Remember when we were a child and you would use the same pair of shoes for whatever we did? Over the years we have added a few (or maybe “a lot” if you are a shoe lover like I am) new additions in our shoe rack, a couple of casual ones and few dressier type of shoes. Unfortunately, many of us use these “casual” shoes for our exercises as well. They seem to be harmless and very capable of completing the task of running 4 or 15 miles, of course, until you’ve done it! You are hurt. Many running injuries are a result of poorly fitting, or old and worn-out shoes. Why wait for these painful experiences to invest a little time and extra cash on buying a pair of running shoes that is the right fit for you?
For runners, running shoes should be considered one of the most important piece of equipment. The right running shoe can not only improve your performance but it helps you to stay comfortable while running and avoid injuries. Wearing the wrong running shoes can cause plantar fasciitis, shin splints, fallen arches and a lot of other painful conditions. Wearing those shoes you bought half off that only scrunch your feet a little just isn’t worth the risk to your health. You want them to feel good. No pinching of the toes, rubbing of the heel or painful arch should be tolerated. For the love of your feet, buy shoes that fit well. You’ll be a much happier runner!
So now that you realized the importance of good running shoes, you are wondering how to pick out a good pair of running shoes that will serve you. My recommendation for you is to go straight to the experts at a running specialty store. Plan on spending some time there because the salesperson should ask you many questions and have several running shoe options for you to try out.
There are few things you should know when buying running shoes.
Your foot shape
When you get fitted for a new pair of running shoes, the expert will help you evaluate the arch of your foot, of which there are three main types:
You can also determine your foot shape looking at the foot imprint when you step out of the bath. Place your feet in a basin of water and the step onto a flat and dry surface. The following should appear :
Additionally, there are three different types of pronation. Pronation, the way that your foot moves after striking the ground (often with the heel and ankle rolling inward for balance) is a normal movement.
Overpronation occurs when the foot rolls excessively inward, which can lead to muscle strains in both your legs and feet. Common among runner with flat feet. Look for “stability” or “motion control” shoes, which are less flexible, have a thicker heel and help decrease excessive pronation.
Supination (under-pronation) describes feet that roll outward when running. Common among runner with high arches. Look for shoes with extra cushioning to help absorb the added impact on your foot strikes.
Normal pronation is most common, where the foot pronates normally, but not excessively. The foot lands on the heel, then rolls inward (pronates) slightly to absorb shock. Runners with a normal foot and normal weight are usually considered biochemically efficient and don’t require motion-control shoes. Look for stability shoes, which are more flexible than motion control shoes but still have good support.
Your Foot Strike
A foot strike is a term referring to a person’s running technique/style and it identifies which part of the foot first hits the ground when running. Some runners hit the ground with the heel, some with the midfoot, and others with the toe. Here is the difference:
Few more things to know before you go out there buying a pair of running shoes:
We have now covered the main things you need to know when buying running shoes. Now comes the fun part, shopping! Enjoy it=)
PS: Thank you Amanda for raising the question!