Proper choice of running shoes will save you from injuries, arthritis and will make running comfortable and enjoyable.
How to choose shoes for running and what parameters to pay attention to?
RULE 1: NO UNISEX MODELS
Good running shoes can’t be unisex – suitable for both men and women. Such models are not suitable, because the foot in men and women differs not only in size, but also anatomically. For example, the ankle joint in men is higher, therefore the instep is higher too. The heel and the toes are wider in comparison to the middle of the foot.
Unisex shoes are a unified compromise option, they will never fix the foot optimally - neither male nor female one.
RULE 2: FREE SPACE
Running shoes should fit tightly both the foot and the heel. But they must have at least half the size free space in front of the toes. When running, the foot moves forward - if there is no free space in front of your toes, your training will become painful. This will make your training useless.
RULE 3: SAY NO TO FLAT SOLE
The sole of running shoes should never be flat. The height difference, i.e. the difference between the heel and toes, must be selected individually. It is selected depending on how you put the feet when you run.
If you land on the heel, it is believed that the height difference should be large - more than 10 mm (0.4 inch). In this case, see also that the shoe heel had a shock absorber: it would relieve some of the load from the shin and the knee joint.
If you land on the toe or on the middle of the foot, a smoother sole - with a drop of up to 10 mm will work well for you.
If you incorrectly determine the height difference, you will get uncomfortable running shoes. Tendons, joints and muscles will be strained, and the foot won’t be able to touch the ground smoothly. It will firmly stick into it.
RULE 4: THE DEEPER THE SHOE TREAD IS - THE BETTER
The depth of the shoe tread pattern should be medium or large. It is useful as anti-slippery protection and indicates a sufficient density of the sole material. The density of the material is an extremely important factor for ensuring the necessary shock absorption.
Useful tip: in the case you prefer running outdoors, you should avoid a small tread pattern. The smaller the pattern, the more pebbles can get stuck in it, and it means more discomfort for the runner.
RULE 5: KEEP TRACK OF THE SHOES CONDITION
Running shoes wear out and lose their properties. Therefore, it is very important to monitor their condition and change them timely. The life expectancy of modern running shoes is about 1,200 km. After that, they need to be changed.
In addition, the required number of running shoes is proportional to the number of runs per week in a ratio of 1:2. That is, if you run 2 times a week, then only one pair of shoes is enough. If your go running 4 times weekly, you need at least 2 pairs of running shoes. This is because the nuances of the load on the foot must be alternated.
RULE 6: GOOD RUNNING SHOES CAN’T BE CHEAP
High-quality running shoes start from about $85. This price is justified by special materials, foot support technologies and other factors.
If you have no financial opportunity to buy high-quality running shoes, it is better to prefer walking instead of running. Otherwise, there is a great risk of joint injury - arthritis may appear rapidly. It is an extremely uncomfortable thing.
What else to consider when choosing running shoes:
- Foot support. This is an insert made of dense material on the inside of the sole. It allows you to keep the foot straight when running with turning the foot inside (pronation) and out (supination). Different manufacturers offer their own foot support technologies - look for one in which your feet feel most comfortable;
- Tight heel counter. A heel should be well-fixed inside the shoe. Make sure your heel is not wiggling;
- Sole flexibility. The sole should be flexible - especially in the front part, to allow the foot to choose a convenient movement and not to restrain it;
- Lacing. Running shoes lacing should be slightly closer to the inside of the foot (and not exactly in the middle). This arrangement allows you to avoid uncomfortable sensations and adjust the tightening according to your individual needs.