As many girls tend to experience on a daily basis, finding the perfect shoe to wear can be one of the most time consuming tasks imaginable.  It’s been quite a process for me over the years finding this so called shoe perfection.  Does the shoe fit?

There are so many factors that come into play when choosing sneakers, which you may not realize at first.  If you’re getting serious about running, you should head to your local running store and have them analyze your stride.  They are experts in their field and will give you some great advice.  Wearing a shoe that fits properly makes a huge difference.  Some factors that need to be considered are your foot shape, arch type, weight, experience, the running surface you most frequently run on and what mileage you tend (or intend) to run on a a weekly basis.  Your sales person will give you a few pairs to try and then you get to make the ultimate decision!  I’ll give you fair warning, running in sneakers throughout the store can be a little embarrassing at first!  

When I started running in college, I was fresh off of my competitive soccer career.  I went to my local running store and got fit for my first pair of real sneakers.  I ran a few paces on the treadmill and the helpful sales person gave me a few options.  I ended up purchasing a pair of Brooks Ravenna’s, which I swore were going to be my shoes for life.  These are mid-level support sneakers that are great for road running and runners with medium to flat arches.  I wore the Ravenna’s (went through a few different pair) for almost 3 years until one training season I ended up with the biggest blisters I had ever experienced in my arches. They started rubbing at Mile 3 of a half marathon, so let’s just say this was an issue I would prefer not to deal with again.  I’ll spare you all the pictures! 

After that experience, I went to the New Jersey Running Company in Hoboken to try and figure out what the issue was.  They have a system where you run barefoot on the treadmill and it videos your feet while running.  This takes into account where you land on your foot and also how strong your ankles are on impact.  Turns out, the Ravenna’s had too much support in the arches and they were rubbing intensely.  My running form and foot placement had changed throughout the years.  When I started, I had a slight overpronation due to the fact that soccer had been my primary form of exercise. It’s good to take note that your body changes and your shoes may have to change with it.  

This trip to the running store changed my life!  I bought the best pair of sneakers I have and ever will (in my mind) purchase – The Clouds (pictured above).  These are a little pricey, but I got a bit of a discount, so I decided to take the plunge.  Although it was heartbreaking to part with my tried and true Ravenna’s, I never regretted spending the extra money, not one day.  They are super lightweight and have optional laces, so you can just slip them on and you’re ready to run.  The soles are created with the company’s, Zero Gravity Foam, which adds extra cushion to the sole, making them super comfortable.  I highly recommend giving these a try next time you’re in your local running store!  Although I got a different pair of sneakers after my last half, I definitely intend on purchasing another pair of On Cloud’s shoes for the marathon.  They’ll have to be a different style, as I’ll need support with the longer distance, but I’m currently saving up the $$$ to get them!

Stay tuned for how to determine what shoes to train in for certain distances and when to buy new ones!  Also, for my review on my current pair of sneakers! 

Happy Running!