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When you’re a runner, your number one most important piece of gear is your sneakers. Once broken in, they become the beloved shoes that embrace the road, weather cool rain, and take whatever you dish out during your runs. They go with you to the gym, get packed in your bag during travels, and sit by your door waiting for you to grab them to go run.

Yes, to a runner, our sneaks are precious. The longer we keep them around, the harder it is to part with them, even when the padding inside becomes worn, the soles thin out and holes begin to appear on the shoe itself.

That’s why I felt a little saddened when I had to part with my last pair as recommended by my physical therapist. I had run way too many miles on the duo and she felt there are sneakers with better support out there for runners. She scribed down a couple brands and models, and off at went to the running story.

Wearing the right footwear is very important when exercising or playing a sport. Cleats for most field sports, boots for riding horses, barefoot for surfing and sneakers for running. When you wear the right shoe, you will be able to work out and play longer, lessen your chance of an injury and decrease how sore you might feel after finishing. The proper shoes give you the support you back needs, wriggle room for your toes, and ventilation for your feet to breathe. Below are some additional tips when buying sneakers to run in.

1.       Before entering the running store, know your arch support and pronation, the motion of how your foot rolls during your stride. This is critical for correct shock absorption and forward propulsion.

2.     Bring your old sneakers with you! The salesperson will know a lot from how you wore your last pair. Also, let them know what type of running you do, including terrain and mileage.

3.       Bring the socks you wear while running. This will help give you a more accurate feel of how the shoe fits.

4.       When trying on each pair, walk around the store in them to evaluate each pair according to their comfort, support, and fit.

5.       If down to two different pairs, place one shoe on each foot for a comparison and take a brief jog around the store. This was my deciding factor when choosing my new pair.

6.       Considering adding an insole, such as Superfeet, to your footwear. This will decrease the amount of shock that is absorbed by your body.

7.       If you run back-to-back days or more than four days a week, you should have at least two sets of sneakers and rotate them. This gives them longevity and avoids irritation and excessive wearing in any particular area.

8.       Keep track how many miles you run in your sneakers, and toss them after 400 miles due to the wear and tear. If you don’t want to keep count of your miles, then get a new pair every 4-5 months.

Keep in mind that everyone is unique, and there is no single perfect shoe. Use your running shoes just for running. Socks also make a difference. Cotton socks can cause blisters since they don’t breathe well or effectively remove moisture. Thermo-regulating performance socks that absorb the moisture are best for running.

Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Well.