During the course of running my half marathons, I realized that I was getting pain in my legs. Especially at the knee joints.
So, I undertook some research to understand the mechanics of running. And in this course, I came across the huge amount of information scientifically backed.
And using that info, I started to look for the best shoes to pursue my passion of running. So folks, here I am giving your 5 best tips to look in when you go to buy your shoes for running shoes.
Your Running Shoes are not your normal shoes:
This is the first and foremost thing to realize. When we run long distance, the whole conditioning that isrequired in our legs changes dramatically. Here are few of them:
Landing: When you run, there is propulsion. You land on your feet with force. The force gets transmitted from heel joints to the shin bones. Then, they travel to the knee joints. And this landing can cause jerks in your joints. Not having the right running shoes will adversely affect your joints.
The Wearability: If you are using the normal sneakers for running, I would compare it with using a jeep in place of tanks to fight a war. You can’t do this. Running is a specialised movement of the whole body.
Your normal shoes will have more wear and tear. They will not be just heavy on our wallet but go heavily on your legs health.
Comfort: Imagine running a marathon with biting shoes. Your normal shoes will have a tough time understanding your legs and feet. They would discomfort you because your running needs expect a totally different level of comfort.
Having said these things, you might realize that your running shoes are technical shoes. They require a lot more specialisation to help you run long and enjoy.
So, let us get to the specialisations that are required in your running shoes. Please remember, these are the same set of things that you would look for when you are shopping for your next pair of running shoes.
These are the 5 steps I recommend to you. You must look for them before you finalise the best running shoe for yourself. So, let us start:
KNOW YOUR FEET TYPE:
Knowing your feet type is half the job done.
Do you know what kind of feet you have. Are they low arch, high arch or are they normal ones. This is the most important aspect of finding the right running shoes.
Let me explain this. If you wet your feet and place them on the brown sheet of paper, you will be able to detect your feet type.
As you can see in the figure, you will identify your feet type as one of those:
- Low Arch Type
- Normal Arch Type
- High Arch Type
Let us look at Low Arch Type: When you have discovered that you have low arch feet, you will find difficulty in standing at one place for long. Your landing will be different. This would affect how you pronate.
Pronation is movement of legs and refers to how our foot rolls inward for impact distribution upon landing. When you have a flat feet type, your landing will be over pronated.
So, you need shoes that can control the motion and prevent your legs from over pronating. Therefore, ask for the motion control shoes at the shoe shop.
Normal Arch Type: Having the normal feet is an advantage for run lovers. All you need in your shoe is the stability. So just ask for Stability Shoes.
High Arch Type: If you have high arches under your feet, then you would need more cushioning in your soles to take care of the Under pronation. When you under pronate, the Podiatrist will term it as Supination. So, ask the shop guy for shoes for supinators. He would easily get it!
Understand the Surface that you will use to run:
In normal parlace, it is understood that you will be running on the roads. Running on the roads has different requirements than trekking or going on trails. This is because of the surface that you are using for the runs.
Road running is done on hard surfaces. Just as in roads. So, you would need the shoes that can absorb the shock produced on landing. Better your shoes absorb the shock, the more comfort you will find in running.
The good quality shock absorbing shoes will keep your joints well oiled and without pain. It will also help your shin bones and the shin splints. Your heel will not ache in the middle of the night.
Therefore, please do inform or check out for the road running shoes. These are the most generic shoes used by runners. They would work well on the muddy surfaces as well.
Don’t Buy My Size fits all shoes:
Buy a pair of shoes that fit you well. Get your feet measured before you finalise your running shoes. If you are buying them online, I would suggest that you go through their measurement chart and find your size. Lose shoes or tight ones will be a cause of concern and distract you in running.
Here is a piece of advice for those who run half and full marathons. Have one size bigger than your size for a long distance. When you run for a long duration, your feet size increases. This may make your fit shoes unfit.
When I was running my TMM 2019, I faced this issue big time. I guess after my 25th Km, I felt like removing them and running bare feet! They had started to bite me.
Look for Comfort:
There are two aspects to finding comfort:
Cushioning: you should be all right when you stand. Your feet should not feel troubled. This will depend on cushioning. Almost all the running shoes have good cushioning. But, you may want to avoid over cushioning. They may cause issues in the long run.
So, look for just enough comfort.
Meshing: This is the front portion of your shoes. Good meshing provided good ventilation to your feet. They are breathers. So, check for them.
Strength and Sturdiness:
Last but not the least, your running shoes stand the test of time. They should be strong and tough. An average runner can run 500 miles in a good pair. If your shoes do not give you this level of mileage, you need to review your shoe quality.
The Grip under the feet: The good grip under the feet is important. They help you to find stability.
So, these are the 5 steps to finding great running shoes so that you can have great running. I learned by trial and error. You have my experience now. So, go for the best because you deserve to be BEST.
a runner, a fitness enthusiast