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Happy Feet on the Trails: 5 Core Considerations for Your Next Shoe Purchase

shellyd_eb100I just came in from a five mile run in some new shoes I am trying out. My feet are not happy. The balls of my feet hurt and I got a blister. Unfortunately, I don’t think they are going to work for me. But I feel a certain loyalty to the shoes. I so badly wanted them to work for me. They are a great color and look so badass. Before I became a Sales Associate for Run On!, I would have toughed it out and just worn the shoes and dealt with it for another six months. But I have learned not to do that. Running in the wrong shoes is not only painful, it can cause injury and kill your running mojo. So here are a few words of advice when it comes to shoes. Trust me, your feet will thank you.

Find the right shoe for YOU.

Find the right shoe for YOU.

1. Size Matters.

How long has it been since you got your feet measured? Probably, at Thom McAn when you were in grade school. Get your feet accurately measured. You may be shoving a size 9 into a size 7. No one else really cares about your shoe size. They aren’t going to stop you in the middle of a race and ask you what size shoe you’re wearing. Always, get shoes a half to full size larger than the actual measurement of your foot. Feet are much happier when they are not squashed.

2. Try on both shoes.

Each foot is different. It’s not uncommon for one foot to be a half to a full size larger than the other. Don’t do that thing where you have on one running shoe and one high heel or dress shoe, and walk around the store. That’s not going to give you a real feel for the shoes.

3. It may not be the shoes.

You may be blaming the wrong thing for your feet problems. Your socks could be the culprit. Are you wearing the cotton socks that come in the super size 12 pack from the big box store? They fall down into your shoe, never to be seen again. Don’t do that. Get some nice cotton-free, moisture wicking socks that fit well. Be sure to compare the size to your shoe size.

4. Get over the color.

Especially, if you are buying trail shoes. They are going to get nice and dirty anyway. The best shoe for you may not be the cutest one or even the most tame.

5. Don’t be a lemming.

If all your friends are into the latest trend, doesn’t mean that you should be. Shoes are very personal. What works for one person, may not work for another. Your bestie’s fuchsia maximal cushion shoes are not necessarily going to work for you.

What really matters is keeping your feet happy. The happier your feet, the better the run.

Happy running and see ya on the trail!

– Shelly Diaz

[Photo Credit: sophie and cie @]

About the author

Shelly Diaz Shelly began trail running with her husband in 2012. Shelly feels she has found a home on the trails and in the trail running community. She likes to keep a positive attitude and try not to take life too seriously. For more information on Shelly, check out the About page.

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