My sneakers/running shoes are killing my feet; how do buy a good pair?

Properly fitting running shoes/sneakers should not have to be “broken” in.  You may have to try on several different brands and styles before you find one that fits and supports your foot properly.  The runners/sneakers should feel comfortable on your feet as soon you try them on and walk around in them.

To get the best fitting running shoes/sneakers what are the things you may want to know…

Look for flexibility in the sole area.  The shoe should bend easily with your foot as you walk.  The stiffer the sole the harder your leg and foot muscles will have to work which can be very tiring depending on the distance you are walking or running.

Make sure you have adequate room in the toe area.  About a 1/2″ of clearance will do.  If you have too little clearance your big toe will hit the tip of your shoe, if you have too much your foot will slide back and forth in the shoe.

Proper arch support is crucial.  You want to make sure your foot fits comfortably on the arch support and that the arch support is keeping your foot stable as you walk or run.

Proper padding for shock absorption.  The mid-section of the shoe should have the largest amount of padding, but for women proper padding in the heel area is important too. About 3/4″ in the heel area is about right, too much padding in the heel will cause heel fatigue, too little will cause sore heels, burning sensation, bruising, etc.

Should breathe/absorb sweat.  This depends on the type of material the runner/sneaker is made from and/or the number of ventilation holes. The heavier the over all weight of the shoe the less it will breathe, compared to its lighter counterparts.  Man-made materials like vinyl do not breathe very well.

Solid base for stability.  Look for a runner/sneaker that has a solid wide solid base for stability in general. Some fancier types of runners/sneakers designed especially for women are more for looks than practicality.


If you are unsure what type of runner/sneaker you should buy try on several different brands.  Once you find a brand that fits your foot well, try on several styles in different price ranges to see what feels best. Brand and/or price does not necessarily dictate which runner/sneaker will fit your foot the best.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. coconews
    Aug 12, 2008 @ 10:41:40

    Words of wisdom for people with old running shoes/sneakers.

    As you age your feet change too. Shoes that fit your feet five or ten years ago most likely don’t fit your foot properly today.

    Wearing old shoes that don’t support your feet properly can cause severe pain and foot problems long term. Because you use your feet so often in a day, some problems can take a year or more to heal or you can end up with foot pain that lasts a lifetime.

    Have a shoe story? Have you paid the price for wearing shoes that didn’t fit properly or were worn out? Sound off here.

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