It can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out what kind of running shoes will be best for you, your feet, and your running style. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do when trying on shoes to make the choice easier.
If you’re dealing with a running injury in Austin, you can request a free consultation with one of Carter Physiotherapy’s running-expert physical therapists. We can quickly figure out what’s causing your pain and limiting your mileage—without it costing you a dime.
The Complexity of Shopping for Running Shoes in Austin
I recently asked one of our running injury and running shoe specialists his advice on how to pick the best running shoe. He answered, “If you go to a running store, you might find 50, 60, or 70 different options to choose from. It can be overwhelming even for me.” The reality is there are a lot of different options for a lot of different running forms.
One thing we often hear from our runner patients who have visited a few running shoe stores is, “I totally overpronate.” This concerns me because I’m not sure how the shoe store attendant is assessing overpronation. Are they properly trained to know how much pronation is normal and how much is too much?
Pronation is not a bad thing. We NEED to pronate … It’s appropriate and it’s how we transport forces around the body.
Just be cautious. Most people don’t need highly corrective, high-arch-support running shoes. When we overcorrect a runner’s feet, it tends to create a lot more problems. It can lead to new injuries as they run.
We should allow the foot to move appropriately and normally as possible. That is, we should utilize shoe correction and/or orthotics only as much as necessary.
Assessing running shoes
When you go to one of the many running shoe stores in Austin, they may suggest you assess a running shoe by jogging on their treadmill for a minute or two.
Unfortunately, that’s not really enough time to truly evaluate a shoe. You won’t know what it will do to your feet until you get home and start running 3, 4, 5 miles or more. However, most stores won’t take back shoes that were used on actual runs.
But there are a couple things you can do at the store to help choose the right running shoe. The shoe that makes you feel most stable and balanced during these tests is likely going to be the best choice for you.
- Single-leg balance: Balance on one foot (wearing the new shoe) for 30 seconds. If you’re all over the place and you can’t control your balance, it’s probably not the right shoe for you.
- Single-leg squat: While wearing the new shoe, do a squat using just one leg. If the new shoe helps you feel more stable than you feel with other shoes or while barefoot, it might be a good choice.
Other resources for runners in Austin:
Enjoy Trail Running? Click here to learn about our favorite 5 trail runs in Austin (includes descriptions of the runs, difficulty levels, and map locations)
Click here to learn some really important exercises for runners and how to prevent one of the most common causes of running injury
If you know you want to learn some of the most important running-injury prevention exercises, click here to check them out.
My therapist at Carter PT has been awesome. For 4 years I wore the same pair of shoes everywhere. Literally everywhere, not just exercising, they were the only pair of shoes I could wear without creating new feet/knee/hip pain and neuropathy. I truly feel I was led specifically to him after trying other PTs.
I tried all kinds of shoes and luckily took good notes about how I felt in most of them… He knows a lot about all of the different running shoe models. He went through the list in detail, worked with me for a few sessions to understand my difficulties, then went to a running store to evaluate options based on his assessment of me and all the details I gave him (not many people would take their own time to do this). This was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
He then suggested a few pairs of shoes. I ordered them and was shortly the proud wearer of a new pair of shoes! I seriously never thought that day would happen.
He has been an awesome PT and works with me at my speed to not flare up symptoms. I love having a full hour of his undivided attention. I look forward to working with him to get into another pair of shoes!
TB, AUSTIN TX
Request a Free Consultation
If you’re already dealing with a running injury in Austin, click here to request a completely free consultation with a running-expert physical therapist. We can quickly figure out what’s causing your pain and limiting your mileage without it costing you a dime.