If you are getting ready to run a marathon – whether it is your first or your tenth – you will want to have the best possible shoes on your feet when you walk to the starting line. Quite obviously, your shoes are the only piece of equipment that touches the ground during your run, so you should make sure they are up to the task of 26.2 grueling miles. With the wrong shoes, you might start to fatigue or develop pain in your feet and legs prematurely. Good shoes will make you forget they are even there and allow you to run the race at your best.
So what should you look for in a pair of shoes to carry you through your marathon run. Consider the following three points when you are shopping for the best shoes to run a marathon in.
1. Stick with what Works
Even if you have never run the full 26.2 before, you certainly have been running a lot of miles in preparation for your marathon experience. Given that, you already have a pair or two of shoes that you enjoy running in and are good to your feet. Just because you are running a marathon, do try to do anything different. About a month or so before the race, pick up a new pair of your favorite shoes from your training runs. This will give you time to break them in properly, but they won’t yet be worn out when the race rolls around.
2. Consider a Half-Size Up
As the miles go by, your feet will likely begin to swell from all of the pounding. If your normal running shoes are tight to your feet and you only run a few miles at a time, you might find them getting quite uncomfortable late in the race. When purchasing the best shoes to run a marathon in, look for a size one-half larger than what you typically wear. This will give your feet, especially your toes, a little extra room to move around. When you are trying to gut out the last few miles, you will be glad you made this decision.
3. Plan for Weather
Running a marathon in California in the summer? Or running in Seattle in November? Obviously, those settings will have vastly different weather and require different shoes to keep you comfortable. For a marathon that you expect to be dry and warm, opt for shoes that focus on lightweight and breathability. This design will help keep your feet as cool as possible even under the hot sun. For a marathon that is likely to be wet and colder, find shoes you like that dose not have any mesh areas which will quickly saturate your feet. For an ideal set up, have two different pairs of shoes broken in and choose between them on race day when you see what the actual conditions will be like.
There is no ‘perfect’ pair of marathon running shoes. Everyone’s feet are unique and different running styles fare better with different types of shoes. You will need to experiment a little bit to find which pair of running shoes are just right for you. Follow the three simple rules above and your shoes will be ready to carry you all the way across the finish line.
This article was written for RunnersGoal.com by Matt R., a guest author