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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Lucas Norton tries on new running shoes at Three Rivers Running Co., 4039 N. Clinton St.

gear up for run

Select right shoes for your feet, gait

Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
After a short run on a treadmill, customer Erin Keppeler, left, of Marion, has her stride evaluated on an iPad recording by sales associate Liz Schloss.

It’s running season. But before you take your mark and go, make sure you get a good start by picking the right running shoe for your feet.

A good place to start is a store where experts can help you find the best fit for your foot and gait.

Jim Farrell, product manager for The Three Rivers Running Co. on North Clinton Street, says most people go to the big box stores and buy any shoe off the shelf. However, you’re probably not getting the best shoe, which could end up in injuries or limit your running.

Farrell says runners should go to a reputable store that focuses on running shoes. Three Rivers Running Co. has a treadmill with a camera that can record how a customer runs or walk, helping to determine the best shoe fit.

He says customers should expect to spend about $110 to $125 for a good running shoe.

Also, do your homework, Farrell says. He says research what type of shoe may be best for the type of running you want to do.

Peter Ryan, assistant buyer for Fred Toenges Shoes and Perdothics on Hobson Road, says there are about four different types of shoes: cushioning, stability, motion control and minimalist.

Cushioning protects the foot from turning and is good for someone with a sufficient gait, he says. Stability keeps the foot from rolling in, while motion control is good for people with mild to severe foot issues, helping to keep the foot stable.

Minimalist has little support, he says, and is designed to feel like you are running barefoot.

Fred Toenges also has a treadmill that allows employees to analyze how a foot works while running, and the store specializes in shoes for people with injuries or other issues that can limit running or walking.

“What one shoe may work for one person, may not work for another,” Ryan says.

Ryan suggests a few tests when buying running shoes to test the flexibility and support of the shoe.

First, the front of the shoe should bend when pushed up or down, he says. Second, the heel of the shoe should be rigid and firm to hold in the heel.

Ryan also suggests putting your hands on the rear and front of the shoe and twist. If it twists one way or the other, that’s bad. That means the shoe doesn’t have much support, he says.

Farrell says the fit of the shoe is important. Because feet tend to swell when running, runners should buy a bigger shoe size as running shoes generally run smaller, he says.

Also, proper socks are a must, he says. Farrell suggests socks that wick away sweat and avoid cotton varieties, which can cause blisters.

Ryan says the main thing when buying a shoe is knowing what feels good to you.

He says: “If it feels better than the other running shoes … (it’s) probably a good shoe for you.”