Choosing the right running shoes is an essential part of your training program. Without the right shoes, you are likely to experience severe discomfort and even injury. While the process of selecting the right running shoes can be a long and difficult one, you will be happy that you took the time to get it right once you hit the road or trail.
Trail vs. Road
When selecting running shoes, you first need to decide upon the type of terrain that you plan to run upon. Road running shoes, which tend to be light and flexible, are made for running primarily on the pavement. Trail running shoes, which feature enhanced outsoles designed for more traction and support, are made for running over obstacles such as rocks and mud.
It is important to know more than just your general foot size when purchasing running shoes. Dimensions that you need in order to purchase a properly fitting show include the length and width of your foot as well as your toe-to-ball length. Keep in mind that shoe sizes and dimensions vary slightly from one manufacturer to the next. Even shoes made by the same company may vary from one model to the next.
The shape of your arch will also impact how your running shoe fits because your arch shape affects how your foot moves when you run. To determine the shape of your arch, look at your footprint after you step out of the shower. The wider and straighter your footprint, the lower your arch.
Ideally, your foot should remain straight and flat as you run, but most runners roll their foot inward or outward each time it lands on the ground. Rolling the foot inward is referred to as supination and results in excessive wear on the inner edge of the shoe. Rolling the foot outward is called pronation and results in wear on the outer edge of the shoe. If you are a supinator, you need a shoe that is more curved and focuses on cushioning. If you are a pronator, you need a shoe that semi-curved and designed for stability. If you are an extreme pronator, however, it is better to purchase a straight shoe that is designed for motion control.
Running shoes are available in a variety of different materials. Like real leather, synthetic leather is durable and resistant to abrasion. It is, however lighter and faster driving than the real thing. Nylon and nylon mesh are also durable and lightweight. In addition, the material offers more breathability. Some running shoes also feature thermoplastic urethane overlays, which enhance the stability and durability of the shoe.
After locating what you believe to be the perfect shoes, be sure to test them out on one of the Sole treadmills available at the store. By running for a few minutes in the shoes, you will be better able to determine if these shoes are truly the right fit for you and your feet.