Becoming a better runner is all about hard work and determination. It's also about your shoes. Without a proper pair of shoes, you will get shin splints, plantar fascitis, or other ailments. These ailments will cause you a lot of pain and hamper your ability to train and succeed. Selecting the best running shoes for men or women should be done by certain criteria. Don't take advice from your coach, friend or famous athlete.
Selecting the Best Running Shoes For Men or Women
Everything about your shoes needs to be tailored to your needs and not theirs. The process can be a long and a tough one to find the perfect shoe, but it's worth it when you are able to run for miles without the slightest bit of discomfort due to your shoes. What are the things to look for in a reliable high quality running shoe?
What Will You Use the Shoes For?
It's a straightforward question but makes a big difference in the shoe you should be using. Different shoes are supportive in different areas to make them specialized. For example if you plan on running long distance on a trail the shoe should have at least two things different than your normal running shoe.
First of all, it should have a higher back to keep the shoe from slipping off due to uneven terrain. Next it should have proper front shoe padding and comfort for when you run down hill. Marathon running shoes aren't made like this because they are heavier, yet they are more comfortable when running trails.
Understanding Your Biomechanics
The most important yet overlooked factor when selecting a running shoe is your bodies biomechanics. When you run your feet exhibit a certain amount of stability. Your shoes need to compliment the stability of your biomechanics. Evaluating biomechanics is done by a second party that is trained to check for it.
Most of the time they record you running and a run frame by frame analysis to see your gait cycle. With this information, a trained professional will be able to recommend the correct amount of stability you need in a running shoe. You will be surprised just how much of a difference then can make.
Unique Characteristics of Your Feet
Every single foot is unique. Even your two feet are different in more than one way. You can think of these characteristics as choosing the specific shoe that suits your needs, while the biomechanics helps you narrow it down to a category. What is meant by foot characteristics?
There are a lot of things to consider about your feet: the width of your foot, arch type, orthotic inserts, and even past injuries could play a factor here. Someone with a high arc will not feel very comfortable in a shoe designed for a flat arch. Their feet will get sore a lot quicker than a person with a flat arch because the arch of their feet are being properly supported.
This is especially important when running long distances. You also need to consider various inconsistencies in your feet as well - such as bunions, hammer toes, and current injuries. Once you have all the information you need you're ready to start testing the shoes out.
Find the Pair that Feel Just Right
When you know all about your biomechanics and the characteristics of your feet, you're ready to select the best running shoes for men or women. Once you have selected a pair of shoes, it's time to test. While there is some science to picking out the right pair of shoes, finding the perfect pair is an art. You need to accurately assess each pair of shoes you try on to see which ones work the best.
Take note of how their length, width and contours feel to you. When possible take a quick jog in the shoes before buying them. Nothing helps you get a feel for a pair of shoes like a couple of laps around the block. When you try out the shoes, make sure you aren't wearing a cotton sock. Cotton socks tend to be thicker so they absorb moisture while causing blisters. Cotton socks are not meant for running, so if you wear them while trying on your running shoes it could skew the results of your comfort test.
Finding the right pair of running shoes is not exactly easy if you haven't shopped for them before. Regardless, your first step is to make sure you know your intentions for the shoes. Different shoes will be perfect for the right situations, but they won't work nearly as well being used in situations they weren't designed for.
Getting your biomechanics checked can be difficult in some areas since you need a trained professional to do it for you. If you want the perfect shoe though, you need to see how stable you are while running. Then finally, you need to make sure the shoe you buy has the right width and length to be comfortable.
Any current or previous injuries might influence your decision as well, so keep that in mind. Then it's just a matter of trying them out and seeing which ones work the best for you. As you can see, there are a lot of factors that lead to the running shoe being just perfect or an uncomfortable mess.