What to Look Out for When Buying Running Shoes
While aesthetics may be one of your top priorities when buying a normal pair of shoes, you need to consider much more important things when looking for running shoes.
You need to ensure that the shoes suit your running gait and none of the shoes’ features cause problems like slippage and discomfort. And don’t worry – plenty of running shoes that enable problem-free running also come in a number of cool-looking designs. For more tips on finding the best running shoes, click here.
Consider Your Running Gait
Knowing which pair of running shoes to buy partially comes down to the way you run. You need to consider your running posture and gait before you can find the right shoes. The running gait is the cycle that your leg travels through during one step while you run. That includes the stance and swing of your step. Most runners with gait issues overpronate, in which the foot rolls excessively inward when it is planted, meaning the weight is transferred to the inner edge instead of on the ball of the foot. Runners who have flat feet or low arches often overpronate. If that is you, choose a pair of running shoes that provide stability by giving better support to the inside of the foot, thereby helping to stop the ankle from collapsing inwards.
A rarer issue is known as supination. It is also sometimes called under-pronation. Supination is a stride pattern in which you land predominantly on the outside of your feet when running. People with high arches can experience supination. If that is you, your feet need extra cushioning to compensate for their lower flexibility. Thankfully, you can find some excellent running shoes for supination. They typically feature stiff walls for additional support as well as extra cushioning. When you get the right pair of running shoes for your specific gait, you can help to prevent ankle and foot injuries and improve your running form. So, finding the right shoes is crucial.
Make Sure the Shoes Have Space for Your Toes
When you run, your feet swell. So, you need to ensure there is a thumbnail length of space between the end of your shoe and your longest toe. That could mean buying running shoes that are a half-size bigger than your usual shoe size. You also need to ensure there is enough toe width. If your toes are squished into your shoes, it is a surefire way of getting blisters when you run. Make sure your toes have enough wiggle room. If your toes do not have adequate room inside the running shoes, you could experience various issues on top of blisters, which would affect your running performance.
Look at the Shape and Padding of the Ankle Collar
The ankle collar is the wrap at the top of a running shoe’s opening. It holds the heel down in place. Some running shoes pay more attention to the shape of the ankle collar while others focus more on thick padding. Both are important for a comfortable run. Take note of whether your heel slips and how the shoes’ padding interacts with the side of your ankles, as well as whether the curve on the back irritates your Achilles tendon.
Check Out the Heel Counter for Stable Landings and Extra Support
It is important that you find a running shoe with a heel that allows comfortable ankle motion. So, pay attention to the heel counter when looking at different running shoes. The heel counter is a semi-rigid cup inside the rear of the shoe. It supports and cradles your heel. While heel counters do not provide motion control, they do center the heel to enable stable landings and additional support. Some running shoes have external heel wraps that provide a similar function.
Make Sure There Is No Slippage in the Saddle
The reinforced area around the instep is known as the saddle. It interacts with the laces to hold your foot securely in the shoe. Saddles can include various types of overlays, lacing systems, and eyelets. Look for a running shoe with a saddle that molds closely to the shape of your foot. Pay attention to how the saddle fits and how it holds your foot. When the saddle provides a secure feeling and you do not feel any slippage, you will have found the right saddle to enable the natural doming of the arch while you run.