I learned the hard way about socks and shoes. When I began running, I threw on a pair of no-show white socks and a pair of $50 “running” shoes I found at Academy Sports. I was excited about getting to the gym and giving my new shoes a spin. I ran in the shoes for about three days. At the end of my run session on the third day, I felt a pain in the back of my heel. I took off my sock and noticed a large red blister the size of a quarter. The blister appeared as a result of cheaply made no-show socks and the incorrect “running” shoes I purchased.
If you are serious about running, don’t make the mistake that I did and buy cheaply designed socks and shoes. You can buy a good pair of running shoes for a minimum of $80, and you can spend as much as $160 on elite running shoes. I choose Nike because they offer a free return on shoes purchased within 30 days if you tried them out and didn’t like them. The ultimate choice for me was the Nike Free RN shoes. These shoes offer lots of support, especially for runners that weigh 200+ pounds, which is me.
Don’t neglect your sock choice. I have tested various brands of socks and I keep coming back to the most comfortable running sock ever created. Balega socks have never failed me on any of my runs. You will not get blisters in these socks. Yes, they wear out but I bought 4 pairs of Balega socks and they lasted almost a year. I have a different pair of Balega socks for each weekly running day.
If you’ve been involved in running for some time you probably have run across the term pronation. Pronation, when described in running, is how the rotation of the foot coming inward and downward and its tendency to strike. This picture shows the wear on my shoe after 400+ miles of running. I tend to under pronate which means instead of my foot being completely level on impact its slightly on the outer portion of my foot. Also, I have a high arch in my foot which also shows up in the picture below.
The best running shoe varies between motion-controlled, cushioned, and stabilized. How do you know what type of shoe you need? The simple answer is travel to your local running store and let them test you on a machine that shows your foots pronation in the gait cycle. Pronation comes down to how well your foot absorbs shock from each cycle during running.