Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shoe Review Tuesday #2 (Saucony Hattori)

Saucony Hattori
Support Category: Neutral/Minimal
Weight: 4.4 oz
Cost: $80

Available in Widths: No
Multiple Colors Available: Yes
Durability: ~200 miles
Updates from Previous Model: Debut!
Upper: Minimal and stretchy, like a pool shoe
Arch Height: Low 
Heel-Toe Drop: 0 mm

My Take on the Shoe
The only reason I heard about this shoe before it came out was because I work in running specialty. I didn't hear anything online in ads or on the radio about it, but let me tell you, I was excited about it. This is the first shoe I have ever seen that has a true 0 mm drop, meaning it is legitimately flat. Now don't quote me on it, but I think even the running Vibram FiveFingers have a 2 mm drop. The purpose of having a flat shoe is to help promote a midfoot/forefoot strike. The theory is the flatter the shoe, the easier it is for you to stop heel striking. The reason you want to stop heel striking is because it is more efficient to land on your midfoot, it provides quicker turnover, helping to increase your run cadence. A normal shoe has a 24 mm heel and a 12 mm toe, so dropping from 12 mm down to 0 is quite a leap. Back to the shoe though. I have talked to the rep about the durability of the upper because it looks like one bad step and that thing is going to tear. He told me that it has been a slight problem, but for the most part it has been withstanding some abuse. The shoe is deceivingly soft! Basically a glorified pool shoe, the Hattori doesn't have much to it at all, which conveys a hard, rigid feel. But on the contrary, this shoe is probably one of the squishiest I own. Not only in the bottom of the shoe, but the upper is light and flexible, it doesn't restrict my toes if I want to dorsiflex them. The adjustable Velcro straps on the top and back of the heel help to provide a more personalized fit than traditional laces as well.
A Little Personal
Prior to my first run in the Hattori, I felt pretty confident that I could run a normal 6 miler without having to ease into it like you would in a normal minimalist shoe. I had been dabbling a little in the minimalist thing and felt like my legs were strong enough to take the beating from the most minimal I have ever gone before. Much to my pleasure, I found an easy 6 mile run at 6:23 pace the very first time out to actually be easy! Over the next couple of days I was expecting some soreness somewhere, but it never came. I did another 6 in them and was still feeling strong! Now when I tried them out on the track, that was a whole different story. I took them out for my second run of the day to a local track and decided I was going to do 16 400's with 200m active recovery between each rep. I knocked that out at about 80 seconds a piece and by number 16, my feet were starting to hurt. For the next 3 days, I could hardly walk I was so sore. My calves, hamstrings, and quads were all hating me for what I did to them. What made the difference? Well, when you run sprints, you run more on your toes and the front of your forefoot. That is exactly where I was on that workout. With my prior couple of runs I landed more midfoot, taking off a bunch of that extra strain from my calf. But when I was sprinting, I was going full force pounding my calf muscle with little cushioning, causing a quicker build up of lactic acid. Ever since, I have not done another track workout in them, but I have taken them out for a few easy runs. On the minimalist scale where 1 is barefoot and 10 is a nice structured shoe like the 890 from last week, the Hattori is pushing a 3.
I want everyone to know if you have never done anything minimal and are looking to start, this would not be a good option for you. This is way too close to being barefoot for beginners. If you do decide to go against my advice and get the shoe or something like it anyway, just go out for little runs first, as short as a quarter mile, and gradually work your way up to longer distances.
A few quick things I like about the Hattori:
  • Lightest shoe in my closet
  • Flexible upper makes for great breathability, especially on hot days or even rainy days!
  • You don't have to wear socks with it!
  • The surprisingly soft bottom
  • The price! Only $80 retail!
My overall suggestion for this shoe is that if you are serious about minimalism, pick up a pair. If you are new to the minimalist arena, try something more middle ground first, like the Saucony Kinvara. I rate this shoe an 8 out of 10 and am very happy to have it in my collection. Now go try them out and enjoy The Life of a Runner.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Common Running Injuries

If you are suffering from a running related injury right now, don't worry, you aren't alone. In fact, statistically, one of your running friends is probably injured right now as well. About 60% of all runners get injured in some way, shape, or form each year. Since running is the number one participant sport in the world, that is a bunch of hurt people limping around. I wanted to talk about some of the more common injuries, how to prevent them, and what to do if you just so happen to get one.
The number one injury prevention technique is stretching, everybody knows that. But what everyone doesn't know is that there are a myriad of injury prevention tools available at your local running store. A couple of good to have tools are foam rollers and little poles called "The Stick." Both of these simulate deep tissue massage to smooth out fascia and knock out lactic acid from your muscles. The foam roller (the black thing in the middle of the picture) is going to be a deeper massage, while The Stick is going to provide you with more maneuverability so you can reach harder to reach places. Also included in the picture is KT Tape, Body Glide, and Superfeet Insoles, but we will talk more about those later. Right now let's talk about some of the more prevalent injuries runners see.
1. Plantar Fasciitis - Some even wince at the name, Plantar Fasciitis, or PF for short, is the tightening and tearing of your Plantar Fascia, which is located on the bottom of your foot, originating on the bottom of your heel bone extending down toward your toes.
How do I get it? PF is often brought on by extended weight bearing exercise. If you're running excessively, hitting with 2-3 times your body weight every step, PF could be right around the corner waiting for you to not stretch so it can come in and bite on that heel. If you know someone who has it that doesn't run, a high BMI is often times the cause of PF in non-runners.
How do I know if I have it? Trust me, you will know. You will have a shooting pain in your heel or arch that is especially bad in the morning. Another symptom commonly found with pain is the loss of flexibility of bending your toes toward your shin, called dorsiflexion.
I think I have it, what now? Through many trial and error cases, the single most important thing I have found that works for people is Superfeet insoles. Superfeet has a variety of different insoles, different colors for different arch heights. The reason Superfeet help so much is the heel cup it provides. The heel cup keeps your Plantar Fascia from tightening, allowing for it to heal quicker than walking around barefoot or in a super cushioned shoe. Speaking of shoes, if you have PF and a cushy shoe, consider changing to a more rigid shoe. The same kind of concept applies as the insoles, you don't want your foot to go where it wants because that aggravates the fascia, so by providing your foot with a stable platform with little give, it gives your foot a chance to heal a little bit more. Since it is a little impractical to use a big foam roller on the bottom of your foot, try freezing a golf ball and rolling that under your arch and heel to smooth out some of the tightness. The cold acts as an anti-inflammatory and the small dense ball acts as a massager, which almost instantly alleviates some of the pain. One final tip to help get rid of PF, try to dorsiflex your foot as much as possible (bring your toes to your shin). That is going to help stretch out a constantly tightening band of fascia, which in turn will help get rid of your problem. Warning! Plantar Fasciitis can last years, so if you feel a little pain you think might be the start of something, seek the advice of a podiatrist right away to diagnose you. The sooner you start stretching and trying to heal your foot, the better.
2. Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) - Another one of those injuries that makes you feel sick just thinking about it. ITBS is the inflammation of your IT band, which is a big V-shaped tendon starting at your hip and shrinking down connecting to the outside bottom of your knee.
How do I get it? Common ways to get ITBS are running on a banked surface (lateral or vertical) repeatedly, inadequate stretching, lack of cross-training (like swimming or cycling), and even having the wrong type of running shoes.
How do I know if I have it? You will likely feel a sharp pain where the IT band connects to your muscles, either in your hip, or on the lateral (outside) side of your knee. Knee pain is more common with runners, but it's not impossible to get some hip pain. A typical ITBS pain won't start immediately during your workout, it will get worse as time goes on. Often time I hear people complaining about a pain in their knee about 2 miles into a workout and instantly ITBS pops into my head. That is a tell-tale sign you have it, you don't feel it at first but it consistently flares up after a couple of miles into your workout.
Uh oh. That's me. What can I do? Invest in a foam roller. They only cost $13 and they are well worth it. To work on your IT band, put the foam roller on the ground and lie on it with your hip. Slowly roll down the roller until you reach your knee, then go back up to your hip. NEVER ROLL OVER A JOINT WITH A FOAM ROLLER! Do about 12 repetitions in a set and 3 sets a day. After a week or so, there will be a definite difference in the way your knee/hip feels during a run. You can also use The Stick instead of a foam roller, but it isn't as effective. Instead of lying on the roller, just grab The Stick on both ends and roll up and down your leg. I personally would do 20-25 reps instead of 12 because of the whole "not as effective" thing. For right now though, to get through a run while you have ITBS, try getting some KT Tape, or other kinesio tape and wrapping your knee as pictured below, this acts like a band-aid in that it feels better now, but it isn't really healed yet.
3. Shin Splints - I would say this is the most common injury in beginning runners. Shin splints are a pain often felt on the inside of the legs below the knee. Pain can range from sharp pokes to dull throbs, but don't worry, we know how to fix it.
How do I get it? Beginning runners get it because they try to do too much too soon. Their muscles and tendons aren't built up enough to take all that new pounding they are presenting themselves with, and the muscles fatigue and cause the Sharpey fibers in your leg to become disrupted. If you have shin splints and you aren't new to running, it could be one of two things causing your problem: your shoes are worn out, or you aren't taking enough rest days. Not only could your shoes be worn out, but if they aren't correcting you the right amount, it could cause shin splints because the inward rolling (pronation) is causing some unwanted torque on your legs. Now, to determine if your shoes are worn out, there are a couple easy tests. First, if you look at the bottom and the tread is completely smooth, you need a new pair of shoes. Two, if you grab the forefoot with one hand and can bend it almost in half, the integrity of the midsole is shot and it's time to go pick up another pair. The reason a worn out shoe would cause shin splints is because now nothing is protecting you from the ground, sending all 3 times your body weight's worth of impact straight into your legs.
What can I do about it? As I said earlier, check to make sure it's not your shoes. Try finding a place like RunOn! near you who provides a free service to watch you walk and analyze your gait and look at the wear patterns on your shoes to tell you if they are worn out and if it was a good shoe for you. BUT if it wasn't the shoes, there is a good acronym to follow:
R - rest
I - ice
C - compression
E - elevation
This is very simple, just take a couple days off, put on some ice and a leg sleeve and kick back and enjoy your time off. Oh and one more thing, for a couple of days after you start to feel better, try running just in the grass or on a low-impact treadmill just to give your legs a tiny bit of extra time to recover.
4. Chafing - While technically not an injury, this one haunts runners young and old alike. Chafing in runners can be under your armpits, between your thighs, or even between your toes. Often looking like a red rash, you won't typically know you're chafed until you hop in the shower after a run and feel a good old fashioned burning wherever it may be.
How do I get chafed? Chafing is caused by the rubbing of two parts of skin over and over again. Runners with bigger legs often get their upper thighs chafed while heavier-set runners often get chafing under their armpits.
How can I prevent it? Using a lubricant is the best way to prevent chafing. My personal favorite is Body Glide. It comes in stick-deodorant form and a liquid powder form. Just put this on wherever you are prone to getting chafed and it prevents that skin to skin friction that causes those nasty chafes. Another good way to prevent some inner thigh chafing is by wearing the right kind of shorts. Typical running shorts have either a brief liner inside or a compression short specifically designed to prevent chafing. But in lieu of buying a bunch of $40 shorts, your $9 body glide will have to do for now.
What can I do now that I'm already chafed? Well it's too late now for Body Glide, but what I typically do after I get chafed is apply a generous portion of A&D cream to the afflicted area and it usually clears up in about a day. For really bad chafes, I would take some time off to recover and try to keep the area open and friction free as best as I possibly could.
So there is your very own guide to running injuries! I hope you learned how to prevent some future injuries or even how to treat for one you have now. Running is no fun if you hurt the whole time! I want everybody to be able to run to their full potential, but how can they do it when they are hurt all the time! So take some preventative measures and let's take that 60% down to 20%! Thanks for reading and sharing The Life of a Runner.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Beat the Summer Heat!

Like most of you, I am finding it harder and harder to get out and run with these temperatures climbing. With the coolest it gets in the morning being 78-80 degrees, it's hard to find a good time to run if you want to avoid the "dreadmill." But don't worry! I am here today to give you a few tips on how to beat the heat, but to also explain why it is so hard in the summer months compared to the rest of the year.
Let's first talk about why it is so difficult to run in 80-100 degree weather. Logically, anything under 98.6 degrees should feel cool to us because that's our internal temperature, right? WELL, technically 98.6 degrees isn't your skin temperature, it is actually much lower. Bear with me here, I'm about to get smart. All of your body's functions (metabolism, digestion, etc.) produce heat as a byproduct, so you have to constantly try to vent that heat to maintain a consistent internal temperature and avoid overheating. Now venting this heat does not actually make you feel cold, if you are venting at just the right rate, you should feel comfortable, not too hot, not too cold. When we are out in weather that is at or near our internal body temperature, even if we aren't running, it becomes difficult to vent efficiently, so your nerves in your skin send messages to your body telling you that it is uncomfortable and you need to find some shade or a cooler area until it can catch back up and let you bring your body temperature back down. To make matters worse, when you run, the energy you use to make your legs and body move turns into heat! This heat makes your internal body temperature rise even more, and when your body is already having a difficult time cooling down as is, running gets tough pretty quick. There is an unwritten running rule called "the 20 degree rule" that is usually applied to the cold, but is even worse in the heat. When running, always dress like it is 20 degrees warmer outside. So in the winter, if it is 35 degrees, dress as if it was 55, maybe shorts and a long sleeve. But when the temperature is already 100, how are you supposed to dress? Like it's 120? How do you dress for 120 degrees?
Well, in lieu of seeing a bunch of naked runners, let me give you a couple tips to help keep your body temperature down in the summer heat.
  1. Dress appropriately. Get moisture wicking clothes, they will be a life saver. In case you don't know what moisture wicking clothes are, go over to your closet. Pull out that race shirt from a couple weeks ago. See all those little holes and meshy material? That's moisture wicking fabric. Moisture wicking fabrics work because they have two main properties about them, they are both hydrophilic and hydrophobic. Hydrophilic (water loving) properties of a shirt are usually obtained by adding a finish or treatment into the garment, which will allow the shirt to pull sweat away from your body and absorb it into the fibers. Hydrophobic (water hating) properties of a shirt are usually the materials themselves, like polyester, which speeds up the evaporation, making you cooler, faster.
  2. Stay Hydrated! The amount of water or electrolyte drink you should take in per run varies from person to person, but there is a general guideline. Try to drink about 4-6 oz for every 20 minutes out in the heat if you are running slower than 8 min/mile and about 6-8 oz for every 20 minutes if you are going faster. Since it is extra hot here in Texas right now, I would suggest determining your sweat rate for a more personal guideline. To determine your sweat rate, weigh yourself before and after a run (this works best if you go for about an hour). For each pound you lost, you lost about 16 oz of water. So, if you lost 3 pounds in 1 hour of running, you would need to replace 48 oz of water, which is about 12 oz per 15 minutes during your run. VERY IMPORTANT! Don't forget that you're supposed to be drinking 8 glasses of water a day anyway, plus all the extra you need from running. For each pound lost, you need to drink between 20-24 oz of water/electrolyte drink post exercise. So from earlier, since we lost 3 pounds, we need to drink between 60 and 72 ounces to rehydrate. To avoid drinking this much afterward, we would have had to utilize our sweat rate knowledge and drink the 12 oz per 15 minutes. Staying hydrated on a day to day basis is critical when training for distance in the heat.
  3. Don't expect to run the same pace you do in the winter. You will not run anywhere near the same speed you do in June than you did in December. As we talked about earlier, it's just harder to keep your body from overheating in the summer, so you just flat out won't be able to run as fast. The chart above is an adjusted pace chart for a 13 mile long run. These times are per mile, so if you normally average 9:30 per mile in your long run and it's 90 degrees outside, your expected speed would be about 25 seconds slower, or 9:55 per mile.
  4. Do your best to get out there early. Or do your best to get out there after dark. This is going to give you the best chance to get the lowest temperatures possible on a hot summer day. Even if you wake up at 6 a.m. and it is 78 degrees outside, that is still better than running in the heat of the day when it can get upwards around 95 with a 102 degree heat index. The hottest time of the day is between noon and 4 p.m. That is when the sun is highest in the sky and will be beating down directly on you, so do your best to avoid those times.
  5. Wear sunblock. Aside from the obvious, "I don't want to get sunburned" reason for wearing sunblock, a little known fact is that it actually helps keep your body temperature down. The reason sunblock keeps you cooler is because it literally does what the name says. It blocks the sun from directly heating your skin. So in a way, we can say we are almost tricking the body by applying sunblock into making it think it's cooler outside. In terms of which one to use, I myself have been using Mission SPF 30 Ultra-Sweatproof Sunscreen. Anything over 30 SPF is really a waste because unless you're training for ultras, you aren't going to be outside long enough to need anything else.
Well, those are some things to consider before heading out on your next run. You know, I'm not 100% sure if it really does anything, but I have been going out about once or twice a week, during the hottest hours of the day and doing a normal workout. I feel like I'm getting stronger in the heat, but I can't tell for sure. So if you do try to acclimate yourself to the heat by diving right in, be safe and bring plenty of water. If I missed anything, let me know in the comments, because this is a blog by a runner, for a runner, and we like to help each other out. Take these tips wisely, and you will love living the Life of a Runner.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Shoe Review Tuesday #1 (New Balance 890)

This is a little segment I'm going to try to do every Tuesday called "Shoe Review Tuesday." Basically I'll give you the specs on the shoe and my personal experience with it and hopefully we can all learn a little bit about shoes in the process.
New Balance 890
Support Category: Neutral
Weight: 9.7 Ounces
Cost: $100
Available in Widths: Yes
Multiple Colors Available: Yes
Durability: 300-500 miles
Updates from Previous Model: Debut Shoe!
Upper: Light and Meshy
Arch Height: Medium

My Take on the Shoe
There was a lot of hype on this shoe before it came out. I heard radio commercials, saw online ads, and was given information on it from the New Balance reps way before the official release date. With all the hype, it had quite a name to live up to already. My thoughts? LOVE IT! Compared to other New Balance shoes I have had in the past, the 890 is much lighter and has a more prominent arch than any previous model. I have tried many times to explain this to my friends, coworkers, and loyal customers, but the way the 890 fits and feels is like nothing I have ever felt before. It feels secure in the arch and instep like a nice heavy duty training shoe, but it also has a light, minimal feeling upper like my lightweight trainers. I want to stress this fact: The 890 is not a lightweight trainer! Even though it feels so much lighter than the rest of the competition, like the Asics Cumulus or the Nike LunarGlide, it still has the same kind of durability those shoes have. This is due to the new cushioning New Balance has come out with and is starting to put in some of their newer models, RevLite. RevLite is a cushioning system that is as durable as it's competitors, but an amazing 30% lighter. With this being said, high school kids love this shoe, lightweight enthusiasts love this shoe, and even some ultramarathoners are starting to get in on this action.

A Little Personal
I run in this shoe between 1-2 times a week. It's not that I don't like it, it's that I like it so much I really don't want it to wear out! After my first run, it instantly became the new long run shoe, replacing my Nike LunarEclipse. A shoe with this kind of durability and weight, in my eyes, should be utilized by every neutral runner, and even some runners in need of light stability (for races and speedwork). If I had the budget for it, I would easily have about 3 or 4 of these in my closet, all in different colors, for all different kinds of workouts.

A few specific things I like about the New Balance 890:
  1. Secure feeling in the shoe, even with the minimal upper.
  2. Lots of different colors to choose from, 4 for each gender!
  3. The cushion in the shoe is soft, but you can still feel the road under you.
  4. The weight! I love light shoes!
  5. The versatility, I can use it Sunday for my long run, Tuesday for my track workout, and Thursday for hill repeats!
Obviously I can't get enough of this shoe. If you use it, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. As much as I like giving my opinion, I also love to hear what you have to say. If you have an idea for which shoe I should review next, let me know and I might just spotlight your shoe next week! I hope you learned a little bit today and I am very glad you could experience The Life Of A Runner.

Monday, June 20, 2011


This is going to be a blog about everything related to running. Everything includes workouts, tips and strategies, product reviews, product comparisons, race reviews and recaps, styles of running (minimalism, proper technique, etc..), types of shoes, common injuries and problems runners face, how to beat the heat in the summer, proper hydration and nutrition intakes for running, places to run, and anything else I can think of along the way.
But first, what gives me enough credibility for you to believe everything I say? That's a good question. I have been an employee at Run On! (a local running store based in the DFW area) for the past 2 years. Through my constant contact with new runners, elite runners, veteran runners, sports medicine doctors and chiropractors, and reps from companies like New Balance, Brooks, and Asics, I have taken in almost every angle imaginable on almost every subject imaginable pertaining to running. I love to listen to people telling me their stories about how their races went, or how they overcame an injury like Plantars Fasciitis, and take in exactly what went right and what went wrong for them. In addition, I am an active runner myself, I try to race between 12-20 times a year, ranging in distance from 5k all the way to marathon, so I have a few stories and experiences myself.
I figured I would start this blog off with running rule number 1: Get the right shoes!
Perhaps the part I enjoy most in my job is getting to fit people of all shapes, sizes, and skill levels for shoes. I have seen THOUSANDS of feet and gaits and bunions and fallen arches and let me tell you, your feet are not as messed up as you think. But I will tell you this, no matter the case, you have to get fit for the right pair of shoes, it makes the world of difference!
Before I dive right in and explain about the different kind of shoes, I want to go ahead and explain a few terms:
Gait- the motion your foot goes through when it is in contact with the ground
Pronate- (aka over-pronate) the inward rolling of your ankles/feet toward each other
Supinate- (aka under-pronate) the outward rolling of your ankles/feet away from each other
Neutral- the ability of your ankles/feet to stay straight without pronating throughout your gait cycle
Alright, now that we know some key terms, let me tell you what you need to know to get the right pair of shoes. If you don't have access to a running specialty store like Run On!, here are some tips you can use to diagnose your gait.
Grab your current running shoe, we are going to analyze the wear pattern on the bottom. The picture on the right shows where we are going to be looking on our shoes to determine if we pronate, supinate, or have neutral gait. The reason I point out to not look at your outside heel is because EVERYBODY has wear right there. In general, most people are heel strikers and when you strike on your heel, you land on the outside, not centered like most would believe. Time and time again I have had people tell me they supinate because they saw wear on the outside heel. When I break it to them that everybody wears right there and the real spot to look is on the forefoot, they tend to not believe me at first, but then I show them what I mean.
When looking at the forefoot of a used running shoe, you want to pay attention to where the outsole looks particularly lower than the rest. If most of the wear is on the medial (inside) side of the shoe, then you need to get a shoe with more support. If most of your wear is in the center, congratulations! You are already in a great shoe! You don't need to change anything! Lastly, if you see most of the outsole worn on the lateral (outside) side of the shoe, you have too much support and you need to change shoes ASAP. Too much support in a shoe pushes you to the outside of your foot which causes increased strain on the lateral side of your leg and knee. As a note, it is worse to have too much support than to have too little, so when in doubt, go with less support.
Now you might be asking yourself, "this information is useful and all, but how do I know what shoes have more support and which ones have less?" That is a very good question, and I'm glad you asked. Below is a table to help you know what to do next with your new found information.
After looking at this chart, a few questions might pop into your head. "So if I need less support and I'm already in a neutral shoe am I just out of luck?" Yes, honestly. You have almost too efficient of a gait. Now that's not a bad thing, but for the most part, if you supinate a neutral shoe will do just fine. "If I need more support and I'm in a motion control already do I just stay with what I have?" There are a couple  of motion control shoes that have more support than others, so if you find you are in this scenario, try the Brooks Beast, it has that name for a reason. "If I'm in a neutral shoe and I need more support, how do I know if I need to go all the way to motion control or vice versa?" If you have been in the exact opposite category that you need, you don't want to take that jump all at once, that kind of new correction will make you sore in places you didn't know could even be sore. So you need a middle ground to let you get adjusted to the new kind of support before you make the switch.  
"How do I know what shoe to get if I need a stability (or neutral, or motion control)?"
A good way to tell if a shoe is stability or not is if it has a gray posting on the medial side of the shoe. In almost all running brands, this posting is a dual-density foam to keep you from pronating. It is denser than the rest of the shoe, making it impossible for your foot to roll across it. Generally the amount of gray determines how much correction the shoe offers. So if a shoe has no gray at all on the medial side, then it is neutral. If it has some, but not an overwhelming amount, that is a stability shoe. If the medial side of a shoe looks really built up or runs almost the length of the shoe, that is a motion control shoe.
So what is the next step after we know what kind of shoe we need and what the shoe looks like? Now we just have to go to the store and try some on! Once you know what kind of shoe you need, you're golden. At this point everything in that category is pretty much the same shoe structurally, so the fun part is going to the store and deciding which one is most comfortable. I have consolidated the performance running shoes from several brands so you can have a place to start and know what to look for.
One thing people often forget is to size their feet. This is especially important with running shoes. When you run, your feet swell, so you need to have a little bit of room for your feet to grow. With that being said, you want to go up about a full size from what you measure in the store. So if you measure a size 9, go with a size 10. If you already ran that day, only go up about a half size because chances are your feet are still swollen from your workout. That is why it is good to go get shoes at the beginning of the day, so your feet aren't already swollen from the day's activities. When it comes to size, one thing people generally just look over is width. Every shoe brand makes running shoes in wide and narrow, so if your foot measures 10 EE don't be afraid to walk out if they only have 10 D. Ask if they can either order it, or have one transferred from another location.
I think I have told you enough to get you started. Now I want everyone who reads this to go grab your running shoes and look at the bottom, analyze the wear, check the size, and see if you are in the proper shoe for your foot. If you are, that's great! If you aren't, don't worry, you're not alone.
Well, that's it for me, I hope you had a good time learning about The Life of a Runner.