Are running shoes different from ordinary sports shoes:

Footwear that you wear has a key role to play in your overall performance in any outdoor activity.  And it gains prime importance when you are playing a particular sport.

Let’s talk about running here.  I am a runner.  I love running!  I love to run almost every day.  

When I started running, I had no idea if the shoes have a role to play in my running.  I had a pair of non-formal shoes with laces.  They can be remotely categorized as sports shoes.  They had laces and they were made of good quality canvas material. 

So, I thought, “Let me use them for running”.  So, I did!

Initially, I didn’t find any problem with the shoes.  They were fitting well.  I could easily walk in them and even run smoothly.  

But, as I started progressing in my running distance, I started to understand the vital aspects in running.   And the health of my feet started to bother me!

Here is a list of things that I found problematic with my sports shoes:

  1. They did not provide proper ventilation.  I would go running for half marathons.  These would take 1 to 2 hrs of continuous running.  During the course of the run, I did not have the luxury to step aside from the tracks and remove them.  

So, once I got back home, I found my feet totally humid.  And it looked like a rotten skin about to peel off.  

  1. The long distance running made the forefingers or what we may call the toes, painful.  The front portion of the shoes were not made to give the feel of comfort for long distance running.
  1. Joints:  The joint felt painful.  The knee joints gave me a sensational pain.  
  1. Weight of the shoes:  The ordinary shoes felt heavy on the legs.  And they kind of created the obstruction in running smoothly.  My legs would weigh down with the shoe weight.  
  1. The durability:  The shoes started to wear out in a matter of a few months.  

These were the reasons that I started to look out for the better quality of shoes.  I stay in a small town and there are no shoe stores.  Not even the decent ones of ordinary wearing shoes.  

This was my first half marathon and I was running it in Bangalore.  So, I got the chance to be in a place where my fellow running pals would be wearing all sorts of shoes.  

My cousin, who works for the forces is also an avid runner.  So, I called him over to Bangalore to run with me.  We ran and we had great fun.  But, we felt totally passed out post the run.  

So, I shared my share of woes about the running shoes to find if he could suggest something better.  And this is where I learned about the brand:  ASICS.

ASICS brand stands for the running shoes.  

I am not asking you to throw away your current shoes and buy ASICS.  But, my story is certainly indicating that every runner need to look into the shoes that he/she wears.  Your running shoes can make a huge difference to your running and your overall fitness in the long run. 

Running requires a special set of traits in our shoes.  And that’s why the big sports and fitness brands focus so much on shoes.  Running shoes are a class apart and they are technically designed for long distance runs.  These shoes provide everything from ventilation, cushioning, stability to durability and strength.  

So,let’s now dive into understanding the running shoes: 

  1. Feet Type:   Running shoes mimic your feet type:  This is the fundamental aspect of running shoes.  We may not be looking at how our feet are shaped.  But when it comes to running, our feet have a big role to play.  

Broadly, they are categorized into three types:

  1. Underpronated feet
  2. Overpronated feet
  3. Normal pronation feet

A lot of issues with pains and joint problems can be easily sorted. You are wearing the shoes that mimic your feet and provide you with the support.

2.Ventilation:  The front foot and the upper portion of your feet require good ventilation.  The good quality running shoes are enabled for perspiration.  They have good breathability.  And this is done by providing the fine meshing on top and front of the shoe.  

3.Shoe Weight:  The running shoes are made of material that is feather light.  At the same time, they do not compromise on the sturdiness of the structure and the design.  My shoes give me that flight feeling and I can easily distinguish normal sports shoes from the running shoes with closed eyes.  

  1. Soles:  The feet are placed on the mat inside your shoe.  This mat-like surface inside the shoe is called the sole.   Soles inside the shoe provide adequate cushioning and comfort while running.  

5. The lacework in running shoes:  The laces in your running shoes have a core function of keeping the shoe closely attached to the feet surface.  So, they should not come out easily.  I am able to put different types of knots with the laces provided in running shoes.  And I have found them unique. 

So, in short, I would say, Your running shoes are specially designed to give you that feeling of being special and your running needs well taken care of. 

sanju

a runner, a fitness enthusiast

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