Choosing suitable running shoes is very important, as they are the element that unites us with the ground, that supports our weight, that gives us traction… The process to choose the ideal footwear for our feet can be complex for an amateur runner, but quiet, in this article we will try to give you clues to follow to learn to discard those models that only come in through your eyes but will not benefit your career, and know which are the pairs that will fit like a glove to enjoy your favourite sport.
As a runner, what running shoes do I need?
As a runner, if you are reading this article is that you are looking for new shoes to start or to continue your journey with this sport that is running. But, before going to the store, we have to know exactly what we need, which is often not what we want, and is that it is very important to choose a shoe based on what we need because our health will depend on it. Running, although it may seem the opposite, is a very harmful sport, and to avoid these injuries we must eat properly, do a progressive training and adjusted to our abilities and, of course, take a suitable material, especially the shoes, which is the most important garment for a runner.
To reduce the search for shoes we have to know what best suits our case and to do so we have to answer a few questions:
How much weight?
Running shoes can be classified by the weight of the runner, so depending on this data there will be models that work better than others. There is the general talk of slippers for people over 75 kg and under 75 kg (women should subtract about 12 kg to all weight data read in the article), although this data is not entirely accurate, as guidance is very useful.
If you weigh 90 kg you should look for training shoes with plenty of cushioning and stability, while if you weigh 65 kg or less you can look for lighter models with less cushioning, the exception to this is if you weigh 90 kg and run fast in your shoots (faster than 4.30 min/km), then you can look for lighter training shoes as if your weight were lower.
What is my footprint?
Famous has been asked whether we are supinators or pronators, most runners are pronators, pronation is a natural body cushioning mechanism and about 60% of prone runners to a greater or lesser extent, 35% of runners will be neutral and only 5% supinators.
It is highly unlikely to supine, only if your arch is high and very rigid can you do it, but as I say is rare and there are no specific shoes for supinator, but this type of runners use neutral cushioned and flexible.
To find out our footprint is not easy, the homemade methods like the wear of the soles or any test that they make us in static or walking are not valid, the way to find out our footprint is that an expert sees us running, either in a specialized shop or a sports podiatrist.
In case of doubt and if you have run before without discomfort, neutral running shoes are always the best choice by default.
What is my arch height?
This is something that is not taken into account, but it is very important, as the height and flexibility of the arch greatly influence the biomechanics of the runner. The lower and flatter arches are most pronounced and need suitable shoes for this type of arch, where the arch area of the shoe is not marked or prominent, as this can cause discomfort or blisters.
Higher arches should look for shoes with a normal or marked bridge height so that the foot is supported by the shoe and the fit is much better adapting the shoe to the shape of the foot.
An expert will be able to give you exact data of the height that you have, but there is a homemade orientative method such as wetting the sole and stepping on a sheet of paper, the high arches will hardly leave a mark in the middle zone of the foot, while the flat feet will leave this zone very marked.
Have I been injured?
Our past or current injuries are also very important, a poorly chosen shoe can cause many problems and injuries of all kinds, from fasciitis, bursitis, tendinitis of all kinds, periostitis, etcetera, almost as it can help you greatly reduce a pre-existing injury.
Whenever you go to buy a shoe, talk to the seller about your current and past injuries, if you use custom templates and why you do it; if the seller knows what it sells will recommend a model suitable for the discomfort you have suffered or suffer at that time.
Do I want them to train or to compete?
Runners who run faster and do more kilometres per week need several models of shoes to rotate in training, also, if you compete you will need a model suitable for the distances you do in competition.
Novice runners, or simply run less than 40 km a week and do not have high-level marks or registers (4 min the km or faster) can opt for a single shoe for everything, although two pairs are always recommended to alternate and that the shoes recover their properties and last us more miles.
Our pace is important when choosing a shoe, the slower it is the more we should lean towards stable, durable and cushioned shoes, giving less importance to the weight of these, the faster we can start to value running shoes more flexible, lower midsole profile, more ventilated and less cushioned and stable.
The terrain on which we run is also important, is not the same asphalt as dirt or grass, nor is running in a hot region the same as in one with frequent rain, the shoe should be prepared for the terrain for which we usually run and for the weather conditions where we perform training or competition if we are looking for a competition model.
With this data, you will already have a large part of the work done in the process of choosing your new running shoes. Knowing what is needed and doing a little research, we can reduce the search for shoes very much, up to four or five models. With that idea, we can make the final decision in the store based on the sensations of each and the fit of the shoe to our foot.