There is nothing like feeling the wind against your face, your heart pounding, the earth flying under your feet when you run. Choosing the right Asics sneakers for your feet protects you, providing you years of good foot health. But how do you choose the right athletic footwear? What are some key things to look for in the right shoe?

Comfort and Size

When you run, are your feet snug and comfortable in the sneaker? Or do you feel painful soreness? Your running shoes need to feel comfortable. You want to avoid wearing sneakers that are too tight. This can lead to unsightly blisters and unwanted pain. Your shoes should fit snugly but still have a little bit of wiggle room for the toes.

Make sure you chose the correct foot size. Your shoe size might change based on the manufacturer. Size your feet at the shoe store. Sometimes one foot is bigger than the other. Extra wide feet, feet with a high arch, or flat feet need special considerations for comfort. Speak with your coach, athletic trainer, or fellow runners about what footwear they prefer. A medical professional might even suggest wearing orthotics for extra comfort. A shoe that fits right will help you run far.

Where are You Running?

What type of running sneakers do you need? Roadrunning shoes help protect your feet on pavement. These flexible shoes don’t weigh much. They stabilize your running gate on any hard surface. Do you like to run off road? You need additional underfoot protection against rocks, mud, and debris. Trail-running footwear has an aggressive grippy tread for uneven surfaces, providing much-needed traction. If you run in the gym, think a treadmill or for activities like CrossFit, cross-training sneakers are the best choice.

Running Mechanics

Believe it or not, not only do you have the most unique feet in the world, you also have a unique gait. We all have a very specific way of running. These fall into three basic categories: neutral pronation, overpronation, supination. You can find out what type you are with the “sand” test. Step barefoot onto wet sand. Then move away. Observe whether your imprint has an indent at centered evenly at the ball of the foot or is skewed inward or outward.

If you have a wear pattern centralized to the ball of the foot with only a small heel indentation, then you have neutral pronation. This means that your feet follow a natural pattern. Most runners have an issue called overpronation. If the wear patterns are on the inside of the shoe, indicating an exaggerated form of a foot’s inward roll, then you need additional stability to protect your feet from knee pain and serious injury. If the primary form of wear is on the outside of the foot, then you have outward rolling, or under-pronation. You will need additional cushion and flexibility. This is a rare issue with runners.

Choosing the right running sneakers will protect your feet, knees, and back from injury. Enjoy years of running with the right footwear.