Whether you’re a regular road runner or training for a race, you want to make sure you have a good pair of trainers. Your footwear can make the difference between breaking a PB and breaking a body part.
You need to find the right pair of trainers that can boost your efficiency as a runner, maximize your comfort, provide support, and work with your body’s natural biomechanics. If you’re wearing the wrong pair of trainers you might experience serious injuries, including shin splints, hip pain, knee pain, or Achilles tendonitis.
The most important thing you need to realize when choosing running trainers is that there is no such thing as the “best shoe.” Everybody has their own specific needs. The trainers you buy should be based on your weight, individual biomechanics, and the shape of your feet. That means one person’s ideal shoes might not work for another. You need to look for the perfect shoe for your needs.
You want to ensure your running regimen begins with a #StartBetter bang. To get you started on the right path, we reached out to Podiatrist Mark Gallagher, an expert with Pure Sports Medicine. He offered the following tips for choosing the right trainers to minimize the risk of injury and maximize your performance.
This may sound basic, but this is one of the most important features when choosing a running shoe. The upper fit or last fitting must be snug. If the running shoe is too large, it will allow your foot to slide (shear) in the shoe, increasing the risk of blisters. If the trainer is too small it will produce a squeezing or compression force on your foot, which can increase your risk of bone injury.
A poorly fitting shoe can also lead to problems with your toenails. Bruising or bleeding under the toe’s nail plate can result from a poor fit. You should seek advice from a healthcare professional that specializes in foot injuries if this problem occurs.
- Heel Height
The shoe’s heel height is also called the “drop” or “pitch” which can range from 0-14mm. If the ankle joint is stiff, a running shoe with a higher heel drop might be required.
The lunge test can provide useful information when choosing a shoe based on the heel drop or height. The ankle joint you need to assess is on the side of the toe that is closer to the wall during the lunge test.
Conventional wisdom suggests that running shoes should have enough cushioning to absorb shock. There are also people who advocate for minimalist shoes that has very little cushioning.
There is no data that shows conclusively that either of these shoes are better than the other. However, if you select a running shoe with cushioning, look for one that offers overall shock absorption.
The industry is always trying to find new types of materials. Nike has developed a Lunarglide range of footwear, while Adidas offers the Boost Midsole. Look at these options from Sole.
Before buying a pair of trainers, make sure you consider the type of surface you’ll be running on so that you can find a compatible outsole. There is a difference between the type of outsole used on trainers for road races and those used for other terrains.
If you run on a surface that’s not compatible with the outsole on your shoe, you may slide around. Over a prolonged period, this movement can increase your risk of soft tissue injury.
- Motion Control
Some trainers are overly engineered, however, there are some features that can contribute to reducing the force on your lower limbs and feet. These design features can enhance your running ability.
Bad pronation is when the foot rolls inward when running or walking. This pronation of the foot can be a factor in various mechanical forces which can lead to various lower limb symptoms. In my practice, the foot position is one part of the risk factor for a running injury.
If you believe that you need expert assistance when buying the right trainer we recommend visiting a Runners Need store near you. We can give you a gait analysis, which is an in-depth assessment of how your feet will respond when testing shoes on a treadmill.
The results of the gait analysis can be used to recommend the right shoe. There are other factors that will be considered, including future running goals, running history, and past injuries.
Can’t afford new trainers? Buy shoes now, pay later!