Choose the Right Running Shoe

Which running shoe for you?

Now that you’ve decided to take up running to get fit, your first port of call is probably going to be the shoe store to get yourself a pair of running shoes. But these days there are so many types of running shoe on the market that the array is quite baffling and it’s hard to decide what shoe to buy.

The problem is, of course, that selecting the right shoe is important not only for your comfort but also to help you avoid injury while you run. To get the guidance you need, you should go to a specialist sports store and talk to assistant in the running shoe section. Before he can help you, the assistant will need to know what kind of running you are planning to do. With that established, he should then examine your feet for size and any physical peculiarities you might have. Then, and only then, will he be able to determine which running shoe is the most suitable for you.

One term that you will almost certainly encounter is “pronation”, which is how foot reacts to striking the ground as we walk or run. As the foot hits the ground, the body’s natural spring comes into action; the arch elongates, which causes the arch to flatten and the foot to roll inwards. This rotation is called pronation.

Flat-footed runners tend to overpronate (roll in) which can lead to ankle problems and shin splints. A custom orthotic insert will help as will wearing “motion control” or “stability” shoes, as these are designed to prevent roll. The opposite situation occurs for runners with high arches; their feet supinate (roll outwards). They need “cushioned” or “flexible” shoes; these have a mid-sole that is soft and shock absorbent.

Runners with normal feet are the fortunate ones. They are described as having neutral pronation, which means that their feet do not over-roll as they run. They can wear almost any running shoe but should avoid the “high stability” shoes.

Irrespective of foot type, all modern running shoes incorporate their own shock absorption system to help runners avoid injury when running on unforgiving surfaces. And all runners, of course, need to make sure that their choice of shoe is comfortable, fits well and is suitable for the type of running they plan to do.

Your running shoe can have an enormous impact on your enjoyment of running and can help prevent you from suffering injury. When choosing your shoes, get advice from the experts and buy wisely. Happy running!