Your new shoes have arrived! Eagerly, you flip open the box and … mmmmm … that new shoe smell. Time to run! After lacing them up and stepping out the door you are off and running. But wait. Something feels wrong. Rather than feeling like a padded extension of your foot this feels more like a brick with teeth. Rash thought would have you throw those shoes at your nearest telephone line, but before coming to any drastic conclusions, here are five reasons why you might not be enjoying your new shoes after the first run as well as some potential solutions.
Despite the existence of standardized sizing, shoe fit can vary between models and brands. If you find that a new shoe is too big, small, narrow or wide, it is possible that the shoe design is the cause.
To gauge how a shoe might fit before purchasing, check out the right side of each shoe page on our site, which includes a breakdown of the fit in terms of sizing, heel fit, midfoot fit, forefoot fit, toe box height, arch structure, and shoe shape. If you have a narrow heel or a wide forefoot, our sizing breakdown will help point out if the shoe will work for you. Additionally, be on the lookout for shoes that we recommend purchasing a half size larger or smaller than your standard size. Furthermore, some shoes may take a few miles to break-in. Reading expert or customer reviews can give a good idea of the degree to which a shoe will conform.
For more information on how to properly fit your running shoes read our learning center article here.
If your shoe feels clunky during your track interval session or your foot feels bruised after your road run, more likely than not, that cool running shoe you chose is designed for a different training style. As an example, your daily eight-mile runs might be less comfortable in the adidas adizero Boost than in a standard trainer like the Nike Pegasus 34 or the ASICS Cumulus 19.
When shopping for a running shoe it’s important to keep in mind that no model within a brand is created equal. What I mean by that is brands design their running shoes for specific purposes like daily training, running workouts, or racing. To help you find a shoe that fits your running needs we break our selection into four categories: premium, standard, performance, and racing.
Premium and standard shoes offer both high durability and cushioning for slow to modestly paced daily runs, the difference being that premium shoes include more technology for enhanced comfort.
Performance shoes are lighter weight and have a more responsive underfoot for fast running on the road or track.
Racing shoes, or racing flats, are designed with minimal cushioning and weight to help you run your fastest times.
Two important terms to know when buying a running shoe are pronation and supination. Here’s a video quick breakdown of the two:
Once you’re aware of your running gait you can determine if you need a more supportive shoe or neutral running shoe. Running in a support shoe when you have a neutral gait could be why you’re uncomfortable in your new shoe. At the same time, running in a neutral shoe when you need support can also cause discomfort. Knowing the distinction between the two will go a long way towards improving your running experience. For help determining your gait, please feel free to submit a video for analysis here.
It might just be the way you’re tying your shoes. A seemingly silly suggestion, I know, but what most of us don’t realize is that how you tie your shoe can affect different aspects of the fit.
For example, if the top of your foot feels tight, then the parallel lacing technique could help alleviate the uncomfortable tightness. Different tying techniques can provide a better fit and increase the comfort of your shoe.
For a breakdown of parallel lacing and other lacing techniques, watch our Learning Center video below:
Sometimes it can be difficult for a shoe to meet all of your specifications, but the addition of an insole can add the extra softness or support that you want. Our selection of insoles is broken into two categories: cushioned insoles and structured insoles.
Cushioned insoles are designed to enhance comfort and add some padding to your shoe, usually through the inclusion of gel or foam. Some insole models offer targeted cushioning to a specific area, like your arch or your heels, while others offer more generalized padding.
Structured insoles, on the other hand, can be firm and add a degree of support to your footwear. The additional structure under the arch adds a secure feeling, which is desirable for runners who require some form of pronation control.
Alan has been in the game for 11 years, running cross country from high school through his years at Chico State. Now as our Footwear Marketing Coordinator, he puts his expertise into practice, specializing in knowledge of daily trainers and performance running shoes.