Running is a great way to keep your body fit and healthy. The right footwear is key to running success. It is important to have the right footwear that can withstand all terrain and track conditions.
Many first-time shoe buyers make the mistake of relying on brand reputation and aesthetics when choosing a shoe. It can be difficult to find the perfect running shoe for women. Different types of running and feet require different criteria. Running experts who know their gait and arch type might be able replace an old running shoe with one that is compatible. However, beginners should consider basic information such as stride, arch type and exercise routine.
To determine the durability of a running shoe, we evaluate its material. Running shoes should last between 300 and 500 miles before they need to be replaced.
Many women’s running shoes are made to accommodate specific foot arches. During testing, we compare various styles of shoes to determine which one would work best for different arch types.
Some shoes feature crisscross lacing systems, while others have a single-pull pattern. Some shoes have hook-and loop strapping. We evaluate the pros and cons of each closure system when testing shoes.
How easy it is to clean a running shoe. You can get bacteria and odor from not cleaning your shoes regularly.
Each model of running shoe is made to be able to run on a particular type of terrain. Each pair of shoes is evaluated to determine the best terrain for them.
To find out how running shoes perform and which people might be most benefited from them, we examine the cushioning. For example, those with high arches need less cushioning.
We note the resilience of running shoes that have reinforced seams.
Running shoes can lose their shape over time. How well a running shoe retains its shape and form?
We test the shoe to determine its lightness and endurance for long, strenuous runs.
For increased breathability, some running shoes feature mesh material. We determine how well the mesh serves its intended purpose when this option is available.
EVALUATING YOUR FOOT
Simple tests can be done at both athletic shoe shops and doctor’s offices to determine the position and arch of your feet.
- An expert observation of the tread wear of an old pair is enough to determine if your natural gait pattern is supine (underpronated), neutral or pronated.
- Standing on a dampened foot and a dry bag of paper will reveal whether your arch is high, neutral or flat.
Denise is a qualified healthcare professional and has worked in physical therapy. Denise also has the unique privilege of having raised three boys. She has been a coach for her sons, as well as many of their friends, through many childhood injuries and health issues. Denise can be found reading, working in her garden, or helping others with their injuries.
Defining your gait
A beginner should first identify her natural gait before buying a pair high-performance running shoes. Are you a neutral, supine or pronated runner?
- Step: The outside edge of your foot has the greatest impact. This category is very rare.
- Neutral Step: The impact zone is closer towards the front and middle feet.
- Pronated Step: The foot’s inside edge has the greatest impact.
- Step that is super-pronated: While most people experience some pronation while they run or walk, a few individuals experience severe inward motion upon impact.
Even if your feet swell very little, they do tend to swell by the evening. When your feet are more likely to swell from prolonged exercise, it is best to shop for shoes at the end of the day.
Consider your arch
Your natural foot arch is another part of the shopping equation. Many people suffer from a low or fallen arch. This can be easily diagnosed by a trained shoe fitter.
While a neutral arch would be ideal, running can flatten it. Orthotics are an option to compensate for the loss of their arches.
A extremely high arch puts a different strain on the feet. High arched runners require different cushioning.
It is important to know your running gait as well as your arch type before you shop. Shoes should have specific features to address your arch type and gait. Flat arches, for example, require different levels of cushioning from runners with high or neutral arches. Pronated runners or those with super-pronated gaits need to look for product descriptions that include phrases such as “motion control” and “high stability.”
When buying the right running shoe, it is important to consider your natural foot arch. “
Notes on cushioning
- A runner with a larger body frame will feel more shock than someone who is smaller and may appreciate thicker cushioning.
- People with higher-arched feet are less flexible than those with flat or neutral arches. Therefore, additional cushioning might not be beneficial for these foot types.
- Some runners prefer cushioning to biometrics, while others consider it a personal preference. Some runners prefer to feel the road more with less padding. Some runners prefer heavy cushioning to protect their feet against shock.
TIPS FROM EXPERTS
You should take plenty of time when you shop for your running shoes so that you don’t rush to make a decision. Running shoes that are not right for you can lead to stress fractures and other serious health problems.
PLANNING YOUR EXERCISE ROUTE
After you have identified the biometrics of the feet, it is time to decide what type of running or jogging you want to do.
- Do you prefer to run on a treadmill, or on a smooth track? Running shoes that are lighter in weight offer greater sole flexibility.
- Are you going to tackle off-road terrain? Shoes for off-road runners have a more aggressive traction design that helps runners navigate through difficult or wet conditions.
- Cross-training is what you want. Cross-trainers can offer a variety of traction designs to suit different purposes.
Each running shoe model was designed for a particular terrain. It is important to understand the nature of the exercise you want to do before buying the wrong style.
Wear the socks or orthotics you will be using during your run when trying on running shoes. This will allow you to find the right fit.
Breathability is a crucial consideration. Consider your exercise routine when choosing a running shoe.
Poorly ventilated running shoes can cause excessive sweating. This moisture can lead to blistering and additional friction. The solution is not to purchase the shoe with the most mesh.
Although improved breathability is generally a positive thing, runners who purchase mesh-heavy shoes may be trading one issue for another. While mesh-heavy running shoes wick moisture away but allow for outside debris (sand, grass and even water) to penetrate the inner layers, they are still very breathable.
While mesh models may feel more comfortable in hot weather, a lack of insulation can lead to a loss of natural heat for runners’ feet during colder weather. If you plan to do all-season running, it is a good idea to have at least one pair running shoes that has less ventilation.
Consider your exercise routine when choosing a running shoe.
DID YOU KNOW?
Running shoes should be supportive in the heel but moderately spacious in the toebox. Too much bend in the toebox can lead to serious abrasive injuries.
EVALUATION OF DESIGN
Although “fashionable” may not always be practical, there are many good reasons to wear a shoe with unique stylings.
Although it may seem like a decorative or intricate striping, the shoe’s most important stress points can be reinforced with this reinforcement. A regular street shoe will soon break down under the shock of running impact. However, a running shoe with reinforced seams is able to withstand the extra pressure.
Shoes with bright colors and reflective badges are recommended for night runners. Night runners shouldn’t rely on the sole design of their shoes for safety. It is highly recommended to wear additional reflective gear when running.
Running shoes can last approximately 500 miles so invest in a quality pair of shoes, not one bought from a discount store. “
Some shoes have a traditional crisscross lacing system. Some shoes feature a more simple “single-pull” crisscross pattern. Others have Velcro strapping.
Experts recommend that laces feel secure, but not restrictive. Velcro or laces that are too tight can restrict circulation and limit movement.
Although the differences between lacing methods may seem subtle, the best shoe for you is one that stays on your foot throughout your exercise session.
The rule of thumb is to order a running shoe that is at least half the size of your street shoe. This rule is based upon the fact that runners’ feet elongate and swell during and after sessions. A fingernail should fit between the tip of the longest toes and the toebox.
Buyers should pay close attention to customer reviews regarding sizing. A size 9 that Nike considers a normal size may not be the same as a Saucony 9.
We recommend that first-time buyers choose a product one size smaller than their street shoes to avoid any problems with fitting.
PRICING and Durability
Expert runners agree that running shoes should last between 300 and 500 miles before needing to be replaced. Experts recommend buying two pairs of shoes to maximize your benefit. This allows each pair to have enough time to recover cushioning from runs. This can increase the shoe’s lifespan, even though it will require a larger initial investment.
There are many manufacturers that vary in the structure and design of their shoes. While you might expect to pay more for better quality shoes, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are worth it.
Your purchasing decision will be affected by biometrics, running style and design, as well as durability and price. The best running shoe is one that fits you like a glove.
DID YOU KNOW?
Running club members can get discounts up to 20% at specialty shoe shops. Ask for discounts if you’re a member of a running club before paying.
MAINTENANCE OF RUNNING SHOE
Keep Them Clean
You run a lot and your shoes are subject to a lot of dirt, mud, and other debris. After each use, it is important to clean your shoes. You may be able reduce the fading if your shoes are white by lightly scrubbing them with a toothbrush and diluted bleach.
Keep Them Fresh
Keep your running shoes well ventilated so that bacteria and odors can be dissipated. To reduce unwanted moisture, you may want to add a thin layer to your shoes each week with powdered foot powder.
Keeping them in Working Order
It is possible to need to replace parts of your shoes, even before they are completely worn out. Laces and insoles are easy to replace. The tread is a bit more difficult. It’s time for a new pair of running shoes once the tread has worn down.
According to experts, rotating two pairs of shoes can prolong the lifespan of each pair. “
PREPARING YOUR FEET FOR A MARATHON
You probably know the importance of pace training and recovery periods when you are training for a marathon. What about your feet?
We assembled a team that is well-versed in caring for feet during extreme physical stress to help readers prepare for marathons or other athletic challenges. The team also included civilian distance runners and members of U.S. Special Operations.
Our expert team suggests the following tips to avoid foot pain and have a great experience running marathons.
- Purchase new running shoes at least six months before your event.
- Begin to break in your new shoes by doing small intervals of training. For your first session, we recommend a distance of no more than one mile.
- Your break-in sessions will gradually increase your mileage. Some members of the team love to double the distance covered each session.
- Every time you run, wear clean, dry socks that are comfortable. This will reduce the chance of getting blisters and other injuries.
- You can choose which shoelaces you like and then use them. Although you may need to replace the laces, you will be happy that you did. Soft laces are often the best.
- Change your running shoes halfway through a race if you are able. This allows for even wear and gives the shoes time to recover between uses.
Numerous studies have shown that running shoes with “special features” are not guaranteed to be injury-free. Running shoes can be worn in basic models, even if your doctor recommends gel inserts.