Since I started running more miles, something I get asked about all the time is running shoes. What do you run in? Which shoes do you suggest? How do I pick the right running shoe? Shoes can make or break your run. I learned this early on in my running career. Today, I’m going to explain how to pick the best running shoe for you! Fortunately it’s pretty easy, and by the end of this post you will be well on your way to getting that perfect shoe!
Do Running Shoes Matter?
The shoes you run in matter a lot more than you may think. There are differing & strong opinions on shoes. Some runners swear by one brand or model, and some runners by another. Here is what I can tell you: no person is alike. You have to find the best running shoe that works best for you, your body, your goals & your run style. Just because Suzy Runner loves the ‘model T’ doesn’t mean it will be right for you, and vice versa. Shoes are not something to take lightly whether you run recreationally or are training for a race. Because shoes are so specific to each person, it is important to get fit for your shoes, which leads me to my next point.
How to Pick the Best Running Shoe
When I first started running, I just bought some running shoes that I thought were cute. They were comfortable for shorter distances, but longer distances they got uncomfortable. As I mentioned earlier, there are 4 major things that go into picking a shoe: your preferences, your body, your goals (i.e.: distance per week) & your run style. All of that needs to be taken into account when you pick a shoe, so the best thing to do is get fit for a running shoe.
What’s a ‘Run Signature’?
When it comes to getting fit for a running shoe, getting your gait tested is often something you hear about. There are all different ways gait can be assessed; most common are visually observing your steps or a treadmill with cameras. Run Signature from Brooks takes this to the next level.
Many times gait analysis involves just looking at your feet & your step. Run Signature, however, looks at how your entire stride functions from your knees all the way down to your ankles and feet. This is why I’m a huge fan of Run Signature; it gets the entire picture, not just a snippet.
Every body moves differently, which is why Brooks calls it your ‘Run Signature’. It’s specific to you and your body. It takes a lot of guess work out of finding the right shoe. For more scientific info on how it works, check this out.
My ‘Run Signature’
A few weeks ago, Brooks Running invited me down to their beautiful headquarters here in Seattle to test out Run Signature. Not only was it a lot of fun to see where all the Brooks magic happens, I also learned some game changing info about what kind of shoes I need.
The process is very easy and painless. You put two velcro bands on your leg, around your thigh above your knee and another on your calf. Then they place a sticky triangle on the back of your heel and you are ready to go.
Then you get on the treadmill and do a series of standing squats followed by a short run.
That’s it! Then you get some mind blowing results!!
My Results: I pronate slightly and need a ‘support’ shoe. (I’m giving you the short version, the results are much more in-depth than that)
Why are these so mind blowing? First, when you visually observe me walk, you don’t see a pronation. It happens when I run and was not something I even knew I was doing. Second, I currently run in Brooks and was running in a neutral shoe. This would explain some of the issues I was having with my knee during marathon training.
Another thing: your stride can change over time. So, when it is time to get a new pair of running shoes, also get your gait tested. The results can change and you may get surprised like I did!
Based on my Run Signature results, I’ve decided my next running shoe is going to be the Adrenaline GTS (cushion shoe). I would also love to try the Ravenna (energize) or the PureCadence (connect). I have plenty more miles to cover this year, so I probably have more than one pair of shoes on my horizon.
Find Your ‘Run Signature’
Want to find out what YOUR Run Signature is? Here are a few different ways you can do that.
- Local to the Seattle area? Visit the Brooks Trailhead store in Seattle and you can experience the Run Signature technology in person!
- Running a Rock N Roll race? The Run Signature technology & testing will be available at the “Brooks Run Happy Island” at all the Rock N Roll expos.
- Neither of those possible for you? Try this in-depth Shoe Finder quiz on the Brooks website!
Once you find out what your Run Signature and whether you need a ‘support’ or ‘neutral’ shoe, Brooks takes it one step further by letting you choose what experience you want.
- Cushion: Soft and protective to cushion your every step.
- Energize: Responsive and springy to add extra lift to your stride.
- Connect: Lightweight and flexible to naturally feel your run
- Speed: Fast and streamlined to propel you through your run.
No matter what kind of run you’re looking for, Brooks has got you covered!
A huge thank you to Brooks Running for having me out to their headquarters and allowing me this amazing experience!