This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.
I’ve been trying to think of the "perfect" topic for my first blog post. If I keep waiting for that, I’ll never post on here so let’s set the bar low.
When I first started running, I always heard that your running shoes wouldn’t feel great straight out of the box. You need to break them in before they would feel great. Then, I found the perfect shoe for me. It felt great right out of the box and never lost that great feeling, even after far more miles than you’re "supposed" to get on a pair of shoes. I’d even buy a new pair, take them straight out of the box and lace them up for a long run. Yes, the first time my shoes would go on my feet, I’d be heading out the door for 90+ minutes of running. Ahh, high school days. Back when you could get away with naivete. This is something I don’t do any more but I still know if I’ve found the right pair of shoes for me as soon as it comes out of the box.
Modern running shoes aren’t what older models used to be. They are made out of soft, flexible materials. They are pliable and well fitted right out of the box. They aren’t stiff and firm and the materials won’t "soften up" as shoes from a few decades ago would with time. If a pair of shoes doesn’t feel good on your feet right out of the box these days it’s probably because they aren’t made for your type of foot.
So what do you do about this? Well, find the best fitting pair of shoes. Go to a specialty store. They should take a look at the structure of your foot. They should determine whether your feet are straight or curved, whether you have high or low arches, whether your feet are narrow or wide. Then they should be able to find a few pairs of shoes that generally match the structure of your shoes and have you try them all on. One of these pairs of shoes will probably feel pretty natural on your feet and you just found your shoes.
What if you don’t find that "just right" fit? You could keep looking. Maybe you’ve exhausted your options, though. In that case, take the best you can find. Maybe they will "break in" and you’ll feel better down the line. Whatever the case, don’t believe that a shoe has to feel bad right out of the box. Chances are the shoes that feel the best right out of the box are the best shoes for you.