Selecting a shoe is never a tough task, if the choosing would only include your favorite color with the fanciest design. But when you add factors like running requirements, existing problems and past experiences with other shoes, plus the price you’re willing to shell out, you will begin to understand how complicated the intricacies would be.
To make this process simple, an outline of needs versus availability should be drawn clearly. Ok, let us start. Past shoe experience Your past experiences with other shoes build a solid preference: a certain brand following, sole type, and even color.
Biomechanical aspect You should also address the current status of your biomechanical needs which is the gait. Podiatrists have categorized three general types of gait: the normal gait, the flat footed gait, and the high-arched gait. To identify properly what type of gait you have, a simple test is needed, and I call it the Footprint Test. Wet your feet and walk on a dry surface. Now study your footprint.
A normal gait should have a defined heel and a bridge connecting to the metatarsus. The normal arch would define a broad band bridge from the heel to the metatarsus. The flatfooted gait has an overly defined heel, a thick bridge (sometimes the whole instep is defined) and the metatarsus. The footprint would look as if the entire sole of the foot came in contact with the ground surface. The high-arched gait is the opposite; it has little or no bridge connecting the heel and metatarsus.
Pronation often happens with the flatfooted and the high arched gait. Pronation is the roll in or roll out, where the heel hits the ground then the foot rolls inward or outward as the toe descends. Normally, pronation and supination occurs even in normal gait, especially if you change direction. But having too much pronation or supination can interfere with running and with an inappropriate shoe this can have a considerable physical effect. So the best running shoe for this condition is a motion control shoe.
On high arched gait, since a lesser foot sole presses the ground, the effect would be higher pressure (weight) on a small area (foot sole). The feet could be severely injured over time. The best running shoe to match this condition would be shoes providing lots of cushioning. And since high arch gaits also tend to pronate, especially outwards, it is best to get a shoe that offers mild motion control. Avoid getting strong motion control shoes since the best shoes for this type are those not extremely controlling.
By large, knowing your gait and how it falls into these three categories should help you choose the best running shoes. If your gait falls in between, then balance a fair amount of control and mild shock absorption.
If you have problems identifying your gait, then take with you your most worn shoe (and some face mask) to a shoe specialty store. The shoe specialist can identify the type of gait you have and can recommend the best running shoes for you (and a couple of Fissans if you really did bring a face mask).
Running requirements Track shoes carry more shock absorption capabilities to better protect the feet from the constant pounding on a hard surface. On the other hand, trail running shoes are designed to afford more traction on uneven and unpredictable terrain. These two types of shoes are significantly different from each other.
And if you are also a regular runner that runs on high mileage, the best running shoes for you should have outstanding support and cushion and tough enough to last longer.
Athletic shoes are referred with many names, but it is more commonly referred to as sneakers or running shoes. If you never heard about running shoes, well I think you deserve a hefty smack in the middle of your forehead. Too bad I’m not in front of you to do you this favor. Instead, I let me educate you about running shoes.
Running shoes are made of soft and flexible materials, and characteristically have rubber soles. Over the years, certain innovations created various types of running shoes with non-rubber soles but the most basic running shoes always have rubber soles. Why rubber soles? Because rubber soles provide greater traction and has a definitive cushion effect to ease the pounding of heels during running. Furthermore, materials that create running shoes are lightweight and flexible that it would do nothing to hamper one’s exertion in running. In fact innovations are constantly developed to improve wearer performance.
The first running shoe had a plimsole sole. This sole is created from the process of melding rubber and cloth together called vulcanization. Of course this shoe type won’t hit a penny these days but at the time of its inception, it was a wonderful innovation that allowed ease of movement and comfortable wear. Since these running shoes allow movement without noise the term ‘sneakers’ came out.
Running shoes took a giant step forward when a British company called J.W. Foster and Sons developed the spiked sole. They integrated it to the running shoe and the spiked running shoes were born. Later on, they also changed their name to Reebok. That was somewhere in 1890.
It was 1925 when a German shoe manufacturer named Adolf ‘Adi’ Dassler made more innovations to the spiked running shoes. He also tweaked this shoe with other materials, making them lighter still. (I hope you won’t have problems guessing the name of the company)
When technology advanced rapidly during the 70s, everything also made a huge step forward. Instead of basic designs in making shoes, manufacturers now involved podiatrists in shoe design. Shoe materials were tweaked even more, further lightening the running shoe.
When Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) was developed in late 1970s it also ushered the best modernization of running shoes to date. This substance provides superb cushioning and absorbs shock even better than rubber.
To date competition amongst shoe manufacturers Nike, Adidas, and Asics is very stiff, with each producing their own line of state-of-the-art shoe products and endorsing popular athletes and celebrities to carry the image. That made running shoes a popular trend in the casual market, especially with young people. More often than not, you will notice a youngster with a pair of running shoes than leather. Effective marketing strategies by shoe manufacturers such as Nike, Reebok, and Adidas are by large responsible for the cultural propagation of running shoes.
If you are training for a marathon, then it’s a high possibility that you know that you should not run in old, torn running shoes. During your marathon training, you should get new shoes when you have exhausted the limit of the typical running shoes, which is about 400 to 500 miles.
During the day of the marathon, it is obviously not a great idea to run with torn running shoes, but freshly purchased running shoes are not also better. You should use running shoes that are just slightly used, for about 50-60 miles, so that they still have the appropriate padding and fit. Thus, you can purchase a new pair of running shoes about two to three weeks before the marathon and run several miles for you to be acquainted with them. If the training is fine, you can get another pair, exact design and size of your current running shoes. There’s not enough reason to try other running shoes when the marathon day is just days away. Like in automobiles, you should have a breaking in period.
Using your running shoes before the actual marathon will just compress your shoes. Instead, wear a different pair of shoes or flip flops when you are walking around before the marathon day.
Maybe you are bombarded with different advertisements claiming that each kind of shoe is the best for marathons, such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok and etc. However, there is no best brand for everyone, since people have different type of feet. Generally, there are three factors to consider when you are purchasing a running shoe for marathon. The first factor includes what foot type you have (high arch, flat, neutral/normal). The second one is the athlete’s strike (heel striker, mid-foot striker, forefoot striker). Lastly, the stride rhythm (pronator, supinator or normal). However, we will discuss the common consideration in selecting running shoes for a marathon.
There are huge differences between running shoes and trail running shoes. And if you’re doing the latter, using ordinary running shoes that isn’t suited for terrain running could cause you a number of accidents, some of which could be lethal. Be wise enough and wear a pair of trail running shoes. Trails and isolated areas are the most treacherous place for the careless.
Running shoes are intended for running on hard surfaces. They are naturally designed to absorb shock from the constant pounding of feet (especially the heel) on the track. Trail running shoes on the other hand are built to be more durable. They have teeth integrated on the soles to provide greater traction even on slippery areas. Some are water proofed for wet areas and some have reflective colors to be used during night times. Choosing the best trail running shoes may be easier than you think, so it’s no reason to forgo the use of one if you can’t find any that suits you. Likewise, if money is the problem, there are a lot of reasonably priced trail running shoes that still has superb features.
Below is a compilation of excellent trail running shoes that I found floating over the net.
Merrel Chameleon 2 Gore-Tex XCR Regular Price: $110
Mens Running Shoes
One thing is certain: A woman’s foot isn’t a scaled down version of a man’s foot. So, traditionally, wearing shoes not intended for the specific sex isn’t beneficial. On some occasion a woman may find a certain running shoe flexible and sturdy enough but a man will find it too limp that it wouldn’t even provide minimal motion control. By nature men’s running shoes are for all intents and purposes made tougher since it gets rough up more often than a woman’s shoe.
Manufacturers for several years have been producing shoes modeled for men almost exclusively, but over the years, they have also begun to include women’s design in their manufacturing repertoire.
Men’s running shoes are typically stronger and tougher than women’s shoes. Since men generally weighs far heavier than women on the same height range, more cushion should be applied on the soles of men’s running shoes. Likewise, men on the run will pound the lane heavier than women, so the heel should also sport larger shock absorber. You might ask why women’s shoe should be lesser in features than women. The reason would be that all the augmentation of cushion and shock pads can make a shoe considerably stiff. Though a man’s natural strength can easily bend a shoe of this kind, women will find it considerably hard to move naturally.
The minor aspects would be that a usual man’s foot has an expectedly broad forefoot whereas the women’s tend to be more angular.
To get more idea of how men’s running shoes should be, check on these two samples.
Nike Shox TL 3 Unit Price: $150
Specs: It has Triple layer construction that delivers optimal comfort and fit. The layers also provide breathability from the toes to the foot entry. The TPU midfoot support integrates lacing with superior lockdown. With bisected heel columns, each heel landings are smooth. Has the full length application of the Nike Shox technology, making the shoe an optimal environment for cushioning and impact protection.
Author’s Note: The Nike Shox TL 3 is the best men’s running shoes. The Shox technology works wonders on any man of any frame. Best cushioning, best comfort and best stability. Now, about the price…
Adidas ClimaCool Cadrona Trail Running Shoes Regular Price: $84.95
Specs: Fast-drying and highly breathable ClimaCool textile upper for ventilation from all sides and the Agion antimicrobial lining limits bacterial growth and minimizes odors. Shock-absorbing midsole with adiPRENE insert in forefoot lessen impact and Rigid Push through Protection Plate (PTPP) protects feet from hard knocks. Very reliable high-traction rubber outsole
Author’s Note: I’d go for this; at only $85 the features can well rival any Shox any day. The price especially isn’t a bad price for a shoe of this caliber. The ClimaCool has everything you might need for trail running: fast drying textile, high traction, shock absorption and enough support. Wicked looking too, rugged and reeking of testosterone. Okay I’m kidding.
Normally, there’s no marked difference between men and women’s running shoes. Any shoes that men may wear could also be worn by women without any reduced differences in performance or causing a possible health risk.
Experts tend to disagree though. The key difference between the sexes is physiology. Since female had wider hips (relevant to childbearing), the end result would be that women’s legs tend to slant downwards at a greater angle from the hip to the ankles, a sharp contrast from the men who tend to have legs that are more splayed to the sides and toes pointing markedly in a 90ฐ angle. The slanting of the legs in turn will cause the feet to hit the ground from the outside, creating an opposite force direction that would also pull the gait inwards. The result would be an inward pronation action during every footstep.
Another difference is also body mass. A typical female in an 8 inch shoe size will weigh lesser than a male with a shoe of the same size. So this basically means that a women’s 8 inch shoe should have lesser cushioning than the male’s 8 inch shoe. Cushioning, though a positive feature on all running shoes, may also provide unwittingly an amount of stiffness. This is generally okay for male runners since they can easily bend even the stiffest shoe while they ran, but for women they could have trouble in flexing their shoes properly.
Summing it all up, women’s running shoes should have a bit of motion control to limit pronation and should be flexible enough to compensate the lack of strength. Also, typical women’s running shoes should have lesser cushioning since women are lighter.
Saucony had been a favorite choice for women’s running shoes over the years, with designs that apparently were favorable with female runners. Saucony shoes are noted to have narrow designs and defined heels. Other shoe manufacturers also have their own line of women’s running shoe, such as New Balance and Nike.
Here are two samples of Saucony women’s running shoes that are first-rate.
Saucony Grid Triumph 3 Regular Price: $100
Saucony 3D Grid Triumph Regular Price: $99.99
A pair of good running shoes is very important for your health and comfort. It may not seem to provide a good connection, but if you really want a healthy lifestyle, running as an exercise is the simplest yet most effective way to achieve this, and a good pair of running shoes will go a long way.
As every person is unique, every pair of feet is different. Thus, the first step in choosing quality running shoes is to find out what you want from your new running shoes. You need to ascertain your level of pronation. In human anatomy, pronation is the rotational ability of the foot that causes the sole to face more across than when you are in standing position. It is the opposite of supination.
If you have the tendency to pronate too much, your feet can turn abnormally resulting to flat arches. When you have high pronation, you can notice that the soles of your shoes have more torn area on the interior side. If you are less likely to pronate, your feet leans toward the exterior, resulting to high arches and the soles of your shoes have more torn area both on the interior and exterior of the shoes.
When you have ascertained the specific aspects of your feet, you will have the general idea on what features to look for in your new running shoes. Three main characteristics to verify are the thickness of the padding, the durability and the level of action control. If you have a high arch, then you are over-pronating, you should pick running shoes with more padding. If you have a medium arch, you should look for running shoes that are extra durable. If you have flat arches, then you should look for running shoes with good action control. If you have normal arches, you should pick running shoes with extra padding and durability. You can check the guides from different manufacturers so that you can have more idea on examining potential running shoes that suit your needs.
Do not pick shoes that are too tight or too spacious. It should have enough space to let your feet relax, in a sense, allow it to breathe. There should be a thumb’s-width of enough space between the end of your toe and the end of the shoe. There should also be enough space in the toe area to move your toes. Purchase good socks and make sure that you wear them when you try the shoes during a visit to the store. You can walk around the store to test the durability and comfort of the shoes. if you need assistance to check your appropriate shoe size or the correct fit, visit a shoe store with trained sales clerks that can help you through your shoe hunt. Some stores that sell running shoes are specializing in foot orthotics to help you in finding the right feet with the maximum features. However, you should follow your own decision. Shoe stores are still in the business industry and they would always try to convince you to buy their most expensive shoes. Do not buy them if you are not sure, and ask for running shoes that are less expensive, but have also the right features.
If you have a very high intensity running regimen, you should invest well in your running shoes. For example, if you are a professional marathon athlete, you should consider buying two pairs of good running shoes to alternate its usage.
Although most running shoes would seem generic from the inside, they are not. Modern technology and extensive research have allowed many features to provide a design to suit every individual needs. Not only can they affect your running speed, but they can also affect your health. Badly designed running shoes can cause injuries of the knees, legs and feet. Choosing the appropriate running shoes can greatly affect your running performance, but it can be confusing when you need to choose from a wide range of running shoes that all seems very good. However, if you would invest your time and effort to choose the right kind of running shoes, you can find the best one that will help you in your running goals.
The first thing you have to do is to find a store that sells top quality and guaranteed running shoes. You can find running shoes in a local store near you and can always ask a sales clerk for advice. However, you should be very well-acquainted with your body so you yourself can pick the running shoes that you think would suit your running needs. Sales clerk are there to guide you, not to tell you what to buy. If you find it difficult, you can ask your friends who also run. A good recommendation from a friend is worthwhile. You can also check the latest designs from magazines or ask for a free catalogue from manufacturers of running shoes. Just do some research beforehand to be sure.
Also, check the soles of your old shoes. This will give you an idea which kind of running shoes you should find. If you have noticed a torn spot, that is the part where your feet carries most of the weight. Place your shoes on a flat surface. If they slant towards the front, you should find running shoes that need more strength than your old running shoes. If they slant to the sides, you should find running shoes that have high shock absorption.
If you have noticed that there are torn spots in the shoe area where you place your toes, and when you use the shoes in running you feel discomfort, find running shoes with a wider interior.
You should also consider the intensity of your running routine. If you are a professional runner or marathon athlete, you should pick high-standard and quality running shoes. On the other hand, if you are running for leisure, that is you run at least twice a week, you can choose a basic design, but with the available comforts to suit your needs and avoid injuries. The higher your running intensity regimen is, the higher you should invest in a good pair of running shoes.
Visit different shoe stores. Check the different models and prices so you can also make a good bargain. It is always good to ask the store clerk or store manager for their recommendations. You can raise your problems with your old running shoes, and they are most willing to help.
If you think you found your choice, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance from the store if you can try it. Most stores have an area where you can take a run or at least a jog. You can try on as many shoes as you like until you find the best one. Try each pair of running shoes for at least 10-15 minutes. This will let you know of the durability of the shoes. You should take note that when picking running shoes, it is not the design or the price that counts, it’s your comfort.
A pair of running shoes should be treated as sport equipment rather than an ordinary walking shoes or an apparel of fashion. And there are many good and practical reasons as to why you should keep your running shoes clean. If you are not certain on how to clean running shoes without causing damage, here are a few tips to help you out.
Based on the method on how you clean your running shoes, you can also learn about the constraints of a specific cleaning method.
Most runners may not consider it, but there are several reasons to clean running shoes. Depending on how much your shoes gets dirty, you should pick the correct cleaning method.
You should also consider that your running shoes have a specific life expectancy, and if you pick too strong a cleaning method, your shoe would not last any longer. Conversely, keeping your running shoes smudged with dirt can contribute to the development of wear, tear and smell.
To prevent moisture, you can also spray your running shoes with a water-proof sprayer to allow a protective sheath. If your safeguard your shoes beforehand they are easier to clean. Once protected, smudges and mud will not set in easily.
Spray your running shoes with a water-proofer to provide a protective coating.
Smelly running shoes are a common consequence of moldy fungi and bacterial growth living between your toes, caused by the sweat and dirt particles in your shoes. These dirt particles thrive in moist and warm environment and thus during summer is normally perfect for smelly feet. Smelly feet is a common harm to your shoes, but you can greatly decrease the risks by letting it breathe your shoes and letting them dry after you use them, or using particular anti-fungal powders or foot sprays.
However, the remains of these fungi and bacteria will just keep on growing on your shoes. The best way to avoid this bacterial growth, and eventually smelly feet is washing you running shoes periodically. Do not use a washing machine. Use your hands and a scrub instead to scrub off both the exterior and interior of the running shoes. You can flush out the dirt, including the bacteria from the smallest pores of the shoes to the padding and mesh.
Sometimes, it is inevitable to step into damp dirt, mud, or maybe you have ran across a muddy road under construction that is just being repaired and does not have asphalt yet. More often than not, you will pick up mud on your shoes and it will add on extra weight.
However, if the mud gets inside the shoe, or in the mesh, it will get dirty and can cause a smell. Mud does not usually break in the shoe fabric. If it does, then it will never seep down the shoe mesh. The easiest method to clean your running shoes is to dry out the mud and then brush them off. If there are still smudges left, and the shoe looks dirty, then wash them using your hands, an old toothbrush or a scrub, and a mild detergent.
Some lumps of mud can contain sands or even small pebbles that can damage your washing machine.
If your running shoes already have a yellowish lattice and you cannot whiten them, you can use a mild bleach or detergent on the lattice. This should get your shoes as white as possible.