5 Things Every First-Time Marathoner Should Know About Your Shoes

Running a marathon is no easy feat. But choosing the right shoes for your feet shouldn’t be an obstacle in your path.

Whether you’re debating between two pairs of shoes or wondering the appropriate mileage to log in your sneakers before the race, FN is rounding up some footwear tips ahead of the this year’s New York City Marathon, taking place on Sunday. (While I’m by no means a running expert, the tips come from personal experience and what I’ve learned from coaches and others after running five marathons.)

1. Don’t try a new pair. This might seem obvious, but so is the temptation of buying colorful new pair of sneakers to sport during the race. It is important to run in shoes that you know work for you, based on your training runs.

    Asics' New York City Marathon signage
    Asics' New York City Marathon signage.
    CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.


2. Log at least one long run in the shoes. If you wear out a pair during training and require a new purchase, make sure you take the shoes out for a test drive, during at least one long run.

Brooks Gray Lady Adrenaline GTS 17
Brooks Gray Lady Adrenaline GTS 17.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Brooks.

3. Make sure the total mileage is less than 100 miles. While race-day shoes should be worn in, they shouldn’t be too worn in. It is important that the shoes still feel comfortable and all cushion or technology is intact.

Altra Torin NYC
The men’s and women’s Altra Torin “NYC.”
CREDIT: Courtesy of Altra.

4. Find the right mix of weight and support. Every runner has different preferences for brand and silhouette, but overall, some of the top running shoes feature lightweight technology, to avoid the shoes weighing you down, as well as support that will get you all 26.2 miles and across the finish line.

Asics DynaFlyte NYC Launch
DynaFlyte women’s shoes.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

5. Consider a shoe with an upper that features breathable mesh. When your feet are sweating, blisters could start to set in. The mesh material makes the shoe more breathable.

2014 NYC Marathon
Runners compete in the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon.
CREDIT: Getty Images.

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