Running Shoes: The importance of a good shoe and how to find it

 

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The beauty of running is that the only crucial equipment you need is a good pair of shoes.  Many people initially choose shoes for aesthetic reasons, picking the one that looks the best. However, choosing the right shoes can have a huge impact on how efficient you run and will keep you injury free. A lot of beginning runners complain of shin splits or knee problems, which more often than not can be attributed to running in the wrong pair of shoes. If you are going to put in some miles, it’s important to get the right shoes.

When looking for the right shoe, there are several important things to know/consider such as the type of surface you run on, how you run, and how your foot strikes the ground. Below is some detailed information on each of these.

 

The type of surface you run on

Most people run a majority of the time on paved surfaces; however, some people prefer trail running. Knowing what type of surface you will be running on can help dictate the appropriate type of shoe.

 

How you run

Some people roll their foot inwards, some roll their foot outwards and some people are neutral meaning there is little movement in their feet when they run. How you run, dictates what type, if any, extra support you need from a shoe to help achieve neutral linear motion, which means the impact of your weight will be distributed down the center of your shoe.

Neutral/Pronation/Supination

These are terms that describe how if/how you roll your foot after initial impact with the ground.

Neutral means you have little to no rolling of the foot after initial impact with the ground.

Pronation is the rolling in of the foot so that the inner edge of the sole bears the body’s weight.

Supination, also called under pronation, is rolling in of the foot so that the outer edge of the sole bears the body’s weight.

 

Foot Strike

Foot Strike refers to what part of your foot strikes the ground first. Some people are heel strikers, some are mid foot strikers and some are forefoot strikers. How your foot strikes the ground dictates the amount of force that is generated back to the body upon impact. Striking with your heel first has the most impact and striking with your forefoot has the least. Knowing how your foot strikes the ground can help you find a shoe designed for higher impact in the area of the foot that you strike with, which can help you run injury free and more efficiently.

Visiting a running specialty store and seeking their expertise is the best way to find the right shoe. These stores will examine your gait, look at how you run, and inspect your old running shoes for pattern indicators to help determine what type a runner you are. From there, they will help you find a shoe that works best for the way you run which will set you on a good path to success.

 

For more detailed information on pronation and supination, check out the links below.

http://www.runnersworld.com/running-shoes/pronation-explained?page=single

http://www.runnersworld.com/running-shoes/supination-explained?page=single

For an online shoe advisor that takes all of the above mentioned things into consideration, check out the link below.

http://www.brooksrunning.com/on/demandware.static/Sites-BrooksRunning-Site/Sites-BrooksRunning-Library/default/brooks_shoe_advisor/Default.htm