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Video:How to Choose Running Shoes

with Jonathon E. Stewart

There's no better way to protect your body from injury while running than to choose the best shoe for you. Learn how to choose running shoes that will work for you.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Choose Running Shoes

Running is a fantastic way to stay in great muscular and cardiovascular shape. And, while there are certain modest risks to your joints and connective tissue in your legs and feet, choosing the right pair of running shoes––combined with regular stretching and a sensible workout routine––will keep those dogs moving for decades to come.

Running Shoes Are Specific

There are about a million different varieties out there, but know one thing for sure: not all shoes are created equal. Real running shoes are designed to absorb the shock of over double your body weight, which is essential in protecting your knees, hips, and ankles.

Not to mention, real running shoes feel awesome on your feet. So much so that you just might find yourself looking forward to your next run, with those sweet, sweet cushiony fast shoes strapped to your leopard-like feet.

Examine Your Arches

Start by taking a good look at your arches. Do you have room to slide a greater metropolitan area telephone book underneath them, or would their flatness disqualify you from joining the army? High arches are more susceptible to "supinate," a fancy terms for the rolling of the foot towards the outside when you run––likewise, flat feet are more likely to "pronate," or roll towards the inside.

You might actually need someone else to do this for you––bending over to look at your own arches sort of defeats the point. And, if your feet look anything like my feet, you should probably recruit someone for the job who really, really loves you unconditionally. And, babies don't count. Unless, they're a good judge of arches.

Try On Running Shoes

Next, armed with your initial assessment about pronation or supination, your best bet is to head to an actual store to try on some shoes. Finding a shoe that fits your feet and your running style is absolutely essential, and stores that cater to runners are generally staffed with people who can help you out with this. Try on as many pairs as you need, and take a spin around the store at an actual jogging pace to see how they feel when you're in motion.

Ask for Help if You Need it

Good running store staffers are worth their weight in gold here, and the best ones will be great at helping point you to the right shoe. But if you're on your own, look for a shoe with great mid-sole support, and one that allows your foot to strike from heel to toe evenly as you run.

When to Replace Running Shoes

Be sure to replace your shoes every 300-400 miles, closer to 300 if you're on the road and closer to 400 if most of your time is on a treadmill. You might also consider rotating in a new pair about halfway through the life of the previous pair, so you're never running exclusively on brand new or worn out shoes.

And resist the urge to run on them until the tread is gone––that essential midsole is far likely to fail well before that happens. Don't get me wrong, you can still impress your many fans by wearing old running shoes to the grocery store or dinner or church or whatnot, just be sure to save the good ones for your runs.

I'm Jonathon Stewart with About.com.
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