Picking the Best Running Shoe
for You

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Choosing the Perfect Shoe

Whether you’re a walker or a runner, here’s what to consider:

Your BMI (Body Mass Index):
Your Body Mass Index is a measure of your body fat based on your height and weight. If you have a high BMI, the additional weight you are carrying may require that you get more support for your feet, until you lower your BMI.

Your ChiRunning or ChiWalking skill level:
As you improve your ChiWalking or ChiRunning technique, you will need more flexibility and less support and structure in your shoe.

The Distance you are running or walking:
For longer distance running and walking such as a half-marathon or marathon make sure your shoe will remain supportive for the entire distance.


Picking Your Best Shoe
Start with the shoe you currently feel best in, and if you’re practicing ChiWalking or ChiRunning, plan on reducing the amount of structure in your shoe to the next, lesser level of structure, when looking for your next pair.

If you don’t have a favorite shoe, here are some things to look for in a good pair of shoes (or go to page 165-169 in the ChiRunning book or page 69 in the ChiWalking book).

Comfort and Width:
First and foremost, your shoes need to feel comfortable. If they don’t feel like a great pair of bedroom slippers, look for another pair. Don’t be afraid to buy a half size larger if your feet feel cramped in any way. Plenty of width and room allows your feet to feel the ground and helps the blood circulate in your feet. As a side note, you should never wear your shoes laced too tight, as it restricts the blood flow and flexibility of your feet.

Shoe Weight and Flexibility:
If you’re doing ChiWalking and ChiRunning you’ll be looking for a lighter-weight, very flexible shoe. Again, you don’t want to reduce the structure and support of your shoes too quickly, but you will be progressing toward a more minimal shoe as your technique improves.

Following these simple guidelines should help you pick the perfect pair for your needs. As a side note, we recommend wearing different shoes relative to the type of workouts you do. Running on trails requires a much different shoe than roads… just as marathons might require a more cushioned shoe than a 5K.

See Running and Walking Shoes, Pt. 1: Intelligent Feet

Posted in Gear, Technique

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