17 Things You Must Know About Your Running Shoe

Wednesday, 17 March 2010  |  Gear + Gadgets

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Remember I was at Hong Kong, not just for the Hong Kong Marathon, but also for the New Balance Tech Summit? During the talks, I jotted down notes as I learned more about the wonderful world of running shoes. Methinks New Balance unleashed the monster running shoe addict in me!

Here are running shoe tips I picked up from New Balance:

  1. Check the INSOLE and look at the imprint to find out if you have the right fit.
  2. Don’t just measure the length of your foot. ¬†Measure the width and where the joint bends (ball to heel) too.
  3. When checking the shoe fit. Feel the WIDTH. You don’t want too much pressure on the side or too much material.
  4. You should be able to play the piano with your toes to ensure the TOE BOX is wide enough. But you don’t want too much excess material in this area either.
  5. Get the shoe size for the bigger foot.
  6. There should be 1 to 1.5 thumbs width from the tip of the longest toe to the end of the shoe. Why? Your foot expands. Your foot moves such as when you run down the hill.
  7. The MIDSOLE is like the engine of the car, materials that hold the shoe together.
  8. Check the TONGUE. How much of the tongue is showing?
  9. Women have about 4x as many foot problems as men.
  10. Women are more difficult to fit. ¬†We often worry that the shoe is too wide when we’re probably just not used to a spacious toe box since we wear narrow shoes (e.g., high heels).
  11. Shoes should last 300-600 miles, which is roughly 3 to 6 months.
  12. Best way is to rotate between two pairs. Pair A and B. Introduce second pair after roughly 200 miles on the first pair of shoes.
  13. Foot size changes as you get older because ligaments stretch. Your feet may not get longer, but they may get WIDER especially for women who have given birth.
  14. Never wash your entire shoe. Do not put them in the washing machine. Do not throw them into the dryer.
  15. Test a running shoe by flexing the shoe. If it flexes in half that’s not a good shoe.
  16. When you run, you run on an S-shaped angle. Land on the lateral side of the heel and exit on the big toe.
  17. Running generates 2-3x your body weight.