How to choose the right type

What to look for in a running shoe

Running is beneficial for many reasons. This exercise that can be done practically anywhere and at any time is a quick way to torch calories, boost mood, and stay healthy. Before you decide to dust off those running shoes that have been languishing in the back of your closet, think again. Wearing the right running shoes is critical to keep you comfortable and from suffering a running injury that will sideline your fitness goals. Do yourself a favor and begin your running regimen with a new pair of shoes that you've chosen specifically to help you shave time off of your personal best.

Because running is a high-impact activity, running shoes' soles and cushioning break down quickly. You should replace your shoes after each 480 km or so. Also, order a half to a full size up from your normal shoe size when buying running shoes. Shin splints, IT band problems, ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis... these are the painful injuries that plague runners who skimp on their shoes. Price should not be the driving factor determining which shoes you buy. You may end up paying a hefty price for those "bargain" running shoes.

Not all runners have the same gaits and not all running shoes are appropriate for all runners. At Sport Chek, you'll be sure to find the ideal pair of running shoes within our huge assortment of options. Our team can help you select the right pair to keep you moving along and injury free.

The Most Important Running Decision You Will Make

Pronation

Are you an over-, under-, or normal pronator? Don't purchase running shoes until you can answer that question! Pronation refers to the rotation of a body part (in this case, your feet). When normal pronators run, their feet roll inward about 15%, which helps distribute the force of impact of each step evenly throughout the foot. The feet of overpronators (who tend to be flat-footed) roll in more than the ideal 15%, which puts extra stress on the big toe and second toe. The feet of underpronators (who usually have high arches) roll in less than 15%, which puts extra stress on the small toes. Normal pronators do best in running shoes that maximize stability, such as The North Face Ultra TR. Overpronators should look for shoes that help minimize the tendency to roll the feet inward, such as the Nike Zoom. For underpronators, the neutral cushioning of a shoe like the Asics Gel Nimbus helps the runner maintain a healthy foot motion.

Distance

Where and how far you run has much to do with what your ideal running shoe will be. Before you choose a running shoe, ask yourself if you will run primarily on a treadmill, trail, or pavement and whether you will run short distances (5K or 10K or less) or longer distances (half or full marathons.) Beginning and low-mileage runners should seek out shoes that offer stability, cushioning, and flexibility. High-mileage runners should look for a shoe that's lightweight and breathable, and offers extra forefoot cushioning and a heavy-duty, long-lasting sole. Reflective exterior elements also boost safety during the pre-dawn and dusk runs common amongst those training for half and full marathons. Most of the top running shoe brands, including, Nike and Adidas, offer models designed specfically for short- and long-distance running.

need new running shoes?

5 Signs You know you need new running shoes

Your running shoes are your connection with the ground. They give you grip, stability, support, shock absorption, protection from the elements and debris, and in many cases, they also keep underlying injuries at bay. They also take a real beating and should be adequately cared for. Not only should you know how to care for your running shoes, but you should also know when it is time to replace them. Worn running shoes do not offer the same support that they once did, and wearing your shoes past their use-by date could land you with an injury. Here is a guide to knowing when your trusty tools of the trade need replacing.

1.    Your mileage is up!

Most running shoes are rated for between 300 and 500 miles of running, depending on your body-weight, running style and the type of terrain you run on. Minimalist shoes won't last as long. So, if you run four times per week, averaging at 3 to 5 miles per session, you can expect your shoes to last up to six months.

2.    Look at them

If you put your shoes on a table and they sit twisted or lean to one side, your mid-sole is probably worn out. The mid-sole has to absorb shocks and rebound from them thousands of times per running session. Between sessions they fully recover and regain their original shape to a certain degree. When they can no longer do this, they are no longer effective at supporting you and absorbing those shocks.

3.    Twist test

Although running shoes vary massively, they should not twist easily. Hold your shoes in both hands, at toe and heel, and twist. If they twist easily compared to when they were new, chances are they are no longer adequately supporting your feet.4.    Worn soles

As a general rule, your soles will last longer than the shock absorption and cushioning mechanisms. So, if the tread is worn away, it's time for a new pair.

5.    Pain

If pain can't be attributed to any change in training or increased workload, it is often a sign that your shoes need changing. When your running shoes no longer absorb the shocks, that job is left to your bones and joints. Listen to your body.

Newer shoes feel better

If newer shoes feel more supportive and 'alive,' then your shoes are worn out. It is a great idea to always have two or more pairs of running shoes, so you have an overlap and something to make a comparison against.

SportChek.ca has a wide range of footwear and accessories to help ensure that you're never without a good pair of running shoes. Shop online or stop by a store to learn more.

Why a Running Shoe?

Vs. Just Any Shoe?

It might be tempting to take your aerobics shoes, cross trainers, or walking shoes out for a run -- after all they're good for everything, aren't they? While you might be okay taking a few jogs in these all-purpose shoes, you should invest in real running shoes if you're planning on making it a habit. Here's why:

Greater impact resistance

Running generates several times the impact on each foot as walking. Wear the wrong shoes and all that impact goes straight to your joints. Not only are running shoes built to absorb all that impact, but some of them also have specialized gel and foam inserts to help return that energy on the rebound, giving you a literal extra bounce in your step.

Your feet can breathe

Running shoes are constructed largely of mesh that wouldn't provide much protection during other activities, but it serves an important purpose when you run: dissipating heat so that your feet don't turn into a sweltering, blistering swamp.

Better fit

Speaking of blisters, running shoes are constructed to fit closer to your midfoot than general-use trainers, cutting down on the potential for rubbing and blistering. Some high-end running shoes even have a completely seamless sock insert that further cuts down on the chances of developing "hot spots" inside the shoe, and allows you to go completely sockless if you so choose.

They'll last longer -- and help you do the same

There's no way around it: Running creates a lot of impact on your body. Because your running shoes are built to take that beating for you, absorbing the wear and tear so your joints won't have to, they should be replaced every season or more often if the midsoles seem to be breaking down. But even so, purpose-built running shoes will last a good sight longer than walking shoes, and do a better job of protecting your body while they're at it.

It might help to think of running shoes as an investment in your future health; as long as you have the right shoes to cushion your footfalls and invest a little time in learning proper technique, you can keep running almost indefinitely.

Of course, not just any running shoe will do; you need one that fits your foot perfectly and also suits your running style. You can find a full selection of men's and women's running shoes at SportChek.ca and in Sport Chek stores, and SportChek has a great return policy, just in case you don't get a perfect fit on the first try.

Need a shoe?

Men's Running Shoes

Universal, Comfortable and Supportive.

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Women's Running Shoes

Universal, Comfortable and Supportive.

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Men's Trail Running Shoes

Water Resistant, Breathable and ideal for an Outdoor Setting.

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Women's Trail Running Shoes

Water Resistant, Breathable and ideal for an Outdoor Setting.

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This article and post is designed for educational purposes only. When participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is a possibility of physical injury. Please consult with a doctor prior to engaging in any exercise or exercise program. The use of any information provided is solely at your own risk. Product selection is an individual choice and the consumer is responsible for determining whether or not any product is suitable based on the consumer’s circumstances.