The only two things you need for a good run is stamina and the right running shoes. But don’t expect to build up any sort of endurance with a bad pair of runners because if you’re not running on clouds, you’ve got a lot of sole searching to do. Excuse the bad pun but you get the gist.
The most important thing to understand is there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to finding the perfect running shoe. However, buying running-specific shoes rather than all-purpose cross-training footwear is advised for greater comfort and to reduce the odds of injury, especially if you’re running outdoors on hard tarmac which can put a strain on your legs and knees.
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Determine your foot type
There’s no shoe that comes with a ‘one size fits all’ solution. According to UCONN Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, there are three different foot types and how your foot arches will determine the way it will roll when you run. This is called pronation. Runners should land on the outside of their foot and roll inward upon impact.
The three types of arches are:
- Neutral arch: allows your foot to roll to a healthy spot
- Low arch: can cause the foot to roll excessively inward
- High arch: foot may roll only a little on impact
The three types of running shoes to choose from
Clifton Bradeley, specialist musculoskeletal sports podiatrist, and advisor to the ASICS Running Clinics explained why it’s important to know the difference between the different types of running shoes.
“Trying to find the right running shoe for your needs can leave you feeling bewildered and confused especially when you see so many different types,” Bradeley told ASICS. “Buying the wrong running shoes can leave you injured and unprotected and by the time you have found the correct ones you may have wasted money too.”
Here’s a to-the-point version of the running shoe terminology that’s usually thrown at you.
Neutral running shoes
Neutral running shoes don’t offer any stabilising features but they work well for runners whose feet absorb shock at the highest degree and allows their foot to flex and move easily. The Adidas Ultraboost 20 is a great example of a really good neutral running shoe.
Stability running shoes
This type of shoe is built to offset excessive pronation that can cause injuries such as runner’s knee and Achilles tendinitis. ASICS Gel-Kayano 26 is a popular option. You can get it directly from the ASICS website or at a lower price via Kogan or Catch if your size is available.
Cushioned running shoes
This is for people who have high arches and rigid feet as the extra cushioning helps support proper alignment. Hoka One One running shoes are known for being the king of cushion. You can buy a pair via Kogan. Follow this link instead if you’re after the women’s version.
Things to remember before buying running shoes
Before jumping the gun and purchasing a pair of new running shoes, there are some things to keep in mind, according UCFS Health, so that you’re not throwing away money at a wasted pair.
- It’s a good rule of thumb to change your shoes every 450 to 600 miles
- Ensure you leave at least a 1/2-inch gap before the toe box
- It’s best to try on shoes towards the end of the day as that’s when your foot swells up
- Squeeze the heel to ensure stiffness as this will help keep the foot and ankle stable
- Bend the top of the shoe up and down a few times to ensure it breaks at the ball of the foot
- If it’s easy to grab the front of the shoe and heel and to twist the shoe, you may need more mid-foot support
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