If you're upping your running mileage to tone up, to cross-train for another endurance sport, or if you're training for a marathon, then you're going to need a quality pair of sneakers. There isn't one brand or style of running shoe out there that is considered the ultimate shoe, because everyone's feet are different and so is the way in which they run. Here's some criteria you should look for in a shoe:
- The sneaker should be lightweight and breathable. After continuously pounding your feet on the ground for almost an hour, you want as little weight on your feet as possible to avoid injuries to your joints and to conserve energy. Running for long periods of time will also raise your body temperature, so you want a shoe that has some type of ventilation (sweaty feet can cause blisters).
- The sneaker should be made for your type of foot. Flat-footed people who overpronate when they run need extra arch support. If you have high arches and underpronate, you'll need extra cushioning. If you're not sure what type of foot you have and where you fall on the pronation scale, go to a specialty running store for expert advice.
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- The sneaker should be made for the type of surface you plan to run on. If you're jogging on dirt, uneven, or wet terrain, make sure the sole of the shoe is meant for that, and the frame is sturdy.
- Go for comfort, not appearance. Your feet could care less if your sneaks look cute with your new running skirt. So make sure they offer optimum cushioning and support. Finding the best fit is the point, so try on every brand and style of shoe in the store (even if they're hideous).
- Don't be afraid to put down the dough. A solid pair may end up costing around $150, but it's totally worth it since you'll be spending a lot of time in them. If your feet are protected, it'll help avoid injury and improve your performance.
If you're at a loss for which ones to try out here's a list recommended by Consumer Reports: Nike Air Zoom Vomero+ ($120), Nike Air Pegasus+ 2007 ($65), Puma Complete Infinitus ($85), and Reebok Premier Hatana ($89).