Have you ever experienced the following scenario? You’re busy running, and soon, “Srukk!” You slip and fall. You may blame the slippery roads, or you suddenly can’t focus on your deadlines at work. Oh wait. Take a look at the condition of your running shoes. Using the wrong running shoes can also cause you to fall and get injured while running . How come? So, how do you choose the right running shoes?
Tips for choosing the right running shoes
Most people choose shoes based on price or appearance, but as a runner you have to pay attention to more aspects than that. There are two things to consider when choosing a running style of running shoes: your running path and how you run.
- What is your running track like?
Types of running shoes based on the running track are divided into 3 subcategories: road-running shoes, trail-running shoes, and cross-training shoes . Road-running shoes apply to runners who usually run on roads, sidewalks, or maybe on any flat and hard surface. Imagine running in the city, whether it’s on a city park running track near your house or along asphalt roads.
If you like to run on a track that is up and down hills filled with rocks, mud, or roots, the running shoes you should use are trail-running shoes that can provide extra stability and protection for your feet during more extreme trails. Finally, running shoes type cross-training shoes are designed for users of the gym or Crossfit training . So the first piece of advice is to pay attention to where you’re going.
- What is your running like?
Discussing how everyone runs will be a little tricky. In general, there are three types of running mechanisms that are related to the shape of the foot, namely normal pronation, excessive pronation, and underpronation. Below is an illustration.
Different types of feet when running (from left to right: overpronation, normal, supination) source: Adidas
The soles of people who have excessive pronation ( flat feet ) tend to bend inward more than others, so the inner edges of the shoes wear out and thin out more quickly. This condition is characterized by both feet pointing outward when standing — imagine the letter “V”. The opposite happens in underpronation, which makes the soles of the feet “pock” inward — imagine an inverted “V”. Abnormal foot shape usually causes pain when running. So, when choosing running shoes, pay attention to your running style.
- Pay attention to the physical features of your running shoes
The two things above will help you a lot in choosing running shoes that suit your needs. Here are some additional suggestions to consider when buying shoes:
- Buy shoes at night. The soles of the feet widen at night after a day of continuous wear, so it’s best to try on new shoes at night when your feet are at their widest.
- Choose shoes that are comfortable to wear. Don’t believe the myth that shoes will loosen on their own with wear. That doesn’t always happen. If the shoe is right for you, you should feel comfortable from the first time you put it on, not after a long time of enduring pain and complaining why the shoe doesn’t fit right on your foot.
- Do not choose shoes that really fit. There should be a distance of a thumb’s width from the front end of the shoe to the toes. Try moving your toes while wearing shoes. If your fingers are still free to move, the sign is the right shoe for you. If you can’t move your fingers at all, choose one size above them.
- Consider cushioning features such as gaps that allow ventilation for shock absorption. Each shoe has its own features, so it’s a good idea to check with a store employee to see which one is right for you.
- Look at the price. Good shoes are not too expensive or cheap. The price will feel right, so choose an economical shoe or you will have to replace it after 2 weeks of walking, for example.
Most shoe stores have trained employees ready to assist you, so please consult them. Lastly, beware of shoe expiration dates . If your running shoes have been in use for years and you can’t remember when you bought them, it’s best to buy new ones just in case. Or if the sole is worn out, or if it hurts more and more during use, don’t hesitate to buy new running shoes.