Trainers Buying Guide
Whether you run every day or only once in a while, a good pair of running shoes is the most important equipment to own. When trying to choose a pair, be sure to try out a few brands and types to figure out which is best for you. The wrong shoes can lead to blisters, shin splints or even knee problems. Each person has a different type of foot that needs different shape or different stability and there are shoes to fit any runner's needs. Read through this guide to get the basics on what type of shoe and brand will best suit your foot size and shape.
Choosing the Right Shoe
Keep in mind that there is no one shoe that will work for everyone. Finding the perfect shoe depends greatly on several different factors such as your foot shape, the surface you're running on, your weight, distances you normally run, etc... Its important to take all these things into consideration when choosing a pair. Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind when trying to pick out the right shoe:
- Pick out the right size. Make sure that they are a snug fit. If they are too loose or too tight, they will be extremely uncomfortable and probably cause blisters.
- Stretch them out. Running shoes tend to stretch out and mold to your feet the more you use them. So before going on that long run, try walking around in them or running short distances to get used to them.
- Try out different brands. While every major brand makes similar types of shoes, they all are still slightly different. Trying out a different brand could mean finding a better fit.
- Always wear socks. If you run with no socks you're sure to get blisters and ruin your shoes. Running socks are definitely a necessity.
- This is the bottom of the shoe and is made with rubber.
- Carbon Rubber- This is harder and heavier, but more durable.
- Blown Rubber- This is lighter weight and flexible.
- They have flex grooves that run horizontal to the sole of your foot that allow it too flex at the ball of your foot.
- The heel is usually split into two parts (inside and outside) to ensure an effective heel-to-toe motion.
- This is the middle of the shoe that pretty much controls cushioning and stability.
- It is the shock absorbing part and most important part of the shoe.
- The amount of cushioning greatly depends on the heel height.
- There are two major types: EVA (light weight, low stability and cushioning) and Polyurethane (heavier, dense, but adds stability).
- Stiff materials on the inside will help keep you from putting too much pressure on the inner foot when you roll inwards.
- A denser midsole will provide more stability, but create a heavier shoe.
- This is the outer shell of the shoe that is made with a combination of materials.
- The shape and materials of the upper can provide additional stability and comfort.
- Keep these things in mind when choosing a shoe design.
- Toe Box- Make sure there is enough room for the ball of your foot to flex. Your longest toes should be around 1/2 an inch from the front of the shoe.
- Heel Counter- This is the back of the shoe. It comes in various degrees of stiffness depending on how much stability you need. Be sure there is what is called an Achilles Notch to ensure a more snug fit and safety for your achilles tendon.
When choosing out the right shoes, foot shape plays avery important role. No foot is alike, so by first deciding on what type of foot you have, you'll be able to havea much better fit. Here are the three major foot types.
- If you have a normal arch, you put pressure on the outside of the heel and then roll slightly inward.
- On your foot print, you'll have a indent where your arch is.
- The best types of shoes for you would be ones with moderate stability, but any shoe would pretty much work.
- This foot-type is ideal for running so you don't have to be as careful when choosing a shoe.
- With a high arch, you usually put too much pressure on the outside of your heel with not enough roll inward.
- With this type of foot print, you will only see a slight band connecting the ball of your foot to your heel.
- Because you don't roll inward enough, your foot is not an effectiveshock absorber.
- Go for well-cushioned shoes with good flexibility.
- If you're flat-footed, you're more likely to sustain an injury while running, so be sure to pick out shoes with proper support.
- Your foot print will only have a slight indent where your arch is supposed to be.
- With this type of foot, you put too much pressure on the roll inward.
- High stability shoes, with firm midsoles will make the best fit. Don't go for cushioned shoes.
Basic Shoe Types
Types of Runners
|Speciality Shoe Types|
Training shoes are lighter and more for fast-paced training. They are for efficient runners who don't want to get a racing shoe, but want less cushioning than a regular running shoe.
Racing shoes are extremely light weight and don't have much cushioning or stability. These are only for runners who are concerned with weight.
These shoes have more traction on the bottom and are heavier than running shoe, but don't have much cushioning.
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