flats under your desk.
That being said,
#6 – Avoid the cheap flip-flops. During the summer (or any month… if you live in California) flip flops dominate the streets. I am guilty of wearing sandals that have ZERO arch support. Do yourself and your feet a favor and avoid cheap flip-flops (I'm talking to YOU Old Navy wearer) Save the cheap-Os for gym showers or the beach/pool. They offer no arch support and will cause your feet to just ache.
#7 – Keep your toe nails trimmed. This is a big one for me. I was worried about toe nails falling off when I first started getting to distances above 10 miles. I could feel my feet getting numb in the toe box. Then I realized my toe nails were the culprit!! I trimmed them waaaay back and I don’t have those issues. Any excuse to get bi weekly pedicure is A-OK with me!
#8 – Keep your shoes clean. Ok, this may not have anything to do with running success, but if you want that “new shoe” feel every time you look at your running shoes, this is a must. As soon as you get a new pair, spray the ever living crap out of them with a shoe protector spray. (~$7 at any shoe store). Let them sit outside as they dry, so you don’t OD on fumes. Wash your shoes if they get wet or muddy. I like to pop my sneakers into a pillow case, safety pin the top, and wash on gentle cold cycle. Then air dry. Repeat the spray step one again. Your shoes will always look new. J
#9 – Track your shoe use. MapMyRun just got this function and I think it’s pretty neat. After you log a run you can click a feature called "Gear tracker" and enter which shoe you wore. It will let you know when it's time afor a new one! If you are already tracking your runs, just make a note of what shoes you are wearing. A good quality shoe should have mileage of about 350-400 miles. Check the manufacturer’s warranty for mileage guarantees. Once they’ve hit their end point it’s time to send them to the donation bin or some running stores accept shoes as trade ins for discounts!
#10 – Don’t buy cheap shoes! Along the lines for don’t buy shoes just for aesthetics, don’t be lured into a shoe just because it’s $30. Or on super super sale. There may be a good reason the shoe is on sale. I love me a bargain, and I never pay full price for a shoe (Thanks Naval Exchange!), but be realistic. If you are going to be putting miles or hours into your workouts, a Target brand shoe may not be the best option. Think of a shoe investment as skipping a Friday night out for drinks and apps. That can easily run $100! If it’s important to you, save your pennies and get a good pair.
There you have it, folks! My top 10 running shoe tips! Do you agree with my list? Have other tips to share?
Black: Nike Flyknit Lunar 2 , used for running and general wearing about town, lookin' cool.
Pink: Nike Lunarglide 6, my newest addition to the running family. To be used for short and long runs.
Purple/Green: Asics Gel-Kinsei 4, my first half marathon long run shoe. I freakin’ love this shoe!
Maroon/pink: Ascis Speva, used for cross training, weight lifting, and kickboxing.
(not pictured) Yellow: Ascis GEL-Ipera, (discontinued) Zumba/dance shoe.