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BeginnersGuide toRunning Shoes

With nearly every shoe claiming to be a running shoe. How do you get past the sales patter and find the right shoe for you. Here is the beginners guide to running shoes.

Running shoes

Why buy running shoes

Not all training shoes are the same. Most are designed with a sideways or lateral motion in mind. Tennis, basketball, squash all have heavy lateral motion andtheir shoes aresturdy in this respect. Most training shoes tend to be built this way.

Running requires little lateral motion and is designed with a different impact in mind. As the running shoe is practically the only equipment a runner needs it isimportant to choose the right one.

There are 3 types of foot

For running and running shoes it is important to know which type of foot you have. There are 3 basic types:

  • low arched(flat foot)
  • middle arched (neutral / normal)
  • high arched

Take a look at the side of your foot with the arch facing upwards. Ifthe arch finishes higher than the height of the toes the you have a high arched foot, if it's a similarheightyou have a normal, middle arched foot and if it's lower you have a low arched or flat foot.

Low arch running shoes

A low arched or flat foot when running will tend to make the heel strike the ground too far on the outside. The weight thentransfers alongthe foot and the foot rotates back, but too excessively.Due to this feature when running a low arched foot will require motion control running shoes.

Motion control running shoes are designed to help prevent the excessive inward rotation as the weight travelsalong the foot (overpronation). This helps the runner as overpronation is a major cause ofinjury in this foot type.

The shoe controls the motion better by being more rigid. Itdoes this in a couple of ways. Thisincludes havinga medial post in the sole making the shoe less likely to twist. The shoes will also be slightly bulkier and heavier and this also helps prevent excessive rotation.

Browse motion control running shoes.

Middle arch running shoes

A middle arched foot when running will have a normal action. The foot will land slightly on the outside of the heel. As the weight is transferredalong the foot it will roll slightly inward towards the ball. This helps absorb shock. As such the middle arched foot will require stability running shoes.

Stability running shoes will have elements of all types of running shoe in them but to a lesser degree. Some motion control and cushioning is still requiredand this helps keep injuries to a minimum.

Despite this being a normal foot type a specialist running shoe is still needed. The purpose built shoe will last longer when used running than a lateral motion shoe.

Browse stability running shoes.

High arch running shoes

A high arched foot tends to land closer to the middle of the heel when running. As the weight transfersalong the foot there is little rotation. This is not a good action as there is minimal shock absorption. For this reason a high arched foot will require cushioned running shoes.

Cushioned running shoes as the name suggests offer more cushioning for the foot compared to others. The shoe willencourage foot rotation that the high arched runner lacks. This greater rotation combined with the cushioning offers superior shock absorption which is needed in this foot type.

A high arched foot may require an additional orthotic insoleifrunning is causing injuries. Thecushioned shoesalso tend to be more flexible and may suit the middle arched runner if their running action isrigid.

Browse cushioned running shoes.

Trying on new running shoes

A specialist running store is by far the best recommendation for your purchase. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Shop later in the day as you're feet get slightly bigger during the day.
  • Check your old running shoes to see where they're worn and remember their type as a guide to futurerequirements.
  • Check the size of both feet and go for the larger size.
  • Take your time and try some different shoes on to see which feel better.
  • When the shoe is on checkthere is enough room to move your toes.
  • Allow a thumb width space after the big toe.
  • Ask the assistant if you can have a quick run in them to test them out (some will let you).

Running shoes overall

Running shoes will generally last around 800-1000 km. An expensive shoe does not necessarily mean they are thebest. The best running shoe for you is the one that fits your foot type and running action. Once you find your best pair consider buying a few pairs in case they get superseded very quickly. Newer models tend to be released once or twice per year and may not fitas wellas an older model. Getting the right running shoes is vital for your running and your running will be enhanced as a result.

Fora range of running shoes for every foot type try this specialist running shoe store.

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