Shoes are important for any runner. I got advice from running coach Andrew Cheong of SSTAR.fitness to help me find the best ones for my feet as I’ll be running the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon. By Zarelda Marie Goh
The writer stretching before a run. Photo: Frencheschar Lim/SPH Magazines
Tip 1: Wear them right
Put on a pair of socks that you usually run in, stand up in the shoes and have someone measure the gap between the tip of the shoe and your longest toe. There should be at least a thumb’s width gap. Next, ensure the shoes are the correct width. Lace them up, and make sure your feet fit comfortably in them, then check if the two rows of eyelets are parallel. “Bow-shaped” rows mean the shoes are too narrow and an “hour glass” shape means they are too wide. Most Asians have feet that fit D or EE widths.
Tip 2: Know your pronation
Motion-control shoes are designed for runners whose feet tend to roll in excessively or overpronate. Well-cushioned shoes are recommended for underpronators (those with high arches). Feet that roll in neither too much nor too little are described as neutral. To determine your foot type, it is best to consult a shoe retailer or get a running coach to help you do a gait analysis. A simpler way is to do this test: Spread a sheet of newspaper on the floor, wet your feet and step on the sheet, leaving footprints. If the arches of your footprints are filled in, it’s likely that your feet collapse inwards when you run. If you see just your heels and the balls of your feet in your footprints, you have high-arched feet. If you see about half of your arch region filled in, you have neutral feet and can wear just about any shoe.
Tip 3: Cushioning matters
Elite runners tend to opt for lightweight racing shoes, as less weight equals less effort and faster finish times. But for most runners, that difference is negligible. And since the only way to get a shoe lighter is to do away with the cushioning, it would be best to choose footwear that provides you optimum cushioning before worrying about the weight.
Follow the rest of Shape editor Zarelda Marie Goh’s journey at www.shape.com.sg/myfirstmarathon.
This article is brought to you by Skechers.