Women's Guide to Choosing Running Shoes

By: Harry Shane

Ask a woman about pumps, stilettos, boots, or sandals and she can probably mention her favorite brands, the styles she wants, and perhaps the one that is on sale today at the mall. Ask her about running shoes and she'll probably just mention a popular brand she knows. Most women know so much about shoes and are excited it but probably the least exciting kind are running shoes.

Unless she's an athlete or someone eyeing to run her first or next marathon, you won't get as much info or advice on how to choose the right pair of athletic shoes. If you're one of the many ladies who doesn't have a clue about this type of footwear and are looking to purchase one for exercising, read on and find out more.

As nice and colorful the design may be, it's shouldn't be the first thing you should consider when selecting running shoes. A lot of people these days are picking based on preferred color and look that fits just right. But if you really want to get good value out of your purchase, the most important factors to consider are function and suitability of the shoes to your foot structure and running profile.

Okay, so some of you might feel that this is getting a bit too complicated and would prefer to simply jump into the decision to purchase anything that looks nice to you. However, the reality is when you choose based on those obvious factors alone, you are putting yourself at risk for physical injuries and muscle strain. Some people think that the pain they feel after running is caused by running itself; well, not entirely. Having the wrong pair of running shoes can affect your running activity and put your foot in a difficult position, thus resulting to pain, blisters, or worse, an injury.

That being said, finding the most suitable pair of shoes will prevent these risks. So how can you go about the process? First, know where and how you will be using your new running shoes. Will you be running on trails, pavement, or on a treadmill? Or are you simply using these shoes when you go to the gym for some aerobics or weight training? There are certain types of shoes that are made for heavier running on rough roads while others are good enough to use at the gym. You can learn of this when you get advise from sales representatives or read more about it online.

Second, runners are categorized in three basic kinds - neutrals, supinators and overpronators. And each type requires certain types of shoes that can improve foot movement and overall running activity. You will know which one you fall under when you do this test. Prepare a brown paper or any colored paper and a pail of water. Gently wet the soles of your feet with water, step on the paper for a second, and remove your feet. Check the foot imprint on the paper.

If you have a heavy mark with almost the full arch and heel visible, you are most likely an overpronator, which means your foot excessively moves inward when you run. You will then need a pair of shoes that has more control and stability to prevent injury and strain to your leg and knees.

If there's a very high arch on the imprint, you fall under supinators or underpronators, which means you have minimal foot movement when running. That could put more stress to your foot and easily wear out the outside edges and sides of the shoe. This kind of runner needs lightweight shoes to encourage more foot movement.

The neutral runners, on the other hand, have a fairly normal arch so they are in between the two extremes. This type of runner would need a combination of cushioning and stability.

Once you know what kind of runner you are, you can easily ask a store representative for the right pair of shoes for your specific foot structure and running profile. Only then can you pick the nicest color and design that suits your taste. You can also find running shoes for women online and search based on your particular needs.

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Harry Shane is an online shopping expert and blogger, offering practical tips and ways to get the best bargain for shoppers around the world. He recommends you check this site to find running shoes for women, compression tights, and other athletic apparel.

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