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Seven Considerations When Choosing A Running Shoe

When you stop at a shop that sells sports shoes, you may get overwhelmed by a variety of choices of running shoes. If you have no idea which one is right for you and get one, you may have a high possibility of picking the wrong shoe that didn’t fit your running style.

Those fancy and colorful designs may attract you that the advisement tells you would really boost your running performance. After trying different shoes and knowing more about the human body’s design, I would try to describe “how to pick a running shoe.” First of all, I would make an assumption when picking a running shoe:

“Find a running shoe that would let you run naturally with high efficiency.”

High Efficiency means when you wear a particular shoe, the force you exert on the ground when running, a high percentage of it transfer to ground force to move you forward.

How To Find The Right Jogging Shoes

Because wearing the right pair of shoes means that you’re going to have a pleasurable jogging experience while preventing potential injury at the same time.

So if you think that getting the right shoes is going to be difficult – Then think again. We will show you how easy it is to find “That” right shoes…

These are what you need to know to find “That” right shoes: –

Identify your foot’s Arches – Is it flat, normal, or high arch?

And with that, let’s begin!

jogging shoe
jogging shoe

Three Types of Shoes That You Should Know

There are many types of jogging/running shoes, such as minimalist, performance, lightweight shoes, and many others.

BUT, these are the only 3 types of shoes that you should know, to help you in choosing the right “ones.”

These are…

These shoes are suited to these 3 different types of feet. Mainly… Low Arch Feet(Flat Foot), Normal(Medium) Arch Feet, and High Arch Feet.

Stability Shoes

Come in all shapes and sizes because it is suitable for most joggers or having Normal Arch Feet. It is designed for “Normal Pronation.”

As the name suggests, it is designed to stabilize and support your running motion and create a stable platform for optimum performance when jogging or running.

Motion Control Shoes

These are specially designed for Low Arch or Flat-Footed joggers. Being flat foot, you tend to “Overpronate” your feet during running. This is especially true for beginners. Because of this, you are prone to injuries.

Luckily, motion control shoes are designed to control their rear foot movement to minimize overpronating. This makes jogging a pleasurable experience whilst preventing most injuries.

Cushioned Shoes

One of the lightest of the three. It is designed to provide maximum cushioning for joggers with High Arch Feet and tends to “Underpronate.”

Because of your “high arches,” you need plenty of cushioning to absorb most of the impact during running.

While for other shoes that are not for sports purposes, you need to take safety as your first consideration when you buy one to wear on your foot. Lightweight safety shoes can be the ideal one that not only won’t add any stress to your feet but will provide perfect protection at the same time.

Considerations on pick a running shoe

From this assumption, it results following criteria to pick a running shoe:

1. Good traction

it means the outsole of shoes provides enough traction force for you to grab the ground surface with your landing foot; as a result, it would stabilize your feet and offer better reaction force during a push-off phase of running.

Typically, manufacturers having running shoe outsole makes of graphite in granule and located mainly on the upper half of running shoes. This material would give better traction.

Typical model: Asics Tarther

Asics Tarther
Asics Tarther

2. Low heel to toe drop

The heel-to-toe drop is the height difference between heel and toe, i.e., The drop = heel height – toe height. It should be at a range of 0-6 mm. Why is low heel-to-toe drop better? It would help you run with midfoot landing since running shoes with low droplets you are having whole feet land on the ground simultaneously.

In addition, it would help to train your Achilles tendinitis. As a result, it improves muscles utilization during running and helps you run naturally in the gait cycle.

Typical model: Vibram five finger shoes and New Balance minimus series

Vibram five finger shoes

3. Wide enough running shoes and toebox

The shoes should be wide enough to allow your feet to splash when landing. It would increase your stability and push the ground. If you are not sure whether the shoe is wide enough for your feet or not, you would take out the insole of the shoes and make sure the insole width covers your feet width completely when you are in a standing pose.

4. No or minimum arch support

Our feet consist of joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These structures are designed as a shock-absorbing systems. When you land, your arch will move down to absorb the shock applied on the feet by natural.

Adding artificial arch support from running shoes allows the body structures to weaken, stiff, and restrict your feet’ natural movement. In addition, ditch the arch supports and let your feet get strong. You may need a transition shoe with a moderate arch at the beginning and mix this shoe with a shoe without arch support.

Typical model without arch support: Merrell bare glove
Merrell bare glove

5. Flexible from toe to heel and easy twisting from side to side

Since your foot moves in 3 dimensions during the run, you need to have running shoes that allow your feet to move easily without restrictions during the gait cycle. The running shoes should have a flexible midsole and soft upper for easy bending and twisting.

Typical model: Nike Free series
Nike Free series

6. Lightweight

Typically, it means less than 9 oz. for men’s running shoes of size 9 and 8 oz. for women’s running shoes of size 8. The lightweight would let you feel fewer burdens, run faster and reduce fatigue during the run.

Typical model: Mizuno Hitogami and Asics Gel-Lyte 33 3
Mizuno Hitogami

7. Optimum sole thickness and stiffness

You should find running shoes that would help you feel the ground easily, and optimum thickness would increase stability during a run. Usually, runners prefer thick soles for better cushioning; it applies better to heavy runners of over 180 pounds.

On the other hand, you should keep the running shoe sole height lower than 30 mm. They should optimize the sole stiffness, i.e., if the sole is too soft, it is good for cushion, but it will absorb the push-off energy also. In addition, with improved ground feeling, it would help you train and improve the running form to help you run easily with high efficiency.

Our feet are designed and filled with nerves that sense pressure and movement. This allows your brain to make quick responses to correct slipping on ice, balance, and stepping on obstacles such as rocks.

Typical model: Asics Gel-Excel 33 3
Asics Gel-Excel 33 3

On the other hand, when wearing a running shoe, please remember to tie up your lace to lock your heel completely to avoid the shoe moving around your feet during the gait cycle. In addition, you would consider lifting your heel with only toes hit the ground and make sure without any pain on top of the foot as well.

Summary

Other than focus on those new materials and technology presented by different top brands to enrich your running experience, the above considerations offer some ideas on choose running shoes to run naturally, avoid injury, and respond fast during running.

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