How to Choose the Right Shoe

If youve been in the office lately, you might have heard the news that Dr. Aucker is training not only for his first duathlon, but first half marathon as well! The Aucker household recently got a new shipment of running shoes so we thought we would share a little bit of info on the shoes we wear, why, and how to choose the best shoes to keep your knees and back feeling good on those long runs.

Running is a simple, great way to get in cardiovascular exercise without needing a ton of fancy equipment or even a gym membership. With that being said, having a well fitting pair of shoes can certainly make those long days pounding pavement a much more enjoyable experience. But where to start? There are countless options and every person seems to have their own opinion on what is best. Were here to help. Below weve broken down a few key factors that you should keep in mind when looking for your next pair of running/jogging/dog walking shoes.

  1. Ask the expert. If you are new to running or unsure if your current shoes meet your needs, reach out for help. At your next appointment, bring in a pair of used running shoes. From there we can assess your stride by watching not just the way you move, but also checking the wear patterns on the soles of your shoes.
  2. Set a goal. Advances in technology have brought shoes a long way over the last few years, but also skyrocketed prices. If you are looking to set a new marathon personal best or spend hours on your feet during a relay race, it can be very important to make an investment in the shoes that you are wearing. However, if you are simply looking to be more active, it probably is not necessary to drop $200 on the newest shoe the Olypians are wearing. Set your goal and adjust accordingly.
  3. Try before you buy. While it can be tempting to take advantage of that great online deal you just got an email about, it is critical to try on new running shoes before you buy. This especially rings true if you are purchasing a new brand or style you have never worn before. The best time to shop is in the afternoon or evening because your feet are larger at night from spending all day on them.
  4. Let your inner fashionista take a backseat. It seems that the color and styles of running shoes become more and more outlandish everyday. Unfortunately, sometimes the shoe you least prefer the looks of, is actually the one that suits you best. Dont be scared to pull that neon-colored bad boy off the shelf and give it a shot.
  5. Read a book. There are so many great books about running that can be a wealth of knowledge when getting motivated to run and even learn about the physiology of the human body, how running shoes got to where they are, and that perhaps they are actually what are making our knees and feet hurt. We recommend Born to Run and Shoe Dog.

But what do we recommend? With all of that being said, we are big fans of letting feet move in the most natural way possible. Our feet were designed in an amazing way to allow us to run long distances without any protection. Over the years shoes have become a way for the industry to make money and may actually be doing quite a bit of harm (disclaimer* there are certainly situations where orthotics or stability shoes are required, based on things like past injuries, and certainly have their place). There are several brands that are doing a great job of mimicking a more minimalistic feel and letting our feet breathe. Were currently loving the brand Altra (we are affiliated in no way) for these reasons, but there are a lot of other great ones out there. Hopefully this helps you on your journey and we look forward to seeing you out on the road! Happy running 🙂