If you are a runner, you probably already know how important it is to have proper running shoes. But if you are new to running or are thinking about training for a half marathon for charity (for example), then you should make a point of buying the correct shoes. After all, the right shoes will help to protect you from injury.
Let’s face it, you can wear any old sneakers to run, but you will not be doing yourself any favors if you do. Without the correct support and padding, your feet will become sore, and you might even suffer pain in other parts of your body, including your legs and back.
Choosing the Right Shoes
It is hard to choose the correct pair of running shoes because there are just so many different types to choose from. Moreover, everyone has different needs from their running shoe. What might be the perfect pair of shoes for your running partner may be completely unsuitable for you.
An important consideration when choosing running shoes is the type of surface you are planning to run on. If you are going to be spending most of your time running on muddy tracks, you will need a pair of trail shoes that will ensure more support for your ankle, and which will provide a superior grip on uneven ground.
If pavement running is your preference, then a pair of shoes to suit will be necessary. The impact of pavement running can be hard on the body, so your shoes will need additional cushioning as well as shock absorption.
The good news for those who prefer to mix up their running surfaces is that you can buy hybrid running shoes that are perfect for both pavements and muddy trails.
The Perfect Fit is Important
As well as buying shoes to suit the surface you are running on, you need to pick a pair that provide a perfect fit. A shoe that supports your running style will be like an extension of your foot and so will offer the most comfort and support.
These days, it is possible to have your running style analyzed to ensure that you choose a pair of shoes that will match your requirements perfectly. This is also known as a gait analysis. Many local running stores offer this service, and it is definitely worth considering before investing in a pair of shoes.
A gait analysis is designed to check the pronation of your feet (the way that they roll when you place them on the ground). Whatever way your feet naturally pronate, there is a pair of shoes to support that motion.
It is also important to think about socks and insoles when choosing running shoes. If you want more support and comfort, you might choose a pair of insoles. You can buy insoles that will provide extra support under the arch of your feet to prevent problems such as shin splints.
Socks are also important because the thickness of your socks can affect the fit of your shoes. If you choose socks that are too thick and that are not made from a suitable material, you could end up with sweaty feet that become uncomfortable. You could even end up with a fungal infection. ShoeFresh, makers of shoe deodorant, recommend spraying shoes regularly to avoid these types of bacterial infections and opting for special running socks that are made from moisture-wicking materials to prevent moisture build up. These technical socks also provide impact protection thanks to the padding at the toes, heel, and ball of the foot.