The Beginner's Guide to Buying the Perfect Running Shoes

The Beginner’s Guide to Buying The Perfect Running Shoes

Kar Kei Wong by Kar Kei Wong on May 9, 2016
Why you should care

The shape of your feet affect the way you run and the shoes you need! Don’t take another step before reading this.

New to running? Here are your first two secret weapons: your shoes.

Imagine heading out the door, ready to take on a new running route and resolve to get fit, only to be brought down by pain and discomfort every time your foot hits the pavement. Good running shoes are the first step to enjoying your runs.

With the wrong pair of shoes, you could be setting yourself up for failure. But before heading to the store to grab a new pair of shoes, read our handy guide.

1 The Ballerina Theory

Is your foot flat like a diving board? Do you have the graceful arch of a ballerina en pointe? Or are your feet somewhere in between? The way your feet are shaped speaks about how your body runs and absorbs the impact every time your foot hits the ground.

  • Flat feet: The fallen arches means that the feet are likely to be more flexible and the inner side of the foot bears most of the weight. We recommend motion-control or stability shoes such as the Nike Air Zoom Odyssey.
Nike Zoom Odyssey


  • Neutral feet: The whole foot probably meets the pavement each time and the impact is spread evenly. Any normal pair of running shoes should do fine.
  • High-arched feet: The most likely running style here is known as supination or underpronation. The rigid form of the foot causes the outer soles to be worn out first from taking most of the impact. Go for neutral shoes with extra cushioning such as the Nike FlyKnit Lunar 3.
Nike FlyKnit Lunar 3


The higher the arch of your foot, the more cushioning and support you will need from your shoes. Based on how much running you plan to do, you may also want to look into shoe durability.

2 Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle

Most runners opt for running shoes half a size up from their casual wear shoes. Make sure there is about a quarter to a half inch space in the toebox to wiggle your toes. Your feet can swell up or expand on hot days, and you don’t want them to get uncomfy midway through a run. Always go shoe shopping at the end of the day when your feet are at their largest, as they swell during the day.

At your heel area, go for a comfy, yet secure fit. You should be able to slip your feet out of the shoes without too much struggle, but not too easily as well.

3 Ditch the Labels

No such thing as a gender rule when it comes to sport shoes! If your foot is wider or larger, try men’s shoes instead. Better to find the perfect fit than to injure yourself!

4 Test Run, Literally

Picking Running ShoesStanding around in a prospective pair will not tell you much about the shoes. Take them for a spin around the store to get a better feel of the fit, function, and comfort. Make sure to stand on a firm surface instead of a carpeted one to feel the full impact of your body weight in those shoes.

Don’t buy a pair that’s even the lightest bit uncomfortable as any discomfort you feel then will only be amplified during your actual run.

5 Your Biggest Supporter

The perfect running shoes should follow the lines of your feet – and not the other way round! The shoe should mould itself to complement your stride and flexes. Stay away from any pair that makes you feel like your arch is cramping!

Some of the common mistakes is to shop for style instead of the best fit. Take it from us, the injuries will not be worth it! You should also never assume your size – all shoes are not made equal! Your Nike size 8 may not be the same as a New Balance size 8. Always try shoes on and take into account the different cuttings.

Replace your shoes every 300 to 400 miles and immediately if you start experiencing discomfort in your joints and muscles after a run!

Why you should care

The shape of your feet affect the way you run and the shoes you need! Don’t take another step before reading this.

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