Updated: December 2017
Running Shoe Reviews:I just ran the Portland Marathon and I went through 3 pairs of running shoes while training for the event. It's recommended that runners should swap out their old shoes for new ones every 250 to 500 miles. During the course of my training I found which shoes actually fit the best. In the past, I had always just bought any pair of running shoes - mainly Nikes - since I didn't run that much on them. Once I started running seriously, I knew right away that the correct pair of shoes would make all the difference come race day. Price ranges go from $70 to $150 for a good pair of running shoes, so you have to decide if the extra money is worth it. Ultimately, what you want are comfortable shoes that you are able to run 5, 10, or 15+ miles in without developing blisters or sore feet. Running on pavement can really take its toll on your body week after week, so to keep yourself in good shape, it starts with the shoes. Of course there are lots of other ways to hurt your body while running, but much of that is associated with your shoes and running style. For me, I had never run more than 5 miles before, so I had no idea how my body would react with all the extra mileage thrown its way.
Choosing a Running Shoe - As I mentioned above, I typically would buy a pair of mid-range Nike running shoes and basically walk in them with the occasional run as well. I decided to take the marathon a little more serious and dive into the world of modern running shoes and see which pair was right for my feet and running style. You'd be surprised at how technical some of these running shops have become in determining what works best for your feet. The one thing that all shoe salepeople want to know is 'what type of arch type are you?'. Flat, medium, or high? The foot mechanics can really be important when choosing your running shoe. Do you need a shoe that is neutral, features stability, or motion control? Are you a marathoner, trail runner, track runner, etc.? As you define your running style and ambitions, you should be able to buy a shoe that fits near perfect. I wasn't so scientific but still managed to buy a great pair of Nikes that helped get me through the 26.2 miles. Other top running shoe brands are Asics and New Balance. Lots of runners talk about the Vibram Fivefingers - a unique shoe that fits your foot like a glove - but I'm not convinced that is any better for your feet long term. In any event, get to your local running shoe store and try on some shoes. I did have one pair that I bought (same size as I always buy) and within 2 runs my feet were hurting and developing blisters. This was totally abnormal so I returned the shoe assuming something was defective. The next shoe I bought worked fine. You never know and that's why it's important to try on lots of different brands to see how each fits your foot. There are also new ultra lightweight running shoes, mine were from Nike, that weighed next to nothing. You still get the support and stability, but now the shoe weighs half as much. Where should you go to buy running shoes? Sporting good stores are not bad, running specific stores are even better, and if you know the exact style and size you want then shopping online is the easiest. You can browse the best selling running shoes online here.