Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Importance of the RIGHT Running Shoes

As most of you know, we have an amazing local running store here in Memphis, Breakaway Running. We wrote a blog post a while back on getting fitted for shoes but also want to share because there is so much more to it! Our friend, Barry from Breakaway was kind enough to help us out with this one! 


Thanks for your question! Running in the proper shoe for you is extremely important!  Most runners take approximately 1500 steps per mile exerting 3.5-4 times their body weight worth of impact force with step.This is why the majority of running issues come from the ground up including foot, ankle, knee hip, lower back and shin splints.  Most of these issues have some relationship to your running shoes.  Most folks run on relatively hard, unforgiving surfaces such as asphalt or concrete.  Your bones and joints must deal with the impact force that your shoes don't.  Obviously as individuals, we are all unique in many ways including our specifics needs for the proper running shoes.  The size and shape of our bodies (including our feet) and our individual gait patterns dictate the type of running shoe that we need.  Our gait patterns vary widely, with some folks over-pronating or rolling excessively inward while some do the opposite. Most folks are heel strikers while some are mid-foot strikers. 

There are different types of running shoes to accommodate these different gait patterns as we have shoes with varying levels of support called neutral, stability, minimal and motion control shoes to accommodate  these needs.  With many manufacturers making many different lasts (shoe shapes), cushioning systems, arch heights and "heel to toe" ratios there are shoes available to fit pretty much anyone with a desire to run.  Comfort, however, is always the main factor.  If the shoes don't feel good then they're not going to work no matter what other criteria they may meet. 

Breakaway's Extensive Shoe Collection
Please note that color is not a key factor in the functionality of the proper shoes!  With all of these factors being important in proper running shoe selection it is extremely important to be properly fitted by an experienced, knowledgeable shoe fitter when selecting your shoes. Multiple methods may be used to analyze your individual gait pattern including  the shoe fitter watching you run and walk, and checking the wear pattern on your old shoes (that never lies). It is very important that the shoe fitter understands what they are seeing as well as have the product knowledge to match you with the appropriate selections.  
Old Shoes Tell How You Run
 At Breakaway we go a step farther by giving a 30 day "wear test" with the shoes we sell. If you don’t think your shoes are living up to your expectations, we’ll actually trade them for a different pair.  Just another reason to shop local! Internet sellers don't fit shoes nor do they support local running events and training.  Supporting your local running store helps to ensure that we’ll be here the next time you need to be fitted.

Let me know if you need further information!

Happy Trails,

Barry Roberson

Running shoe fitter since 1977
owner, Breakaway Running


  1. Thanks for the reminder that color/cute isn't everything! That's hard for me!!

    1. That's hard for me. Can we go with it is secondary at least! ;)

  2. I have never had a shoe fitting but I think I am going to have that done before my next running shoe purchase. Thanks for the post :)

    1. Absolutely! Highly recommend a shoe fitting. Let us know how it goes!

  3. Great post Ladies! Barry and Breakaway are the best and I would never use anyone else for my running shoe needs!