Running Shoes: What Should You Know?Thursday, September 27th, 2018, 12:04 pm
Running is an excellent way to get in shape, lower your blood pressure, lose weight, and relieve stress. But, running in the wrong shoes might cause more problems than it solves.
So, save yourself from possible blisters, knee pain, toenail loss, and more by considering a few factors when buying your next pair.
How do you run?
The way you run directly impacts the kind of shoe you should buy, depending on whether you experience neutral pronation, over-pronation, or under-pronation in your gait. Grab an old pair of running shoes and look at worn patterns on the soles.
Neutral pronation – the wear pattern evenly crosses the ball of your foot and a small portion of your heal. This means you’re a naturally efficient runner!
Over-pronation – the shoe is worn along the inside edge. This is caused by an exaggerated form of the foot’s natural inward roll. Your new shoes will need to provide stability or motion-control.
Under-pronation – the shoe is worn along the outer edge, meaning your foot rolls to the outside when you run. This kind of rolling leads to inefficient impact reduction. You’ll need shoes that offer more cushioning and flexibility.
Does the shoe match the shape of your foot?
You need to pay careful attention to each section of the shoe. A slight chafing might not bother you in the store, but it can create blisters down the road. Make sure:
- The heal doesn’t slip when you walk
- The upper section of the shoe above the sole fits the contours of your foot
- The padding on the sole sits comfortably on your arch
- Your toes have enough room to spread out naturally with each stride
- Your ankle has a full range of motion
You’ll also want to avoid a few common mistakes people make when buying shoes:
1) Caring more about fashion than function.
Your shoes affect the health of your knees and joints. They’re big deals, so don’t just pick the ones that match your favorite gym clothes. Find the pair that fits your foot and your way of running.
2) Buying the wrong size.
Shoes that are either too big or too small can cause blisters quickly. Make sure they fit each contour of your foot without chafing and leave about a thumbnail’s worth of extra space above your toes. Also, shop for shoes in the evening. Your feet swell throughout the day and are at their largest near sunset. Wait until then to make your selection so you won’t wind up with shoes that are too small.
3) Assuming your size.
Always get your feet measured when buying shoes. Your feet change during the course of your life, and you can’t assume that the size you measured 10 years ago is the one you have today. Also, sizes change from brand to brand, so make sure you try each shoe on before buying.
4) Waiting too long to buy new shoes.
Most shoes last around 300-500 miles, depending on the shoe’s durability and how heavily your foot strikes the ground. But eventually, every shoe’s cushioning wears down, and that loss of cushion can lead to shin splints, knee pain, foot pain, and more.
5) Running in the wrong type of shoe.
Just like other kinds of clothing, athletic shoes are made for various activities. You can buy shoes for road running, cross-training, trail running, tennis, weight lifting, and more. Your workout will be more comfortable if you pair the right shoes with the right activity. If you’re not sure about a shoe’s intended purpose, ask the staff before you buy.