Choosing The Right Running Shoes – Most Important Gear For Runners

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A good pair of running shoes is one of the most critical purchases you will make, says John Hanc, author of The Essential Runner.

Most runners agree the most important part of your gear will be your shoes. You will want to choose a pair that matches your feet and gives you the support you need.

Purchase your shoes from a specialty store, or from someone who knows how to match the correct type of shoe to your foot and stride pattern.

It might be wise to purchase two pair, as wearing them every other day increases the mileage you’ll get out of each set.

Especially during marathon training you should have at least two or three pair of shoes.

Contrary to this, the number of barefoot runners is slowly rising.

Don’t want to take a risk with your feet? You may consider buying shoes for running barefoot. The advantages can be huge and the feeling great! However, be aware that you need to be very careful when conforming to this barefoot running lifestyle.

Types Of Feet

The type of shoe you need is based on what kind of feet you have. The three common types of feet are high- arched, flat feet and normal arched. High-arched feet tend to cause supination or underpronation – the insufficient inward roll of the foot after it lands.

To compensate (and reduce the wear on the outside of the shoe), runners need cushioned shoes for supination control.

Running shoes

Lightweight trainers are often the best, as they allow more foot motion. There should be sufficient padding in the arch area, insole and outsole; shock absorption is also very important.

Runners with flat feet tend to pronate more than usual. Overpronation means the foot rolls inward more than it should, which can be dangerous for the runner.

A flat-footed runner needs motion-control shoes that rigidly support the foot to correct the excessive roll. Stability shoes have firm, multidensity midsoles and should also have proper padding in the arch area.

If your feet have a normal arch, you will need to find a shoe meant for a neutral runner. Your feet need just the right amount of cushioning and support – it may take a bit of trial and error before you find the perfect pair.

Shoe-Buying Tips

Serious runners often consult with a podiatrist to learn their foot type before purchasing shoes. At least have your foot evaluated by someone at a running specialty store so you have a better idea of what you need.

The best running shoes for you should be comfortable, lightweight and flexible. Bulky, heavy shoes will only slow you down and if they hurt at the store – they’ll hurt while you’re running.

Shop later in the day when your feet have swelled and try on shoes with the socks you wear for running.

Make sure that you measure both feet each time that you get new shoes. Often one foot is larger than the other and foot size can change over the years.

Take some time to research the different types of shoes and figure out which ones will suit you best. Don’t rush your decision and remember to try them out on a short run first. Gradually increase your mileage on new shoes. Your feet will thank you later.

Read more about this topic on the following pages:

Barefoot Running – Is This What You Need?
Are you interested in barefoot running? Find out everything about this popular running style and determine whether you should give barefoot running a try.

Important Steps That Show How To Buy Your Shoes For Running
Do you know how to buy running shoes? Follow these easy steps to find the shoes that perfectly match your feet.

Shoes For Running Barefoot Are Growing In Popularity
Do you consider buying barefoot running shoes? Read more about this barefoot running lifestyle and find out if it might be something for you.

Shoes For Runners With Flat Feet
Complete guide on selecting the best running shoes for flat feet. Find out why to use and how to select them.

Return from Running Shoes to Marathon Training Tips home

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