Running shoes are one of the most basic pieces
of equipment needed by all runners. Comfortable clothing is also very important
to runners but by far the fit, design and comfort of the running shoe is the
most important piece of equipment. Some runners may enjoy the use of gadgets
such as heart rate monitors and speed and distance monitors while they are
running but the vast majority of runners would likely tell you their running
shoes are their most valued piece of equipment. This is because the right
running shoe can not only improve your performance but can also go very far in
helping you to stay comfortable while running and to avoid injuries. However,
despite the fact that many runners realize the importance of good running shoes,
there are many who have no idea how to pick out a good pair of running shoes for
their use. This article will provide some information on why running shoes are
so important and will offer some advice for selecting a great pair of running
One of the first factors a runner should consider is how often they will require
a new pair of running shoes. Obviously some runners will wear out a pair of
running shoes quicker than others given the same amount of running based on
factors such a their weight, how hard they strike the ground while running and
even the quality of the running shoe they originally purchased. However, a
general rule of thumb is to replace running shoes every 300-500 miles. How often
you will reach this number will obviously depend on how often you are running as
well as how many miles you are running each time you go for a run. For example,
consider two runners who both run five days a week. The first runner runs only
two miles per day while the second runner runs ten miles per day. The second
runner will obviously reach the 300-500 mile threshold much quicker than the
first and will therefore likely need to purchase new running shoes more often.
Runners can usually tell when they are in need of a new pair of running shoes
but it is advised to keep a running log and use the accumulated miles to
determine when a new pair of running shoes is needed instead of basing the
judgment on how the shoes feel or look. This is an important point because
although most runners can tell when they are in need of new running shoes, they
can usually only tell after the worn down shoes are beginning to cause them
pain. However, runners who rely on mileage logs as opposed to the appearance of
the shoe typically avoid reaching the point where the running shoes have
deteriorated enough to be causing physical pain.
Many runners also are not aware there are different styles of running and
selecting a shoe designed to suit your running style can be very beneficial. One
of the most significant aspects to running style which should be considered when
purchasing a pair of running shoes is the amount of pronation you have. This
term refers to how much your foot rotates inward while you run. Runners who have
a foot which rolls inward excessively are considered to be runners who
overpronate while runners who have a foot which does not roll inward much at all
are considered to be runners who underpronate. Both running styles can present
unique problems such as shin splints, stress fractures and heel and knee pain.
Runners who are not aware of how much they are pronating should consider
visiting a shoe store specializing in the sale of running shoes. The staff at
these stores is usually very knowledgeable and can examine your running style to
determine which type of runner you are. They can also likely make
recommendations for a few different running shoes which might be ideal for you.
This will provide a good starting point for you, but you will still have to try
on a number of different shoes to determine which one is the most comfortable.
When trying on running shoes to determine the comfort it is important to run in
the shoes. Some shoes specializing in running shoes will allow you to take the
shoes outside and run around the parking lot for a little bit to get a more
accurate feel of how the shoes perform when you are in action. This gives a much
better idea of the performance of the shoe than simply walking around the store.
Runners should also be aware that there are many different types of running
shoes available. This includes running shoes designed specifically for trail
running, running shoes for runners who run mostly long distance events and
running shoes for runners who run mostly shorter distance events. For example a
marathon runner may prefer a shoe which provides some stability but is also
lighter weight while a 5K runner may prefer a more stable shoe. The increased
stability typically adds weight to the shoe but because the runner focuses on
shorter distance events this increased weight is typically not a concern for the
runner. Conversely, a marathon runner wearing a heavier running shoe would
quickly begin to feel the effects of this increased weight.
The video clip above is from my DVD about running stetches and other running related information. Click on the DVD case below to find out more.