Running Shoes – Which is the best for me?
While running shoes look remarkably similar to trainers and other sports shoes, it is quite different in how it is made. Even within the category, there are many different types which are meant for different distances, different surfaces, or for different types of foot postures. We are going to discuss how you should choose one that is suitable for you.
Should I buy running shoes?
The short answer is yes. While it may not be as stylish as your favourite trainers, running shoes, like the name suggests, are made specifically for running. There are design decisions that are made with the shock absorption and repetitive motion of running in mind like different cushioning and material. This can help prevent injuries and make your energy transfer more efficient making it feel easier to run.
What distance are you running?
Just like you’ll require a different style of running when doing a marathon, you will also require a different type of shoes for it as compared to short distance running. Shoes that are meant for long distance running tend to have more cushioning in order to help you absorb force over long distances and prevent repetitive strain injuries. Short distance running shoes are more flexible to accommodate the increased force required to run at a faster pace that short distance runners usually have.
What surface are you running on?
Most of the time in Singapore we run on pavements and tracks. Because the surface is hard, shoes with more cushioning is warranted because it helps with shock absorption and prevent injuries.
Some of you may be into running on trails or doing cross country running. For running on softer surfaces, you will need shoes that has deeper treads which provide you with better grip. You will also need a shoes that provide better ankle support to provide better stability when running on uneven surfaces.
What running shoes can help my pronation?
To know whether you need shoes that provide more stability, arch support, and pronation control, you will need to have your gait analysed. The best way to do that is to film yourself when you are running on a treadmill so that we can see which part of your foot strikes the ground first and how much pronation you have. Overpronation occurs when the ankle rolls excessively inward with each step, which can increase your chance of injury. If you have overpronation, which is usually a result of flat foot arches, then you will need stability shoes. Stability shoes contain technology that is designed to correct overpronation by providing better arch support to control the pronation.
Running shoes can be classified as either neutral or stability shoes. Neutral running shoes make up about 80% of running shoes and will be suitable for most runners.