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  • Writer's picturejacob sciacca

10 Things to Look for When Choosing a Running Shoe

Entering a running shoe store for the first time can be overwhelming, given the plethora of brands, materials, and technologies available. To assist you in navigating this complex terrain, we've compiled some key considerations:

 

Comfort:

Ensure that the shoes you choose feel comfortable. Taking them for a short run on a treadmill post-purchase can help confirm their suitability. Look out for signs of discomfort such as fatigue, rubbing, or pressure points, and try on several pairs to find the perfect fit.

 

Width:

Adequate width at the toe box is essential to allow natural foot spreading upon impact with the ground. Insufficient width in the middle of the shoe may lead to discomfort, particularly if the shoe has a narrow design. While some prefer a snug fit, be cautious of potential foot pain.

 

Weight:

The weight of the shoe affects the energy required during your run. Consider heavier shoes for everyday training and lighter ones for race day. However, be mindful of transitioning to lighter shoes as they may offer less support.

 

Activity-Specific:

Different terrains require different shoe designs. Ensure you have the appropriate shoes for trail, track, or road running to prevent injury.

 

Heel Pitch:

The heel pitch influences load distribution through your legs. Higher pitches may stress the front of the shin and foot, while lower pitches may affect the Achilles and calf muscles.

 

Stack Height:

Higher stack heights offer better cushioning but may increase the risk of ankle sprains. Evaluate your comfort and injury risk when choosing shoes with varying stack heights.

 

Comparison to Your Old Running Shoe:

Consider the specifications of your previous shoes when selecting new ones. Websites like runrepeat.com provide detailed information for comparison.

 

Midsole Foam:

Different foams offer various benefits. Reactive foams enhance energy return, while softer foams are ideal for longer or recovery runs.

 

Midsole Tech:

Shoes may incorporate technologies like medial posting or torsion control systems, which affect foot-ground interaction. Consider these features, especially when using custom foot orthoses.

 

The Upper:

The upper should allow adequate foot movement and propulsion. Look for breathable materials with some flexibility, while waterproof options are also available.

 

Remember, there's more to consider beyond these points, such as personal fit, wear patterns, sustainability, and shoe rotation. Consulting with a Physiotherapist or Podiatrist can provide personalised guidance based on your needs. Don't forget to bring your shoes for assessment!




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