How to choose the right running shoes: 6 main criteria

Choosing running shoes is not that difficult once you know the basic criteria for finding the perfect running shoe.

1.      Coating

The first place to start is deciding where you plan to run. All sneakers are divided into two groups: road or asphalt and trail. The first ones are intended for training on asphalt, in the arena, that is, for flat surfaces. The latter are designed for cross-country running.

Trail shoes have a stiffer outsole with aggressive tread or spikes, a hard-wearing upper, and may have protective inserts that keep the foot from rocks, roots and branches in difficult terrain. Road shoes are generally lighter and have a soft, flat sole.

2.      Speed

Have you chosen where you will train? Now you need to understand how. All running shoes can be roughly divided into “slow” and “fast”. The first group is shoeing with good cushioning and stabilization of the foot, usually with a voluminous sole. Such footwear reduces stress on joints and forgives technical mistakes. This is the choice for beginners, heavy runners, and those who train daily or do long workouts.

The group of “fast” sneakers includes the so-called “marathons” and “half marathons”  – models for speed competition and special training. These shoes are very lightweight, everything is minimized in order to allow the runner to develop maximum speed. Sneakers are very light, without much cushioning, without foot support, have a small drop (the difference in the sole from heel to toe). Suitable only for trained athletes.

3.      Weight

Above-average runners need a slightly different shoe to avoid ligament and musculoskeletal problems. running shoes for heavy athletes should be soft and well-cushioned. Plus, these runners often have flat feet and blockage of the foot, so you may need shoes with support. Finally, the top should also be made of durable material.

Above-average weight is a complex concept since it is important to take into account not only the number of kilograms but also the height and constitution of a person. On average, soft cushion sneakers should consider for men over 85-90 kg and women over 75 kg.

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4.      Pronation

Pronation is a way of positioning the foot while running or walking. This is one of the most important criteria when choosing a running shoe: well-chosen sneakers will help to correctly distribute the load on your ligaments and joints.

There are three types of pronation. If you fall on the inside of your foot while walking or running, this is hyperpronation. Often, hyper-pronators also have flat feet. Hypopronation or supination, on the contrary, is a blockage on the outer part. It is common in people with high arches. Finally, neutral pronation is the deflection of the foot, which provides optimal load distribution.

How do you know your pronation type? The easiest method is to wet your foot and stand on a piece of paper. Examine the resulting print: people with neutral pronation have a clear, curved line on the inside of the foot, and the area where the heel and toe meet is slightly less than the width of the entire foot. If this part is much narrower, it is a sign of hypopronation; if wider, then hyperpronation.

For people with a blockage of the foot, sneakers with a support need. They help minimize injury and distribute the load correctly while running.

5.      Brand

Oddly enough, shoe brand is also important. More precisely, you need to find your own. Each running brand has a specific fit and features. You need to find the one that makes the shoes that are most suitable for your running biomechanics and foot characteristics.

For example, Asics, Adidas, and Salomon S / Lab traditionally have a rather narrow last. If you have a wide foot then look at Saucony and Mizuno. And it’s not just the last: the upper, the outsole, the drop, and much more matter. For example, Hoka has voluminous soles: some need to get use to them, while others won’t want to get use to them.

So before buying, be sure to try on shoes from different manufacturers, be sure to test them in the store: if there are treadmills, stairs or test slides, be sure to use them.

6.      Seasonality

If you live in the south of Russia or in countries with a warm climate, feel free to skip this item. You can run in the same shoes all year round. It will be useful for the average runner in Russia to find out how summer sneakers differ from winter ones.

The running shoes in summer should provide good ventilation and have a lightweight breathable upper. Winter sneakers design for more aggressive environments: they should keep you out of rain, snow, and cold. The upper should be stiffer and denser, ideally with a membrane fabric such as Gore-Tex.

The outsole should have a more aggressive tread that works great on icy or soft snowy surfaces: voluminous lugs, spikes, or inserts with Arctic Grip protection. Click here

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