(Training for a marathon is hugely rewarding. Running one? Even more so. Fresh air, plenty of time to take in sites that you might otherwise miss,the thrill of a run well done - it's hard to beat. So it makes sense that choosing your marathon shoe is something that you take huge amounts of time in doing. After all 26.219 miles is a long distance to run in a pair of shoes that you don't love. So here at Hub City Runners we asked a few of our athletes how they find their perfect marathon shoe, and compiled their thoughts here, just in time for your next race.
Stay in Control
There is no "right" way to run. Don't let your shoes tell you otherwise. Hub City believes that your shoes should let you run the way you were meant to. We recommend finding a shoe that works with your stride, not against it. The right shoe will give you cushioning only when and where you need it.
Consider Your Needs
Training for a marathon is the perfect time to get familiar with your shoes. You have the time to think about what's most important to you and your competition. For some runners, a light shoe is critical as extra weight can really be a drag (literally) when you are covering so much ground. Others don't mind a few extra ounces, as long as it means that they have the cushioning and support that allows them to reach the finish line in comfort. While it can be tempting to lace up a pair of feather light weight shoes, it's important to take a honest look at your own biomechanics and speed. Professional marathon runners may race in true flats, but a truly successful marathon will be run in shoes that feel good to you (which may be different to everyone else).
Aim for the Best of Both Worlds
For most marathon runners, the goal is to find a shoe that offers stability and comfort without adding too much weight. While this may seem like a tall order to fill, we have a few shoes that fit this criteria. Our suggested shoe is the Cloud Flyer by ON Running. This particular shoe is engineered with zero gravity foam. You get the benefit of a stable, well cushioned shoe that still weighs a lot less.
Time of Day Matters
When heading out try on shoes, aim to get there later in the day. As runners know, feet have a tendency to swell during a long run, making it critical to have a shoe that can accommodate size variations. In the afternoon or evening your feet tend to be a bit larger than first thing in the morning, making it the perfect time to try on your new running shoes. You will get a better idea of how they will fit and feel for later in the race and save yourself the surprise of realizing too late that your shoes are too tight.
Consider Doubling Up
With the amount of mileage you are going to put on your marathon shoes, it's worth thinking about investing in two pairs. Even though it may seem redundant to double up on the same shoe, by alternating which ones you use, you will end up getting a lot more life out of both pairs. If it's in your budget, it also makes sense to have different shoes for different training days. By alternating your shoes, not only are you uping the shoe's longevity, you are also covering your bases in the unfortunate event that something should happen to either pair.
On that note, always ensure that you have given yourself plenty of time pre-race to break in each pair. We do not recommend running a marathon in new shoes.