Running shoes, every runner needs them, but how much attention do we really pay to them? First and foremost, you want to be comfortable when you are running, and you want your feet to be in good shape after for your next run. There’s nothing worse than finishing a run covered in blisters that will keep you out of action for a good few days. The primary need for a good running shoe is to aid your run and to prevent injuries, such as tendonitis or stress fractures.
Three to eight times the runner’s body weight acts as a force on the leg muscles with each stride, so it’s crucial to have the right support. If you do feel pain in the soles of your feet after running it could be a sign that you need to invest in some new running shoes.
So what shoe is right for you?
If you’re running on pavement then a shoe with more cushioning will help with shock absorption, you may also want to opt for a more cushioned shoe if you’re running long distance. However, if you’re running through woodland or on uneven terrain, you’ll want a shoe with a deep tread offering better grip and ankle support.
It’s also important to consider your gait, and how much you pronate, the extent at which your foot naturally rolls inward when you run. Overpronation is when the feet roll inward too much and under pronation is when the feet don’t roll inward enough.
Under pronators will need more cushioning for shock absorption, whereas overpronates need stability shoes, which are meant to provide the foot with support that helps the runner’s foot keep to the ideal gait line.
Understanding the components of a running shoe
The midsole foot cushioning can reduce some of the stress placed on the heel, ankles and toes when running, it also makes the run more comfortable. Proper arch support is necessary to prevent injury, particularly for those with flat feet.
You want your running shoe to fit well, so it’s worth going into a store to try them on and have a walk around before you make your purchase, you’ll want it to be snug on your foot so as not to cause any friction. Your laces should be tight so that the shoe doesn’t move around, but not so tight that they cut off circulation. The most important thing to remember with a running shoe is function over form. It doesn’t really matter how visually pleasing they are, as long as they offer you the right support and help you to achieve the best run possible.
If you enjoyed this, check out our post on the benefits of running.