Women are certainly known for loving shoes. And now more than ever, there are greater choices of athletic (and casual and former) footwear. How does know which are the best running shoes for women?
For exercise, itâ€™s important to select shoes for your specific activity, such as running, walking, hiking or cross training (including group ex classes and weight lifting). For safety and best performance, wear tennis shoes for tennis, cleats for softball and aqua shoes for water aerobics, for instance. Donâ€™t try to rely on one shoe for all different types of workouts.
Runners tend to be committed and eager to improve their performance with all kinds of gear, especially footwear. When it comes to the best running shoes for women, this is really a matter of personal choice, although there are some guidelines here:
- Select a running shoe â€“ not a cross trainer or walking shoe. Running shoes are specially designed for running.
- Go to a specialty store or a physical therapy clinic for a gait analysis. This will provide valuable guidance on your footstrike, tendency to overpronate or oversupinate and orthopedic issues such as high arches or flat feet. This information is important in getting you to the best shoes.
- Share the results of your gait analysis with staff at a specialty running store. Also discuss your mileage, terrain (treadmill, concrete, track, trail), running frequency and goals (races, times, etc.).
- Get professionally measured to ensure that you are wearing the correct size.
- Ask the staff for guidance â€“ share your preferences (minimalist, more heel cushion, bright colors, etc.) and request assistance from the store associates to find the best shoes to meet your needs.
- Try on several different brands/styles, and donâ€™t be afraid to go with something new. Jog through the store in the shoes, and recognize that it may take some time to break in new shoes.
- Donâ€™t buy the cheapest pair â€“ You get what you pay for with running shoes, and if you find a great shoe for a great deal, then go for it. But donâ€™t let price be your primary determinant.
- Find out about returns/exchanges â€“ If you go for a few runs in the shoes and they just arenâ€™t working, some stores will let you bring them back for a different pair.
The best running shoes for women are those that feel the best and contribute to successful performance. These will vary for different women according to their weight, running style, mileage, anatomical and potential orthopedic issues and just plain preferences. Thankfully, many choices exist!