Monday, August 26, 2013

How to Choose the Right Running Shoes

My Salomon Speedcross and Columbia Ravenous (2011)

Choosing the right running shoes ensures that you'll get all the benefits of running without risking injury to your body. Because there isn't just one best running shoe, runners should determine the type of feet they have, so that they can choose the best type of shoe to fit their specific running needs. This is more important for a beginning runner, but no runner should ever forget it. Below are some of the ways you can choose the right shoe for YOU.



Foot Type
Your feet are one of three types: high arch, neutral or flat. The lack of arch in your feet determines the pronation. Pronation is the way a person’s foot hits the ground and rolls when they're running. Neutral feet have the most ideal pronation. In neutral feet, the outside of the heel makes contact and rolls in slightly, evenly distributing the impact without stressing one specific party of the body, then pushing from the front part of the foot off of the ground. It is important it happen this way for shock absorption. People who have overpronation, underpronation or supination need a running shoe to help them maintain a proper stride while running.

Self-Diagnose Feet
The beginner runner needs to start by self-diagnosing his or her foot type. To determine if you have high arch, flat or neutral feet, perform the “wet feet test”. To perform this test, step out of the shower on top of a flat brown paper bag. If the entire foot shows on the paper, you have flat feet. If the print goes in halfway to the center from the ball of the foot, you have neutral feet. If the print shows the heel, ball and a minor connection between them, you have arched feet.

Choosing the Shoe
In the past, runners chose between cushioning, stability and motion control shoes. The motion control shoes are going out of style, so the runner can choose between cushioned or stability running shoes, depending on their specific needs. The best fitting show will depend on a person’s weight, biomechanics and foot shape. Universally, there is no “perfect” shoe. Each individual has their own needs that must be matched to find out which shoe will work best for them. The right shoe will offer the perfect amount of shock absorption and help them find the right pronation. This results in less pain and injury.

Cushioned Shoe
A cushioned shoe is perfect for a runner with a high arch. The cushioned shoe provides support for the mid-sole. This is the part of the foot that will never hit the ground. The cushioned shoe allows the foot to move, because it's more flexible in shape and material.

Stability Shoe
The stability shoe is for a runner with neutral to flat feet. These shoes offer a nice blend of durability, support and cushioning. The curve on the inside of the shoe is made with a denser support. This will keep the shoe from wearing out due to overpronation. For those with a flatter foot, there are higher stability shoes.

Choosing the right running shoe is essential to avoid pain and injuries. Make sure you learn which type of feet you have before choosing your running shoes, and be sure to monitor the health and condition of your feet as time goes on.

Joseph Rodriguez writes about health and wellness. His recent work is on the Top Accelerated Nursing Programs in the US.

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