What You Need to Know About Your Shoes

Updated: May 22, 2019


In 2014, I started Grand Bluff Running, the only specialty shoe store in La Crosse. We were open for 4 years, and in that time, we built up the running community in La Crosse, and the surrounding areas. My former storefront, is currently the headquarters for Trail Transformation, and the River City Running Club, it continues to be a hub for runners in La Crosse, and I couldn't be more proud. In this blog post, I'll run you through some of the most important things I learned about shoes while owning a running store.


How Your Shoe Should Fit

Finding the proper fit is the most important part of a shoe, and can determine whether you get blisters in your next 5k, or drop out of your 100 miler after too much swelling!


• The proper shoe length is about one half inch, or a thumb's width past the end of your longest toe.

• The shoe should wrap comfortably around your foot. It shouldn't feel sloppy or too tight. Most importantly, the foot should be centered on the platform of the shoe. It's important to note that some shoes are built to accomadate either a narrow or wider foot. For example, Salomon is notoriously narrow, while Altra's are generally wider.


Different Lacing Patterns

There are a myriad of different lacing patterns designed to help the fit of a foot to a shoe. Perhaps the most popular here is the heel lock lacing, described in the picture to the right as "Heel Slipping". This helps keep the back of your foot from sliding up the shoe with every stride, thereby reducing the risk of blisters occurring!

To lace your running shoe with the heel lock simply follow the steps below.

  • Lace the shoe normally up to the second-to-last eyelet (the one that's not in a straight line with the other eyelets)

  • Draw each of the laces back through the last eyelets on either side forming loops on the outside of the shoe.

  • Cross each lace back across the tongue through the opposite loop.

  • Tie the shoe as usual


When It's Time for New Running Shoes

Unfortunately, your shoes won't last forever. If you're keeping track of the miles you put on your shoe, their reccomended to be changed somewhere between the 300-600 mile mark. This, however is quite the range, so fortunately, your shoes tell you! Here are some telltale signs that it's time to retire your favorite pair.

  • They feel dead meaning you're not getting the usual bounce or return you hae in the past

  • There are deep creases in the midsole, which can be seen from the side of the shoe

  • The rubber on the bottom is worn out

  • You're noticing aches and pains that you haven't before


Thanks for checking this out, and stay tuned for my next blog where I'll cover Neutral Vs. Stability shoes, Heel-Toe Drop, Cushioning, and how to best care for your shoes.


Happy Trails!

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