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How to Choose Running Shoes

How to Choose Running Shoes

Wearing proper foot attire is an integral part of a successful exercise plan. Runners must wear the correct shoes because of the repeated pounding the feet take when an athlete takes to the track, street or treadmill.

Running is a high-impact activity, and a pair of good shoes helps with impact absorption while protecting the runner's joints. Different types of feet require different types of shoes to maximize performance and prevent injury.

Running shoes are very advanced in technology and materials. They can be divided into three categories - cushioning, stability and motion control. Although all good running shoes have each of these elements, some are more customized than others.

Running Shoe Categories

Cushioning

This type of running shoe offers more impact absorption. The feet of runners with high arches often are rigid and tend to be pronate (turning inward so that the inside of the feet bears the person’s weight) and, therefore, have a harder time absorbing impact. Cushioning shoes are constructed using a slip-stitch last.

Stability

Stability running shoes are designed for runners with over-pronation tendency. They offer more support for athletes requiring stability in their mid-foot.

Motion control

These shoes can be beneficial for runners with excessive rear-foot pronation. Individuals with flat feet or hyper-mobile feet would benefit from this type of running shoes because they offer the runners better position and alignment to minimize excessive motion.

Both the motion control and stability shoes are constructed with a combined slip-stitch and board-last that provide more firmness to the shoe.

A physical therapist can determine which type of shoe is best for you after conducting a quick, biomechanical foot assessment. Then, a knowledgeable sales person will be able to assist you in which brand of running shoes is appropriate for your foot.

The price of good running shoes is a result of the technology built into today's shoes – almost as if each running shoe is custom made to fit the specific needs of your feet.

Wear and Tear

Experts recommend that serious, committed runners replace their running shoes every 500 to 600 miles or every six months.

Running shoes are also excellent for walkers. They are very comfortable and lighter than other shoes. They can be expensive, but good running shoes are worth it for the specific support features that are built into them.

When it comes to the various surfaces that runners face – pavement, outdoor tracks, treadmills or indoor tracks – that makes no difference when a runner is shopping for shoes.

The most important thing is to match the right type of shoes to the needs of the runner’s feet. Brand names or a friend's recommendation aren't what matters when it comes to selecting a shoe. A proper fit is key to a good shoe.

Experts recommend breaking in a new shoe at least a month before a marathon.