How to Choose the Best Running Shoes for 5K Runners
by Diane Quinn
Your search for the best running shoes involves evaluating your feet for any existing problems so you can avoid developing any new foot injuries. You can’t run a 5K (3.1 mile) race if your feet hurt! That’s why finding the best running shoe style for your feet could make a big difference in your running time and your health.
How to choose the best running shoes
Probably the biggest mistake novice runners make is not investing enough money in good running shoes. Before buying, first determine what type of runner you are:
- Running profile—Do you plan to run 15 or 25 miles a week to prepare for a 5K race? Will you run on dirt trails, asphalt or on a treadmill? If you train hard and regularly, you’ll need the best running shoes for distance.
- Body type—The best running shoes for men and women that carry their weight on a larger body frame will be different than for thinner and smaller body types.
- Running style—Consider how your foot first comes into contact with the ground. Does the inside of your forefoot take most of the impact, or is it your heel? The best running shoes for distance will be designed with cushioning exactly where you need it most. As an example, if you run from heel to toe, the best running shoes for women and men are the Asics Gel styles.
- Pre-existing foot issues—Do you have problems with blisters, plantar fasciitis, shin splints or tendonitis? Sometimes these problems can be reversed if you choose good running shoes that fit properly. People with high or low arches or other unique foot shapes should choose styles designed specifically for their feet.
When your foot rolls toward the inside and flattens when walking or running, this motion is called “pronation.” Too much pronation (overpronation) can cause injuries to your feet, knees, ankles and hips. Not as common is underpronation (also called “supination”) that occurs if your foot’s first contact with the ground happens on an outer edge where your shoe might not have adequate cushioning. Use the following ways to determine if you have a pronation problem:
- Take note of the soles of your existing shoes for the specific location of wear spots.
- Perform a wet test by stepping on a brown grocery bag or blank sheet of heavy paper placed on a flat surface with wet feet. If your entire foot is outlined, you probably overpronate. A supination pattern will show little or none of your middle foot on the surface. The most common foot type is a normal pronator, and if you fall into this category, you’ll see only half of your arch on the paper.
- If you have exiting foot issues, have your foot measured and examined by a foot specialist. Visit a podiatrist, or ask for a consultation with the shoe specialist in a sports store that can help you find the best running shoes for you.