A running shoe
is designed to protect the foot from the pounding of an intense
workout, and also to optimize a runner's gait (or stride)
in such a way that a person can run longer and faster without
worrying about injury. A running shoe is made up of an outsole,
midsole and upper. The outsole is the bottom of the shoe,
that provides traction. The midsole is in the location you
would expect it, and provides cushioning and stability. The
upper is the face of the shoe that you see, and is generally
made of mesh, synthetic fabrics or leather.
you can imagine, there are different builds of running shoes
for different types of running strides. Which shoe should
you choose? Much of this depends on what type of training
you will do. A shoe should fit comfortably and snug, but if
your toes press against the front of the shoe or the top of
your foot aches from the laces being too tight, you could
risk injury from the running shoes themselves! If you run
frequently, you will be interested in the features of the
shoes that may cost you a little more money, but save wear
and tear on your body in the long run
Also, be aware
of your gait (again, this is your running stride pattern).
The broad categories that define running shoes - Neutral/Cushioning
and Stability/Pronation Control - guide your stride by working
with the natural movement of your gait, providing a more efficient
stride. How you pronate is a deciding factor in the type of
running shoes you need. Pronation (in either extreme) is probably
normal for you, so if you find yourself so categorized, have
no fear! That is why there are so many styles of running shoes!
Some runners find
that their foot does not roll all the way in, making the foot
work harder to push off properly. This is known as underpronation
(or supination). If you have a difficult time picturing this,
just imagine running on the outsides of your feet. Underpronation
is less common in general, but some do run this way. Supinators
tend to have a high arch.
Conversely, a foot
that rolls inward too much is known as overpronation. Overpronators
(or Pronators for short) are more common, and are often identified
by a "duck walk" or the toes pointing outward during
a stride to balance from the heel rolling inward too far.
They also tend to have flat feet. Runners who underpronate
(or, supinate) would feel more comfortable with a Cushioning
shoe. Overpronators do better with Stability shoes.
Some of these words
are used differently by doctors and shoe manufacturers, and
we would be happy to help you figure out what type of running
shoe would work best for you!