Mistakes When Purchasing Running Shoes

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting out, we can all make mistakes when buying trainers or specialist running shoes. This is partly because there are so many different types and brands out there, many of which claim to be the best and help improve your performance and ability on the track. However, to equip with the right knowledge, we’ve outlined 8 mistakes to avoid when purchasing running shoes for men and running shoes for women, to ensure you have all bases covered and can get back to reaching that personal best.

running shoes

Mistake No. 1 – Not Knowing Your Exact Shoe Size

You might feel confident that you’ve been a size ten your whole life, but don’t just assume this is going to be the right fit for your running shoes. Even if your trainers are just a tiny bit too small or a smidgen too large, this can affect your running performance dramatically, leading to swollen toes, shin splints, and the much-feared blisters. Go into a specialist sports store and speak to a professional. They can remeasure your feet and ensure you’re buying the right fit for you. It’s often said that the shoe size you are normally is not the shoe size you require for a running trainer.

Mistake No. 2 – Buying Street Trainers As Running Shoes

If you’re a more accomplished runner, you might be laughing, but those of us who could be starting out, might not even realize that your old pair of basketball shoes, regular walking shoes, gym trainers or Crossfit shoes, just aren’t sufficient enough for pounding those pavements. Try not to be lulled in by cheaper prices and pretty designs; street trainers are not effective enough to provide you with the right support – and will wear out quickly too. Street trainers and regular shoes don’t have that additional cushioning or comfort that you’ll find in a high-quality running trainer.

runner on the trail

Mistake No. 3 – Walking Into Your Regular Shoe Shop, Instead Of Going To A Specialist Store

Yes, regular shoe shops do stock running trainers, but with a limited range and limited knowledge from the store staff. Make sure you shop around and look at a range of stores and stockists, as well as brands. Don’t be afraid to ask either; this is an important decision and if you’re hoping to run faster, longer and overall take your running seriously, you need to take your footwear seriously too. The store assistants should be more than happy to help and will more than likely be passionate about the right type of running trainer for your needs.

Mistake No. 4 – Paying An Extortionate Amount Of Money

High cost does not always mean high quality and it’s important to remember this when purchasing running shoes. We would recommend you don’t skimp on cost, however, but you also don’t need to be spending hundreds and hundreds of pounds for the latest design and top brand. Choose the type of running shoe that’s right for you and not necessarily for the masses. You might be shocked to find that the perfect pair of trainers for your running needs isn’t a high end brand and doesn’t come with the high end price tag either. So it’s a win for your wallet and your feet!

nike running shoes

Mistake No. 5 – Disregarding Your Foot Arch Type And Running Type

It’s extremely important to know what type of foot arch you have when purchasing running trainers. This is because you may have more natural cushioning and absorption if you have low or normal arches, whereas the higher the arch you have, the more likely you are to need more cushioning, additional insoles and support in those trainers. Also, think about what type of running you do or are hoping to do. Many seasoned runners have several pairs of running trainers, some for marathons, some for sprints, and some for a gentle jog around the park. Knowing your abilities is vital for purchasing the right type of training and ensuring that you don’t cause yourself any unnecessary injuries.

Mistake No. 6 – Buying The Most Popular Shoe To Look ‘Cool’

This also relates back to mistake number 4, paying too much money for the latest type. Just because all your running friends have this pair or all the running magazines are raving about the latest technology that the shoe encompasses, does not mean this is the right pair of running shoes for you. If the perfect type of running trainer for you is big and ugly and bright lime green (we hope not), then you need to ensure you buy them, your running performance will be greatly improved – although your street cred might not be. We know that color and style is important to our runners, but at the end of the day, the most functional trainers should be the ones your purchase, although that can be difficult to stomach sometimes.

blue running shoes

Mistake No. 7 – Only Reading Reviews And Ordering Online

This is probably one of the biggest mistakes to make. Of course, do your research and check out reviews to see what other runners think, but do not order online, without going into a store and trying the trainer on first. You need to know how they fit and feel before you make that all important purchase, so it can be a risky move to simply trust your instincts. Also, it’s important to remember that even if a pair of running shoes has some great reviews, those reviews are personal opinions and might not necessarily apply to your feet.

Mistake No. 8 – Shopping At The Wrong Time Of Day

Your feet can actually change size throughout the day, which is surprising, but a fact. In the morning, you’ll find that your feet are a lot cooler and haven’t been walking, so they’ll probably be the smallest they’ll be for the rest of the day. Trying trainers on at this stage is not advisable because, as you run, your feet swell and become larger. Your running shoes need to accommodate that, so maybe try them on after 4pm – a top tip for new runners.