Running is probably one of the most accessible exercises for people of varied ages, sizes, and fitness levels. The costs involved are not prohibitive, as you only need a good pair of running shoes and somewhere to run.
You can start with a brisk walk of a shorter distance, and as your fitness level increases, you can look at running faster and further. You can set your own pace and work within your comfort zone to start with and only push yourself once you are fitter and more comfortable with this form of exercise. In this article, we will discuss how to choose the best running shoes for you.
How to Choose the Best Running Shoes
One of the factors to consider when choosing the best running shoes is what type of surface you will be running on. Track, road, and trail running are all different and will require different traction, cushioning, and support.
You also need to look at the type of running you plan to do. The shoes for walking, training, sprinting, cross country, indoor, outdoor, and marathon running are all different. Buy a shoe for the specific purpose in order protect your feet and joints.
If possible, try and get a foot evaluation to help you purchase shoes that are compatible with your gait and the positioning of your feet when you run. Your weight is also important to consider, as heavier people will need more cushioning and support than lighter runners.
Make sure you try on your shoes before you buy, preferably in the late afternoon when your feet are fully expanded from the day’s activities. Shoes should be snug, but comfortable, with no pinching or rubbing. In some cases, you might want to purchase a half size larger than what you usually would to allow for swelling when you run. Make sure you wear your shoes in by walking around in them for a bit before you head off on a serious run, to avoid blisters and discomfort.
Running Shoe Categories
Road running shoes are suited for pavement and other surfaces with slight irregularities. Flexible and light, they cushion and stabilize the feet during repetitive strides on even, hard surfaces.
Trail running shoes are ideal for off-road routes with rocks, mud, and other obstacles. The tread is fortified and designed for traction, offering stability, support and foot protection.
Cross training shoes are designed for gym workouts or any activity where firm contact with the ground is required.
Is Running a Good Choice for Everyone?
While running is a simple and inexpensive option, it is not necessarily the best option for everyone. Some people won’t want to run, simply because they do not enjoy this form of exercise. For others, running can cause severe discomfort and even have the potential of causing injury. Running is more suited to people who are lighter on their feet, as those with heavy builds might endure discomfort on the muscles and joints from their feet pounding down on the roadway or sidewalk.
Constant stress over a period of time can cause tendon, muscle, and joint discomfort. A good running shoe can help, but even the best cushioning may not be enough for everyone. For some people, their body shape, the health of their joints, the shape of feet, or their pelvis width makes running uncomfortable.
Low arches (flat feet) have limited shock absorption and can be helped to a degree by good shoes or inserts. Injury to the joints can make running difficult, as it puts a lot of strain on joints such as the knees and hips. A wide pelvis can cause the thigh bones to slope inwards, which causes greater stress on the hips and knees, making running quite uncomfortable. There are many other exercises that work as well as running, but if you plan to run, make sure you choose the best running shoes.
Now that you know how to choose the best running shoes to suit your feet and your running style, you can start doing this form of exercise if you so desire. However, if you don’t have the time, if running is not your thing, or if you don’t want to expose your body to the shocks of running, there are other ways to be fit and healthy.
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