Before wishing everyone a good night’s sleep or a great day (depending on your time zone), I thought I would enlighten ‘beginning’ runners out there about how to choose footwear which is ideal for their own feet, instead of going by brand names as we are so often mislead.
KNOW YOUR FOOT TYPE
To do this, step into a vessel or bathtub of water, then keep your foot on a dry tile or paper. The resulting outline will let you know your foot type. Wearing footwear that do not go with your foot arch is a HUGE beginner’s mistake and is the major cause for most ankle/knee/shin injuries associated with long – distance – running.
KNOW WHETHER YOU ARE A PRONATOR OR SUPINATOR (under – pronator)
‘Pronation’ is actually better known as inward rolling of the ankle while running (a bit of pronation is normal for most runners), while ‘supination’ is the outward motion of the ankle. Choosing the right shoe for your type of ankle rotation has a huge impact on how long you can run comfortably!
STEP THREE: KNOW YOUR FOOT STRIKE
There are 3 different ways to land, while running. Landing on the heel, landing on your forefoot, and of course, landing somewhere in – between on your mid foot. If you land on your heel or toes, it would figure to get shoes that provide you more cushioning in those areas. Don’t miss out on this point, just because you want lighter shoes!
STEP FOUR: What kind of running do you do?
The needs of a person who sprints are totally different from those of a long – distance – runner. Or are you a trail runner? A pair of shoes that you use on road, might get slippery over loose debris and rough irregular surfaces. Here are different shoes that you need to know about:
If you have high foot arches and don’t over-pronate when you run, then cushioned shoes are suitable for you.
Offer mild to moderate support to runners who slightly over-pronate and are looking for shoes that provide cushioning and durability. Pronation is a natural inward rolling motion of the foot but many runners will find that they prontate more than normal and therefore need running shoes to help prevent this. Stability shoes are for runners with normal foot arches, who have mild to moderate over-pronation but don’t have any major problems with motion control.
Motion Control Shoes
The most supportive and rigid shoes available with heavy-duty stability and control features. Motion control shoes are designed for people with low arches and moderate to severe over-pronation – runners with excessive inward rolling of the foot. Motion control shoes are also suitable for heavier runners needing high durability in a shoe.
These shoes can handle faster-paced training and often also the racing involved in longer events such as half and full marathons. They are more responsive than standard shoes but still offer some cushioning and stability features. Some lightweight shoes are suitable for everyday training for lighter runners.
These extremely lightweight shoes come with minimal cushioning & stability features, are designed for fast training sessions and racing shorter distances such as 5km – 10km. Some light, fast and bio mechanically efficient runners can wear racing shoes for longer races.
Natural Motion Shoes
Promoting a running style similar to running barefoot, these shoes allow the joints and muscles of the foot to move more naturally, encouraging a mid-foot strike. There are many types of natural motion shoes, some which are very minimal – almost like gloves for the feet. Others look more like a traditional running shoe but with minimal cushioning and greater flexibility.
Trail shoes are designed for ‘off-road’ running. They are designed to protect you when running on uneven, rocky and wet terrains by offering increased traction, stability and durability. Some are designed to handle specific conditions such as mud or mountains and others can handle a mix of terrain.
There are two types of spiked running shoes; track spikes and cross country spikes. Track spikes are divided further into sprint spikes, distance spikes and jumping spikes. Cross country spikes are designed to give excellent grip when racing over grass, through mud and on snow. All spikes are lightweight with barely any cushioning and have removable and replaceable spike pins which are available in different lengths.
That’s all for now. I hope my compilation is of help. Take care runners and don’t forget to visit your gym to stay – in – shape!