As a jogger, having the right shoes can make a world of difference. The right shoes can make your legs feel stronger and your runs seem easier. In contrast, shoes that don't fit your body or foot stride in the right way can cause injuries, which can be debilitating to your jogging program. Consider several factors as you purchase jogging shoes.
Before you purchase a jogging shoe, determine the right fit based on your arch and foot strike. A combination of the two will determine which type of shoe you need. For instance, a person who has a high arch and underpronates -- whose foot slightly rolls outward -- does best with a netural shoe. A local running store or physical therapist can conduct a gait analysis to determine your foot strike, which will be helpful as you shop for shoes.
Importance of Cushioning
Because you are pounding the ground with each stride as you jog, having the right amount of cushioning is important to your body. Recently, there has been a trend toward minimalist shoe designs that have hardly any cushioning. While this works for some people who run, it does not work for all. When you figure out your foot strike, it will indicate what type of cushioning you need. Neutral runners, for instance, tend to need shoes with a lot of cushioning. Joggers who are overweight also need cushioning in their shoes to avoid injury.
How to Determine Your Size
As you jog, your foot will swell, causing your foot size to go up. Buy jogging shoes at least one-half size larger than you traditionally purchase. If you are running longer distances, such as training for an ultramarathon, your foot may swell more. Because of this, you may want to go up a full size. This will reduce chances of blistering, chafing and other uncomfortable conditions that can sideline you from jogging for a time.
Truth About Brand Names
Brand should not be a determining factor for purchasing running shoes. It is more important to figure out what type of shoe you need to buy and then look at the different brands based on that. For instance, if you are a runner who overpronates, with your feet turning inward when you strike the ground, you want a shoe that offers stability. If you strike the ground on your midfoot, finding a shoe that supports this is important. Once you determine your type of shoe, you can research which brand has a reputation for developing shoes that support your needs.