When it comes to preventing shin splints and improving your performance, the single most important weapon in your arsenal is a pair of high-quality running shoes supplemented by a good pair of compression socks. Be sure to follow these guidelines while shopping for athletic footwear:
1. Establish Your Foot Type
Human feet fall into three basic brackets:
- mid-arched (overpronators
- high-arched (underpronators)
Your foot type will determine which running shoes are appropriate or otherwise. Rather than attempting to figure things out manually, it’s far easier to visit a quality footwear store for a professional consultation.
2. Don’t Rely on Size Guides
Just because you wear size 10 for Adidas shoes, it doesn’t mean that size 10 will offer the same perfect fit with Nike shoes. Shoe shapes and sizes differ enormously from one brand to another. As such, it is important that you don’t solely rely on size guides when making your final decision; rather, always try the shoes on before buying them.
3. Give Your Shoes a Test Drive
Jog up and down to get a feel for your new running shoes, hop onto the store’s treadmill (if present) and really put them through their paces. Just because they feel good when standing and walking doesn’t mean they’ll be suitable for running.
4. Try to Ignore Styling
You’ll want a pair of running shoes that look good, but making your decision based on looks alone is never a good idea. Don’t allow yourself to be blindsided by running shoes that are more about style and sophistication than performance. The same rule applies to the compression sports gear!
5. Check the Returns Policy
Particularly if planning to buy running shoes online, ensure that there is a fair and adequate returns policy in place. It’s not uncommon to be ‘wowed’ at the moment of purchase, only to realise you’ve made a big mistake by the time you get your shiny-new running shoes home. Check the returns policy, keep your receipts and don’t remove those tags too hastily!