Contrary to what many people believe, just being a high-quality trainer doth not a running shoe make. As with any piece of technical equipment, “close enough” does not cut it in the running world. Why is taking a short cut on a pair of running shoes a bad idea? For starters, if the shoe is not designed for running in, everything you need to keep you comfortable and safe from injury will not have been included in the shoes. Inadequate cushioning leaves your joints and muscles open to strain and impact injuries, and too little support over the heel area leaves your ankles at risk. Running can be quite a stressful activity on your joints, so make sure that you are safe and protected when you do start running.
If you are afraid that your current pair of shoes might not be right for what you need, you could have a foot analysis done. Any one of the many Australian Asics stores will be able to assist you with that. A f professional foot analysis will not only confirm your pronation, but will also help you to make the right choice based on your foot type.
What is the secret to the ideal running shoe?
Unfortunately, there is no universal perfect running shoe. The trick is to find one that not only supports the type of running you do, but which will also protect you in all the right places while you’re running.
Let’s talk about a few things you could look out for to help you. Good cushioning is a must, especially since you will not only be spending a lot of time on your feet, but this will also be active time. A sturdy and responsive midsole will ensure good bounce and impact absorption, while overall, you want the shoe to be lightweight enough to not be burdensome over long distances.
Why is mid-sole cushioning a big deal?
Of all the things running shoe companies spend research time and money on, mid-sole cushioning is probably the most important. The shoe’s responsiveness, bounce and durability all depend on the integrity of the mid-sole.
The main job of mid-sole cushioning is to withstand any stress and impact the shoe is to undergo in its lifetime, and essentially preventing it from wearing out. It should be firm enough to keep the foot locked in approximate position, while still allowing enough ventilation around the foot to keep it cool.
Have your gait analyzed
To fully understand the type of shoe you need, you will need to fully understand how your feet roll when in their natural motion. This motion is referred to as pronation. If you overpronate, your foot rolls inwards. Left unaddressed, this can affect your joints, but it is easily remedied by wearing a shoe with some form of arch support, to help alleviate the pressure. Underpronation happens when the outer edge of your foot takes most of your weight, due to the foot rolling outwards. A shoe with a lot of additional cushioning is one of the best ways to remedy this. Your pronation style is unique to your body, and staff at any of the Asics stores in AU will be able to assist you with this analysis. It is a very good idea to do this, even if you want to continue the search on your own.
Try, try, and try (on) again
The fit of a running shoe is the most important aspect of all. More than appearance, fashion ability, cultural status, and design, how the shoe fits is the primary consideration of all.
A shoe that fits poorly not only causes the obvious problems like blisters and chafing, but can give rise to larger issues, like alignment problems, postural problems, and back pain. When trying on shoes, try to do so towards the end of the day, as this is the time when your feet are the largest they’ll be during the day, due to the natural swelling that happens to feet as the day progresses.
Should I consider orthotics?
If you suffer from sore feet as a result of running or walking, orthotic inserts might seem an appealing option. But consider the fact that orthotics can be pricey, and affect a shoe’s cushioning ability. If your issue can be solved by new shoes or a different make of shoe, rather try that route first.