Running is an excellent workout for both the body and soul, helping to promote positivity, aid weight loss, strengthen your joints, keep your mind sharp and add years to your life.
However, before you start, you will need to ensure you have the best running shoes for your feet.
It's not as simple as throwing on any old trainers, as you will need to ensure your feet are healthy, supported and protected as you enjoy your work out.
Take your Biomechanics into Account
If you visit a local running store, you will be able to gain valuable advice from trained staff regarding your foot type, biomechanics and needs.
These professionals will be able to recommend a range of shoes that will work the best for your feet. There are three main types of foot: flat, neutral or high arched. All of these determine the runner's pronation level (the inward rolling of the foot) which is important to take into account whilst running.
Choose the Comfort Level that Suits You
When you are running, ask yourself whether you prefer to feel the responsiveness of the ground beneath you, or a more cushioned experience. These are important factors when deciding which shoes you wish to purchase, as you will need to ensure comfort to get the best out of your run.
Leave Space at the End of your Shoe
As a general rule, you should leave around a thumbnail's length between the end of your big toe and the end of the shoe. This may require you to go up half a size from your usual to allow for the extra space.
The space is necessary due to the tendency of the feet to swell during exercise or running. By sizing up, your feet will still be comfortable and able to breathe despite any swelling that occurs.
Run Around the Store
Don't worry about looking ridiculous -- they are used to seeing it! The best way to 'try before you buy' is to take a little jog around the shop and see how the shoes feel. If they don't feel right, try a few more pairs as different makes vary. If they are comfortable and meet your needs, go right ahead and make the purchase!
Replace your Shoes every 300 - 500 Miles
Buying new shoes frequently may seem excessive, however it's necessary to protect your feet. Worn down running shoes are often a cause of running injuries due to the lack of stability, shock absorption and cushioning.
If you are starting to feel aches and pains after your run, it's probably time to invest in a new pair.
Remember, there is no universal 'best running shoe', so it may take a little time to find your perfect match. Take this advice into account and head off to your local sports store to try on a variety of models.
Once equipped with your ideal shoe, you'll be ready to go!