You’ve been training for a marathon for ages. You’ve been building up your endurance, so you don’t get hit by the dreaded wall and give up. You’ve been picturing yourself crossing that finish line with your arms raised victoriously.
There is one more thing you have to do before you consider yourself ready for the big race: check your shoes.
Why should you check your shoes?
Old, ill-fitting and unsupportive running shoes lead to painful running injuries like shin splints and plantar fasciitis. You don’t want something as avoidable as pain in the arch of your foot to stop you from reaching your ultimate goal.
The wrong pair of shoes can do more than sabotage your special day. The repercussions of an athletic injury can follow you for years down the line.
How do you know you should throw out your shoes?
Here are some signs that you should replace your shoes:
- Your feet feel sore after every run
- You’re getting lots of blisters
- Worn down tread
- Worn down heel
It’s recommended that marathoners and long-distance runners give up their shoes after racking up 500 kilometres with them. When you run every day, you can meet this number in a matter of months.
Where can you get these shoes?
Skip the big-box stores that are going to focus on fashion and price over functionality. And whatever you do, don’t order them online.
Go to a store that you know will have experts on athletic footwear, like a foot clinic. They will help you find the right pair of supportive running shoes so that you can put your best foot forward at the starting line and make it safely across the finish line. They can also offer accessories to improve comfort and stave off injury, like orthotic inserts.
When should you buy these shoes?
One of the vital tips for buying running shoes that you should follow is to get them in the late afternoon or evening. Your feet expand later in the day. To guarantee a perfect fit, you’re going to want to get them when they fit your feet at their largest.
Get the shoes weeks ahead of the marathon so that you can give them a few test-runs. It’s better to figure out that they’re not as comfortable as you thought during a morning jog than on race day.
What kind of shoe should you get?
The ideal long-distance running shoe will have plenty of toe box room so that you don’t get bruised, bloody toenails. They need to be sturdy to handle the constant impact. They need to be well-ventilated to help out your sweaty feet. And of course, you want them to be supportive, so you don’t injure yourself during the run.
There is no perfect shoe out there for every runner. You need to find the one that matches your foot size, arch height, running style and more. The smartest thing you can do is head to a foot clinic, get your feet measured and try on as many shoes as you can until you stumble onto the right pair.