A lazy person’s guide to finding the ideal running shoes

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So, you’re a lazy person who wants to get into running, but you tried to get started and found that your flip-flops aren’t quite cutting it. You need to invest in some decent shoes to get you started that perhaps don’t break the bank. However, being the lazy person that you are you don’t want endless shop visits to try and find these perfect pair of shoes and would prefer some online advice to help make that shopping experience a little faster and easier. Well, then you’ve come to the right place because I’m hoping to help you get more active by at least ensuring your footwear is not the excuse for that sedentary lifestyle of yours.

Also, take comfort in the fact that I’m not going to try and sell you any specific brand of shoes. I’m trying to be as neutral as possible and hopefully leave you informed enough to make a decision on what brand will work best for you. That being said, if there is any shoe company out there that feels the need to send some money this way, then I will happily change my mind and approach in the future.

The first trick with any sort of shoe shopping is knowing that not all feet are alike and so just going for a brand and size doesn’t mean it will work for you. This explains why women spend so much time shopping for shoes and why men would rather just stick to flip flops because it avoids all this complexity. However, I said all this to unfortunately tell you that if you, like me, hate shopping, then you might struggle with buying decent running shoes. Being informed and knowing what to look for though certainly helps to speed up the journey and I’m hoping the following tips will help you to pick up that new pair of running shoes a lot faster.

Don’t buy based on looks alone

I want to start with a few don’ts though before I give you the details of what to look for in a shoe. Don’t buy a shoe because it looks cool. The sad reality is shoe companies know most people buy shoes for their looks which is why running shoes come in a variety of bizarre styles and colours. Little of this matters and what you need to be interested in is comfort and support. Fancy looking shoes might make you feel better when you start, but I guarantee you after a few decent runs the last thing you’ll want is a pair of shoes that look cool.

Be careful with what you think is your shoe size

The second don’t is to buy according to your typical shoe size. Different manufacturers tend to offer different cushioning styles in their shoes which means the same size will likely feel different across brands. A pro-tip is that when trying on any shoe to go for your current shoe size plus one up. The reason for this is your foot will move around a lot more when running than your average shoe and a slightly bigger size often provides a higher level of comfort. Some people make the mistake of going for a tight-fitting shoe to prevent this movement, but it will only cause blisters in the long run. Your feet actually need some movement to stretch for a comfortable running experience.

Understand the type of foot you have

Like I said earlier, not all feet are the same and the type of foot you have significantly affects the way you run. This is why you need to get a shoe that will meet your running style. There is a lot to write about on this, but because I’m lazy and there are people better qualified to do this, I would rather just redirect you to this link for the information you need to know about your foot type and the shoe you will likely need. One thing I would advise though is that if at all possible, you find a specialist running shop and perhaps get a short 10-minute assessment that will help in identifying the shoe you need as well. It’s an extra 10 minutes out of your game and TV time, but 10 minutes well worth it.

Understand what to look for in a shoe

Salespeople are going to spew a whole lot of jargon at you about what is needed in a decent running shoe. Most of it is nonsense and often only directing you towards the most expensive shoe anyway. The following article from Runner’s World tells you the simple things to look out for so that you can make your own informed decision without needed to have too much of a social interaction with the salesperson.

Get the shoe that you need, not the shoe that you want

Inevitably, the price will always come into the equation and when you are just starting out, there is no point in going for the best and most expensive shoe you can find. Rather go for the cheapest shoe that is right for you and only upgrade as your mileage increases. After all, there is no point wearing the same shoes as Wayde van Niekerk if you can’t run like him too. (P.S. Stop day-dreaming – you probably never will.)

Some of this information I’ve provided might seem a little overkill and take too long to read through, but nothing makes a shopping experience more efficient that the knowledge of knowing what you are looking for. Hopefully finding a pair of shoes might just make that running experience a little better for you and get you running more. Or at the very least, increase those comfort levels when running between the couch and the fridge.

Last Updated: July 19, 2018

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