From beginners to marathon runners, wearing properly fitted running shoes is essential.
"For runners the most important thing, obviously, is the shoe. That's the equipment that you use for running," said Charm City Run manager Caroline Pinkin. "Having properly fitted shoes will decrease the amount of injuries you have, it will help you with your endurance and it will just make your runs more comfortable and more fun."
Pinkin said one of the biggest mistakes customers make is buying a running shoe that is a size too small. Runners should aim for a shoes that are a half or full size larger than the measure of their foot.
"Size is most important, you want a thumbnail between the front of the shoe and toe," Pinkin said.
An ill-fitted shoe can lead to numerous injuries including shin splints, losing toenails, plantar fasciitis, and IT band issues.
"All of them stem from having a shoe that isn't properly supporting the foot," Pinkin said.
Likewise, having the right shoe can alleviate many issues. She recommends that runners, especially beginners, go through the full fitting process.
The process begins with an associate watching you walk in socks. This allows them to see how you walk naturally and if you need a shoe with cushion or one with stability or support.
After that, they'll measure your foot. Again, they're going to select shoes that are a half or full size larger than the measure of your foot. Then it's time to try on some shoes.
Pinkin says be careful of selecting a shoe based on style or color, the most important thing is always comfort.
"Comfort first... I always tell people it should feel like putting on a pair of socks, you shouldn't notice it."
Customers have the opportunity to walk or run in any of the shoes they're trying. They'll even film you running if you'd like.
"You could stay here three hours if that's what it takes," Pinkin said.
Again, the most important thing is finding a comfortable shoe in the right size. Running is taxing enough; you don't want your shoes to add any additional stress.