Running is a terrific way to get fit and to stay fit. It's a simple sport that can bring a lot of pleasure to those who choose to participate. It's also a sport that can result in injury if you don't use the right equipment. By the right equipment we refer to the shoes that are worn.
Running shoes have come a long way in recent years and have been developed to provide cushioning and stability to prevent injury. In the past runners wore just about any kind of shoe from gym shoes to tennis shoes without any concern for the tremendous forces that were being applied to the feet. Not surprisingly, injuries such as shin splints and knee problems were commonplace due to the lack of cushioning that these types of shoes provided.
With the technology that companies such as Nike, Brooks, Reebok and Asics have poured into their running shoes it is now possible to buy a running shoe that has been designed for all kinds of foot strike and biomechanical inefficiencies.
Pronation, or rather over pronation or under pronation, is a big part of the problems people have when running. An over pronator will more than likely have flat arches which results in a reduced level of stability in their ankles when their feet hit the ground. The result is a rolling inwards of the ankles which puts a lot of stress on joints and muscles in the feet and legs. Running in shoes that do not address these stability problems will, over time, lead to long term injury.
A good pair or running shoes such as Asics Evolution running shoes will address the problems with support and actually help the runner correct these problems. The types of structured cushioning that you get with Asics running shoes means that someone who overpronates will be able to run for longer without experiencing the muscle soreness they would otherwise have felt.
Cushioning is just as important for runners whose foot strike is relatively biomechanically efficient. Repeated shocks to the feet must be adequately padded and dispelled with a good pair of running shoes and failing to do this, even with the best running style, can result in muscle fatigue.
Running shoes that do their best to balance performance with cushioning are racing flats. These shoes have been pared down to provide the lightest possible shoe that still gives some cushioning. They have been designed to virtually feel as though you are not wearing anything on your feet at all and should really only be worn when racing so that you don't traumatise the legs too much.
Buying the correct type of running shoe for your running style is an important part of the process of taking up the sport. Seek help from foot specialists if you feel that your feet hit the ground in such a way that you feel pressure in your joints and muscles.