Buying running shoes online can be overwhelming sometimes. So, we made this article to enlist the top tips to keep in mind when you look for your next pair of shoes online, so you don’t end up losing money.
During the restrictive times of the coronavirus pandemic, most people have been accustomed to buying their running shoes online since most stores have been closed nowadays. If you want to shop your running shoes online, but you are worried about something going wrong, especially since you have heard about your friends’ failed experiences, there is no need for that! We will provide you with the essential tips to follow when buying shoes on online shopping sites.
How to Have a Successfully Buying Running Shoes Online Experience
There are some factors you should consider when shopping for running shoes online. We have gathered all the tips that experts and professionals suggest to get the best shoes for you.
If you expect to go for long runs more than three times per week, you’ll need to invest in a pair of cushioned running shoes. It will help to reduce shock impacts and increase comfort. If you only run once a week for about 5 km, though, you can get away with simple shoes with basic padding.
If you’re training for a race or intend to run at fast speeds, we recommend choosing a lightweight running shoe. This is due to the fact that it has a more dynamic structure that allows you to run faster. When purchasing running shoes online, it is critical to understand what type of footwear is appropriate for you.
Every runner has a specific gait, which affects his/her running form. The scientists found that your running stride can be categorized into overpronation, underpronation, and neutral.
Neutral: In this case, the whole heel hits the ground first, followed by the forefoot and toes.
Overpronation: In this case, the inner heel strikes the ground first, followed by the big toe, and the foot rolls inward.
Underpronation (Supination): In this type of stride, the outer heel strikes the ground first, followed by the little toe, and the foot rolls outward
The Exact Foot Size
The sizes of running shoes differ from one brand to another, which makes the online shopping process difficult, especially since you cannot try your shoes on before buying. However, knowing the correct foot size is essential in shopping for your best kick. Thus, all you need to do is measure your feet to ensure the correct numbers. If you wonder about the right way of measuring your foot size, encircle your foot’s shape on a piece of paper with a pencil from the bottom up. Also, after knowing your sizes, we recommend that you review the approved size chart, as it differs from one brand and shop to another.
The toe box is the area of the shoes where you put your toes. A lot of people purchase sneakers that are too tight and think that they’ll break-in. Unfortunately, Most of the current running shoes don’t break in quickly.
The toe box dimension is an essential element of both the size and design of the shoe. If you find a pair of shoes you like, but it’s somewhat tight around your toes, go for the next size up.
It would help if you always bought running shoes that have a room of 1/2 to 1 inch between your big toe and the front of the shoes. When you run, your feet swell, so it is crucial to have a little space to avoid any foot issues such as black nails.
The Right Type of Running Shoes
Once you find your foot type, it’s the perfect time to get the most suitable running shoe. Running shoes are often categorized into three types. Each type has its pros and cons. Learning about the different categories of running shoes and how they suit different shapes of foot assists you narrow down your selections. In most cases, you will find the type of every running shoe mentioned on the product’s page on online stores.
Here are the main types of running shoes:
Neutral: Neutral running sneakers suit athletes with a reasonably neutral gait. They provide plenty of cushioning. Also, They offer very little arch support.
Cushioning Shoes: This type is excellent for runners with rigid feet and high arches who usually underpronate. This highly flexible shoe is manufactured from lightweight materials that provide optimal cushioning with minimal rigidity.
Minimalist: This lightweight type of running shoe helps a more natural running movement with some cushioning. Newbies may find this type not easy to run in. Many professionals suggest steadily easing into minimalist shoes and changing runs with more supportive trainers, as the tendons and muscles will need some time to fortify for minimalist shoes.
Stability Shoes: This type is suitable for neutral arches and mild control problems runners. These shoes feature high-density foam and extra arch-side supports, which provide additional stability. In addition, stability shoes are often made from a gentle arch from front to back that delivers forefoot flexibility and rear-foot stability.
Motion Control Shoe: This type is perfect for flat-foot runners and heavy runners who usually overpronate. These sneakers often have rigid devices created from fiberglass, plastic, or high-density foam. In addition, these shoes feature extra rigidity, which helps prevent the foot from overpronating and the heel from turning out.
Barefoot: Barefoot running shoes provide just a very thin layer of protection between the feet and the surface to offer the feeling of running barefoot while still offering protection. These shoes have zero heel-to-toe drop and don’t provide any cushioning.
Running Shoe Parts
It’s crucial to be familiar with the parts of a standard running shoe and the related terms. Each part plays a role when it comes to ordering suitable shoes with the best support and fit. The three basic parts of a running shoe are the outsole, midsole, and upper.
The outsole is the outer bottom part of the shoe that hits the running surface. It is often created from rubber. The types of rubber commonly used include:
Blown rubber: Typically seen in road running shoes. Blown rubber is lighter in weight and gives a cushioned feeling.
Carbon rubber: Typically seen in trail running shoes and on the back heel of some other running shoes. This type of rubber is more durable for longer wear.
The upper of running shoes is the top parts that hug your feet. There are several options of uppers; each one has its advantages. Below are some of the common running shoe upper options:
Synthetic leather: The synthetic material on most running shoe uppers makes the shoes faster drying and lighter while remaining durable and supple.
Nylon or nylon mesh: Uppers manufactured from nylon let your feet breathe. They are also lighter in design,
Waterproof: Some running sneakers offer a waterproof upper with a special membrane to keep moisture from entering. These designs of trainers still have some breathability, but not the same as the not waterproof running shoes.
The midsole is where you get all of your cushioning and support, and it falls between the upper and the outsole. Midsoles can be found in various designs with many functionalities that feature how much support the shoe offers. Here are a few things to search for in midsoles:
- Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) is the most common type of foam utilized in running shoe midsoles. EVA is designed to cushion the feet. It comes in varied densities, which could be utilized to support the foot in a particular approach.
- Midsole cushioning devices: Although EVA can do an excellent job of cushioning the shoe, some running shoes contain additional cushioning within the EVA midsole, such as gel or encapsulated air.
- Medial posts: Firmer sections within the midsole are called posts and are employed for durability, overpronation, or support the arch. They are typically manufactured from higher density sections of EVA or TPU. Motion control and stability running shoes usually include posts, which put some extra weight on the shoe.
- Shanks: It is a stiffened section under the arch. Shanks encourage bending at the toe rather than at the arch for correct foot striking and positioning. Some very flexible and lightweight shoes do not have a shank, but most do.
- Plates: It is a thin material that strengthens the forefoot area and protects your feet from rocks or other objects in your running path. Plates are essential for running on trails.
- Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU): It is a flexible plastic material that assists in stabilizing running shoes.
The Running Terrain
Each shoe is tailored to tread on a particular type of terrain. For example, if you are going to tread with your shoes only on gym treadmills, your shoe won’t need to be as durable as a shoe used for rocky roads. Therefore, always make a list of the activities that you intend to do while wearing your shoe and check the specifications to know if the shoe is suitable for them or not.
The Running Style
There are three main running styles upon which running shoes vary. The running style affects the high-impact areas and the durability of your shoes. Such styles include front-striking, mid-striking, and heel-striking. You can know your style by getting your used shoe and checking the most affected areas. Worn-out areas indicate the running style and determine which type of shoes you should purchase. Always ask an expert about whether your shoe fits your running habits or not.
Increase the Size by a Half
Doubtful buyers are always advised to get a wider shoe if they don’t know the best size that can suit their feet. A wider shoe will prevent swelling, injuries, and irritation. Runners who have flat feet are also advised to increase their shoe size by a half degree.
When it comes to shoe manufacturing, brands select the average build of runners, which is the main build most runners have and start tailoring their models to suit it. So, if you are taller or heavier than this average standard, chances are your shoes won’t be durable enough for you. That is why runners are always advised to know the average measurements and whether they fit into this category or not.
The Shoe Price
Good running shoes are fairly pricy and usually worth it. A $30 shoe will not be suitable as a $90 running shoe. So, it is vital to find a shoe with the features you are looking for and then look at its price.
The Shoe Quality
Knowing the shoe’s quality is just as important as knowing the size. There is nothing worse than receiving the shoe you have been looking for only to find that its fabric and quality are not what you expected. That is why it is recommended that you read all the information provided by the online shopping site about this item and customer reviews.
The Return Policy
A plethora of online stores grand a 60-day running policy in which runners can return their ill-fitting shoes. So, make sure that the store you are dealing with can offer you a refund upon your request. But, of course, it also depends upon your access and location.
The Order’s Information
This is one of the essential tips for safe shopping online. Buyers are advised to stay organized after making their purchases. Keep your receipt and order confirmation number as well as the postal tracking number in a safe place. If you have a problem with the order, this information will help the merchant solve the problem and take the necessary actions.
Heel to toe Drop
One factor that is usually unconsidered when buying running shoes is heel-to-toe drop (Also known as Heel Drop). Heel drop is the difference in sole thickness between heel and toe. A higher heel-to-toe drop may decrease pressure on your Achilles tendons and calf muscles, so if you have tighter calves, probably because of a lack of experience, it is recommended to go for a running shoe with a higher drop.
Save the Names of the Online Stores you Liked
If you like the customer service of a particular site and the quality of its products, do not hesitate and save its name for the second shopping you will do. This way, you will have a list of sites you like to shop for later with confidence in all the questions and details related to shoes that previously worried you.
Check the Reviews
One of the significant advantages of buying running shoes online is the reviews. Most online stores such as Amazon offers a review section on every product page where buyers can share their thoughts, experiences, pros, and cons. So, if you want to buy a running shoe online, check the reviews of the model you want to buy; it is suggested to go for shoes with a 4-5 stars rating.
Try the Shoe Immediately Upon Delivery
When the shoe you ordered arrives, you should try it immediately so that you will be able to return the ill-fitting shoe within the specified time. Don’t forget to wear your running socks while trying your new shoes. Socks can make a big difference in shoe size. Also, make sure you try it at home and not on a dirty floor to avoid damaging the soles.
Let your Feet be the Judge
You can talk about shoes with friends and check out reviews for advice, but keep in mind, like any consumer product, your friend’s most liked footwear, or the shoe that has a 5-star review, or the most expensive shoe, might not always be the best option for you. So let your feet and body be the judge of the different running sneakers you try on.
Let Google Be Your Friend
Google plays a significant role when searching for the best pair of running shoes online. There are many available shoes, and you might find yourself confused because you can’t decide the right pair of shoes I should go for. If you are a runner planning to take runs on the beach and don’t know what is the best option for you. Then, you can go to the Google search bar and type “Best running shoes for beach.” You will find a lot of blogs that offer reviews for the best running shoes for the beach. Spend some time checking these blogs and seeing the best running shoes that experts and professional bloggers suggest for you.
StressFreeFeet.com is one of the best blogs available that reviews the best running shoes for people with different needs and foot issues. We guarantee that you will never need to look at any other blogs or websites to find the best running shoes for your case.
Look at High-quality, Detailed Pictures
Be sure the online store you are shopping at has zoomable or larger pictures of all the different sides of the footwear.
Be ready to compare at least two running shoes and understand specifically what makes them different or similar. It will let you see things you hadn’t noticed before and make your selection much easier.
For Running Newcomers
One mistake that beginners usually make is ordering a pair of expert-level trainers that his/her body is not ready for. If you are a new runner and your body has not been trained to handle the shocks from running, you may need to think about a more stable shoe. In addition, comfort takes on an essential role in avoiding running-related injuries. So, runners might be less likely to get injured when putting on footwear that feels as natural and comfortable to them as possible.
Read more: do unworn running shoes have a shelf life
Benefits of Buying Running Shoes Online
The process of shopping for running shoes online has its own merits. Below are some obvious benefits of buying shoes online.
Options: One major benefit of shopping online is the limit of the stock. An online store will have theoretically limitless stock, while a traditional has limited stock based on the size of the store itself. So, with online stores, you have more options, brands, styles, and price ranges to choose from.
Convenience: One of the main reasons that buying running shoes online is such an excellent idea for those of us who don’t have enough time to spend hours going shopping at different local traditional shoe stores, you can buy your next pair of running shoes from the comfort of your own sofa, and your purchase will also be delivered right to your doorstep.
Brand New: In a physical retail shoe store, the shoes you’re picking out may have been tried on by other shoppers; on the other hand, if you’re ordering a pair of running shoes online, there’s a far better possibility that your brand-new sneakers will in fact be brand-new.
Offers: The majority of physical retail stores usually limit their sales to once in the winter months and once in the summer months. On the other hand, big online stores such as Amazon enlist top running shoe manufacturers’ different models and styles. So, there is a big chance that you will find a perfect running shoe with a great price discount.
All beginners and expert runners know that running shoes are probably the most crucial gear they have to buy. High-quality running shoes can make your running experience, while low-quality shoes can break your experience. In today’s world, many people prefer online shopping instead of going to a physical store. It’s convenient, easy, and can save you both money and time if you know when and where to shop!
When it comes to buying running shoes from an online store, we understand that you might be worried about choosing and ordering unsuitable shoes that may make your running experience uncomfortable.
So, we’ve made this guide to be your reference when searching for suitable running shoes online.