Fitness

The running shoe buyer's guide

Five expert tips on how to put your best foot forward

How to buy the best running shoe for your needs

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For fitness walking, finding the proper shoe can make all the difference. “If you don’t have the right type of shoe for your stride, and one that fits your foot, you’re going to injure your leg muscles and hips,” says Jaclyn Dionne, a Mississauga-based walking coach and personal trainer. She offers us five tips on what to look for when you’re shopping:

1. Heel
If the heel doesn’t hug your foot properly, you could develop shin splints, blisters and even IT band problems. “You want that padding at the top of the heel to fit in behind the curve of your ankle bone so it’s comfortable,” she explains. Since walkers strike with their heel first, look for a shock absorption system to protect you from the impact. New Balance is a classic walking brand Dionne recommends.

2. Arch
If you have a low arch, a posted stability shoe is ideal for moderate motion control. With a higher arch, you may want to insert orthotics or opt for a pair with more flexibility like the Brooks Adrenaline.

3. Fabric
Look for a lightweight, mesh nylon with a breathable toe bed to keep your feet cool, “If you’re not overheating your foot, you’re less likely to get blisters caused by chaffing and too much moisture.”

4. Laces
Your foot should be snug with about an inch and a half widthwise between the laces, “But you still need full motion and it depends on how wide your foot is.”

5. Size
You should go a full size up in your running shoes and shop at the end of the day once your feet have swollen, “The shoe needs to fit all the key areas so it’s not going to impede the natural motion of your foot.” Don’t forget to have your width measured too as most styles offer a range of sizes.

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