. . . Choosing The Right Type For Your Feet
“Keep on running” . . . . well, if that’s what you want to do, whether you’re a bit of a Forrest Gump planning on taking part in the next New York Marathon or you do the odd couple of miles on a treadmill at the local gym, the single most important piece of equipment (yes, equipment) is your running shoes. The right running shoes can make all the difference . . . you see, running is much more than putting one foot in front of the other as quickly or for as long as you can . . . it’s scientific too, and we’re all different which is why running shoes are certainly not “one size fits all”.
Now for a little “running” music.
Guide to Running Shoes, Sneakers, Trainers, Runners or whatever else you might call them . . .
The only thing between your feet and the pavement you are pounding is the running shoes you’ve chosen. They’ve got a lot to put up with (apart from the smell), they have to cushion your entire body from the twisting and pounding forces generated as you run. Your running shoes need to be up to the running job which YOU are going to do. So how do you choose a pair of running shoes? There seem to be lots of different types available . . . which is the best for what job?
What Type of Feet Do You Have?
Might seem like a silly question, but when we’re talking about running shoes your type of feet (or more accurately the shape of your feet) can make a huge difference. Do you have a flat foot? Do you have a high arch? How can you tell? Why not try the wet foot test to make sure that you know what you’re up against when buying your running shoes. Simply wet your foot and then make a footprint on a tiled or other hard floor (it doesn’t work on carpets or soft flooring). Right, simply leave a wet footprint and then take a look at the shape you’ve left behind.
- Flat footed people have a low arch and just about the whole of your foot will be imprinted on the floor.
- Regular (or dare I say it, “normal”) people leave a band which is about half the width of the foot between the forefoot and the heel.
- People with a high arch will only leave a narrow band between the forefoot and the heel, if they leave a band at all.
How Do You Run?
Well, I put one foot in front of the other as quickly as possible until I’m really tired. Alright clever clogs, let’s look in a little more detail for when you buy your running shoes. It all makes a difference you know, the way that your feet actually hit the ground.
- Heel striking is the most popular method of running, meaning that the heel hits the ground first and then you roll your foot forwards over your toes.
- Forefoot strikers do this backwards, landing on the forefront of their feet and rolling backwards towards their heels. Your running shoes will need to have more cushioning at the front of the feet, and generally, as you run faster you will stay more on your toes (hence the need for more cushioning in your running shoes),
- Midfood strikers land with everything together.
General Advice for Buying Running Shoes
Before you run out onto the High Street for a new pair of running shoes, just take a little time to think about the following. The right running shoes really can make all of the difference to your running capabilities and comfort.
- Don’t be tempted to buy running shoes which are a really snug fit. You should make sure that there is about a thumb’s width spare at the end of the running shoe to allow for your feet to swell and the movement which naturally occurs when you are running. Your running shoes might actually need to be a size bigger than the shoes you regularly wear.
- Try on your running shoes with the sports socks you will be wearing. Sports socks are generally much thicker than everyday socks and this can make a big difference to the fit of your running shoes.
- Don’t go running shoe shopping on the busiest shopping days if you can help it. You are going to need plenty of time and advice before making the right choice of running shoe for your individual needs.
- If at all possible buy your running shoes in the afternoon or evening, this too will help with the fit because feet do often swell slightly throughout the day.
Alison has found a way to provide an even greater freedom for her running, these super light minimalistic running shoes . . .
Gives your running an even greater freedom.