Wearing the correct running shoes
Wearing the correct running shoes can make a significant difference to your running, not only in your technique but in your enjoyment of the sport. It provides protection and support and may help prevent certain types of injuries, keeping you on the road. Here are a few reasons why it is important to wear the correct shoes.
Running shoes support your feet by providing cushioning underneath the heel which helps absorb some of the shock that occurs when your foot strikes the ground. This shock absorption can help you feel lighter when you run, making you use less energy to push back off the ground. The cushioning also helps prevent injuries such as shin splints, metatarsalgia (pain in the joints of your foot) and plantar fasciitis. Running causes high impact on your knees, hips and spine but the right shoes can help reduce the load through these joints, reducing the wear and tear that build up over time.
If your foot tends to pronate i.e. roll inwards so that the inside arch of your foot becomes flat, then you may need a shoe that helps correct that by providing extra support. Over pronation may lead to alignment problems in the rest of your body, causing increased tension some muscles such as the calf and higher load through certain joints such as the inside of your knee. Over time this could lead to injuries such as shin splints, patellofemoral pain syndrome or medial meniscus degeneration. Even though not all people who overpronate have injuries, wearing shoes that supports the feet in a more neutral position may prevent future problems. Many brands have shoes specifically designed for overpronators.
There are also options for people who have problems with ankle stability and who tend to twist their ankles often. Some shoes have a higher ankle support that help keep the ankle stable and prevents mild sprains from happening although these are not always the most comfortable running shoes for most people. Poor fitting shoes can cause blisters or aggravate bunions so being comfortable in the shoe is vital. It will also make you more excited to run and less tired at the end as achy feet can bring down almost anyone’s good mood.
If you are doing frequent trail running then it may be worth investing in a pair of trail running shoes which have a stronger grip and could prevent some nasty falls and injuries. It can also speed up your time as you won’t be slipping and sliding as much when you run.
Many shops have trained employees that can test your running or walking pattern on a treadmill in the shop and can then help find the correct shoe for you.