What to look for when buying running shoes

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The Chevron Houston Marathon is just three days away, and if you feel like lacing up and joining in on the running fun, you might want to examine your sneakers first.

The wrong pair of running shoes can lead to pain, and it's not just foot pain we're talking about.

Doctor Richard Beaver, an orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute-Memorial City and UT Health, sees runners with injuries on a regular basis.

"For a runner, injuries usually start in the hip, hip to knee to foot and ankle," explained Beaver.

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It's often a chain reaction of injuries, and there are a few causes.

"The most injuries I would see for runners is an over-training type of injury. Too much too soon. Too many miles too soon," said Beaver.

But Beaver also sees patients who are injured because they've been wearing the wrong sneakers. The popularity of light, flexible sneakers that you can bend in half easily aren't meant for running long distance.

"It's got cushion but not support," explained Beaver.

How does your running form impact your shoes?

How your foot lands on the ground also has a lot to do with your shoes.

"When you look at a foot, you can have someone that supinates, and you put a lot of weight on the outside of the foot, or someone who pronates like I do," said Morgan Denson at Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Institute.

Denson pronates, so a shoe with arch support is key -- some who pronate even need an orthotic insert.

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A quick way to determine whether you're pronate and need more shoe support is to squat. If your ankles and knees cave in, you're pronate and probably lack hip flexibility.

Another way to check if you're pronate is to hop on the treadmill. If you're feet cross over each other while running, that shows a lack of hip flexibility, so you're probably pronate and need more shoe support.

How long should you keep your shoes?

Once you get the proper shoe support for your foot, you want to prevent injury down the road, so think about your shoe life.

Once you've reached 300-400 miles with the same pair of shoes, it's time to retire them.

And finally, if you really want to start running, the best place to get a running shoe is a store that specializes in fitting running sneakers.

Dr. Beaver recommends Luke's Locker and Fleet Feet for specialized fittings. null
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