How to choose the right running shoes
It is very important to choose the right running shoe for yourself that gives you maximum comfort. With so many options available today, it becomes very difficult to choose which will be the best running shoe for you. Just go through the 6 simple tips given below before you purchase a running shoe for yourself.
Pronation simply means how your feet roll from the heel to toe with each foot strike. A neutral or proper foot strike is defined by striking with the heel’s outside and moving up to the foot’s ball evenly. This way the foot reduces the stress this striking produces.
If you roll way too much to the inside of your foot when you strike through your foot, it is called overpronation. A low arch or flat foot is the main reason behind it. If you roll your foot to the outside it is known as underpronation. This mainly happens due to a high arch.
Check the height of your arch with the easy “wet test”. Start this by wetting both your feet and standing on a paper bag for about 10 seconds. Now back off from the bag and observe your foot impressions on the bag.
Now there can be any of the 3 given cases-
Normal arch- If your foot has a distinct curve along the inner part and a band that is half the width of your foot that connects heel to toe.
Low arch- You will see maximum part of your foot in your foot imprint and the curve along the inside of your foot will not be much.
High arch- You will see a very prominent curve along your foot inside and the band connecting the heel and toe will be very thin. A very high arch will not even give the view of this band.
After you have determined the height of your arch, you can easily determine your gait as well. There are 4 main types of gait in humans-
Severe overpronation- This condition occurs when your heel strikes first the ground and then excessively rolls inside. In overpronation, the ankle slowly loses the ability to keep the body stable. People with a flat foot or low arch usually face this condition. The best shoe type for such people is a motion control shoe.
Mild overpronation- The outside part of the heel first strikes and then rolls inwards. People with low to medium arch generally face this and such people should select a stability shoe.
Neutral- The middle part of the heel will strike first and the foot rolls inwards slightly. People with a neutral gait must select a neutral runner as a neutral cushioning shoe. Such people have a medium arched foot.
Underpronation- This is also known as supination. The person strikes the ground with the outer part of their heel first and does not roll their foot inside. Rather they stay on their foot outside throughout. This way the foot is unable to absorb the impact of foot strike. People with a high arch should choose a neutral cushioning shoe.
Choosing the right running shoe
With the right knowledge of your arch type and gait, you can now easily determine the best running shoe for you. There are 3 main running shoe types-
Motion control shoes- The bottom of these running shoes have a wide and straight shape that helps in motion control. This is the idlest running shoe for people with flat foot or the ones who have overpronation. Such shoes prevent over rolling of the foot. Maximum support is given to your foot along with control.
Stability shoes- These shoes have a semi-curved shape. People with normal arch and pronation can choose such shoes. Stability shoe offers a perfect balance between cushioning and support.
Neutral cushioning shoe- Such shoes have the maximum curved shape. People with high arched foot and supinate should choose a neutral cushion shoe. Cushioned shoes absorb the impact that your foot does not naturally absorb.
One more factor that plays a major role is foam density. Running shoe manufacturers use a wider base along with a dual density foam in the shoe. This prevents inner rolling and provides neutral stride to the foot. Check if the foam is dark in colored. If the color is just in the middle, the shoe is mildly stable. If the color is dense towards the arch beginning and continues to the back of the heel, the shoe is motion control. A neutral cushion shoe has no dense foam on the inside.
Visit a running shoe store
Keep in mind some important tips when a pay a visit to a running shoe store-
- Carry your old shoes along.
- Ask about the right kind of socks that will go with your running shoe.
- Do not buy just any latest shoe. See what fits you the best.
- Let the salesman measure both your feet. Generally, 1 foot is slightly bigger than the other. Keep this in mind else you may hurt your toenails.
Be prepared to answer the following questions your salesperson might ask-
- How long has it been since you started running
- What have been your past running shoe and how was your experience.
- Where do you go for running
- What is the average count of miles you run on an average
- Do you have any foot problems
The answers to these questions will help the salesperson get some best models of running shoes to show you.
Try the shoe you are about to buy
When you finally find the best shoe among the ones the salesperson shows you, always remember to try it first. Different running shoe companies incorporate different technologies to give the best results to their customers. When you are trying the shoes, keep in mind the following points-
- Make sure you have sufficient space around your toes. Generally, it is suggested to have about a thumbs width between the toe and the shoe end.
- See that the shoe width is sufficient. The shoe should be tight enough that the foot does not become sloppy. The foot should be able to easily spread out and allowing easy grip when you run.
- Walk around the store to make sure that the heels are not slippery.
Just follow the above mentioned simple steps to get the best running shoe for you. Remember to keep your brand new shoes clean and shiny with the shoe cleaning products by Clean Kicks. You can shop shoe odor eliminator, cleaning kit and cleaning wipes at affordable rates.