It seems easy to buy running shoes, right? You probably think that as long as the pair feels comfortable on your feet and does not pinch or rub you the wrong way, then it’s the pair for you. But this myth is soon dispelled when you learn the basics of choosing them.
Running shoes are designed to support the feet and ankles. They are designed to cater to different foot types and different pronation styles. Without the support of the right running shoes, runners can be prone to injuries and their gait may not be as efficient. People with fallen arches or flat feet have the tendency to roll their ankles far too inward (pronation) and those with high arches do not have sufficient flexion. Hence, their requirements for shoes made for running are different and so are yours.
Comfort, fit and support are important considerations when choosing them. If you have purchased a pair and experienced some discomfort, those running shoes are not ideal for your feet or your running style. The culprit could be that your feet are not getting their needed support or perhaps the shoes are too heavy for your swift running style.
When choosing a pair you should take into account the type of running and the running environment. Some running shoes are fashioned to provide more traction control for wet and hilly terrain while some are designed for flat running pavements, but will not do well if surfaces are wet. If you are a serious runner with varied needs, you may need to get yourself different types of running shoes for different weather conditions and varied running environments.
Most running shoe midsoles are usually made from ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers (EVA), denser materials like polyurethane or a combination of both. EVA is a flexible and light material and provides great cushioning and support. But with wear and tear, the EVA made running shoes may compress and lose their cushioning ability fairly quickly.
Shoes with denser midsole materials are stable and durable but are less flexible and less responsive. While these can take a beating much longer than EVA running shoes, denser midsole materials tend to be heavy on the foot. Various combinations of materials like EVA and denser midsole compounds can combine the best traits of both materials for specific runners. Look for hybrid midsole construction when shopping for running shoes but also try on some lighter and heavier duty midsole styles to find out how each feels on your feet.
Stores specializing in shoes for running have shoe consultants to assist you but these tips can also help:
• Shop in the afternoon when your feet have expanded to their largest size.
• Try on the shoes with your running socks on.
• Allow a little space between your big toe and the shoe.
• Walk around and bounce to feel the fit of shoes.
• Go for running shoes with bubble laces or alternative closures if you hate the inconvenience of having to tie them up in the middle of a run.
Most shoe stores offer proper fitting assistance with measurement and other foot tests to help you determine your foot type. This is a good start before picking out your pair of shoes for running.