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If you're a runner you know that it's great for your health. It can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart healthy. It's a weight-bearing exercise so it's good for your long-term bone health and keeps your muscles trained and supple. 

At the same time, there are damaging aspects to running. Shin splints and stress fractures are common. The wear on your joints can require joint replacement surgery sooner than your non-running counterparts. 

To maximize the benefits of running while minimizing potential damage it is imperative that you find the best running shoes that fit your running style. 

Replace Running Shoes Regularly

If you're on a budget you should buy the best shoes you can afford but you should also take into account how often you will have to replace your shoes. 

When you're just starting out on your running journey, you may not be in the best shape. If you're combining running and supplements like weight loss probiotics to get to your goal weight, you'll need to replace your shoes every 300 miles. 

As you slim down, you can extend that to approximately 500 miles. If you're running only a few miles a day a pair of shoes could last several months, but if you're training for a marathon you may need new shoes more often. 

Even good shoes won't help if you wear them after they no longer provide support. Distance runners need to look for carbon plates in the soles that give a stronger "toe-off," stabilize the ankle and keep toes straight.

Learn Your Gait

Before you drop a chunk of change on the wrong running shoe just because it is highly rated, you need to know about your own running gate. Different shoes provide the best support for different gaits. 

To learn yours, do the following: have a friend watch you from behind while you're running; look at the wear pattern on the bottom of your existing shoes; and keep track of where your body hurts after you run.

From the details you gather, you'll be able to tell if your natural pronation (how your foot hits the ground) is either neutral, supinated, or overpronated. 

These technical terms discuss how your foot rolls inward with each strike on the ground. You'll also want to take into account your arch height and how your foot strikes. 

Runners who come down first and hard on their heels are heel strikers and need extra support and cushioning at the rear of the shoe. Others come down midfoot or forefoot and have different needs. 

Now that you know your gait you can look for shoes that correct and provide extra support for your particular stride.

General Shoe Traits For Every Runner

No matter your gait there are some things every runner needs in a good shoe. Look for a durable outsole, or shoe bottom, that has good traction with flexible support. 

You want a breathable upper that will help keep your feet cool on long runs. Avoid all-leather uppers unless you want a foot sauna. Finally, you want comfortable cushioning that lasts. 

Read reviews to find out about insoles that peel up or wad in the toes after a few wears. Insoles that lift around your heel can cause blisters and change your gait and posture.

Consider Everything You Do In Your Shoes

The final consideration in choosing the best running shoe for you is what you do in your shoes when you aren't running. If you like to cross-train you'll need a shoe that can do a bit of everything. 

Shoes with tailored fiber placement, or TFP yard, will keep your feet extra cool in the summer and on extended runs. Extra support and gripping soles can help when you run trails instead of roads.

Conclusion 

Of course, you can look for shoes that will also be stylish when you wear them off the running track. 

As a serious runner, consider investing in several pairs you love so you can rotate through them. However, don't be afraid to try the latest technological advances when shopping for a new pair.

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