Run Smart

Choosing the right pair of running shoes can be a daunting task, especially when facing the vast selection on the walls of your local sports store. What exactly should you be looking for when you are investing in a pair of running shoe? Here are a few tips you may find helpful.

1. Types of Running Shoes

There are 3 main categories of running shoes: Neutral, Stability and Motion-Control. Each type is uniquely constructed to accommodate for the different types of feet and running patterns. Traditionally, if you have a very low arch and overpronate while you run, then you would be recommended a Stability or Motion Control pair of running shoes. Those shoes provide a higher degree of support to the inner arch of your foot and enough rigidity to limit overpronation while running. With an average to high arch, you would be recommended a Neutral pair. Take a look at the inner arch of your feet in standing or the imprint of your feet.

2. Biomechanics of Running

The way you run also plays an important role in selecting the right pair of running shoes. Do you make contact with the ground on the inside, outside or middle of the foot? Do you overpronate or oversupinate when you run? A simple way to answer these questions is to look at your own pair of shoes. Identify where the most wear is on the soles of the shoes. If the soles of your shoes are more worn out on the inside, then you most probably overpronate and would benefit from Stability or Motion-Control running shoes. If the outer part of the soles of your shoes are more worn out, the you most likely oversupinate and would be recommended a Neutral pair of running shoes or a pair with extra cushioning.

3. Trail-Running Shoes vs Road-Running Shoes

Your choice of shoes will also be influenced by the type of terrain you will be training on. If you are more into running on trails than on the road or pavement, then shoes with more tread will be your go-to choice. Trail-running shoes offer more grip and are more durable than road-running shoes. However, road-running shoes offer various advantages as they are designed to be lighter and engineered to promote faster running.

4. The Right Fit

Running shoes should be snug and not tightly fitted. They should have enough room in the toe-box to allow the toes to splay when the foot contacts the ground. Also, ensure that there is at least a thumb-width space in front of your toes.The heel cup should also be snug, to prevent the foot from slipping out of the shoe.

Other useful tips:

  • Try out different types of shoes if you are able to.
  • Purchase a pair of running shoes that you feel the most comfortable in.
  • Regularly inspect your shoes for excessive wear and tear.
  • If you are a serious runner, use more than 1 pair of running shoes throughout your training season. This will help to minimize the amount of wear and tear.
  • Invest in a new pair of running shoes after every 600-800 km.