There could be no one pair of running shoe that could fit needs of all the runners and athletes. Different individuals have different needs. Thus when you will think of buying comfortable running shoes, you will come across a huge variety of shoes suitable for different people with varied biomechanics. A pair of running shoes that may be ideal for you, may be worst choice for another person depending upon how he runs, what type of surface he usually runs over and there are other factors involved. Thus it is important to spend some time if you really want to buy a proper pair of running shoe suitable for people who regularly run. A best pair of running shoe for you can make you a winner while a wrong pair can even let you suffer from painful injuries.
Purpose of Running Shoes:
Running shoes are designed to serve two main purpose.
- They should be a pair designed with absorbing feature to keep the impact from affecting your feet and body.
- They are designed to give you traction to grip surface properly so that you can run with enhanced speed.
A good pair of shoes should be serving both of these purposes so that you can run at maximum speed while keeping your body prevented from injuries.
Running shoes can be divided in to different categories and thus depending upon your preference, need and type of running; one could select a pair from most suitable category.
Motion Control Running Shoes:
Shoes under this category are pairs that are designed to give maximum control and support. These shoes are designed to reduce excessive pronation. These shoes have higher density materials on inside of midsole so that your heels don’t collapse. Outer sole of these shoes are usually designed with carbon rubber. Thus making these shoes more durable. More support for ground contact and stability is ensured with a straight last of these shoes.
- Improved control and support.
- Reduces over pronation.
- More durable.
- More suitable for people with flat feet.
- Recommended for heavy runners.
- Lack of cushioned comfort.
Stability Running Shoes:
These shoes as the name suggests are designed for improved control and cushioning for comfort. They are lighter in weight in comparison to other types of shoes and offer excellent control and support. Increased stability is ensured with a semi-curved or straight last and these running shoes are most popular among runners.
- Enhanced stability and cushioning comfort.
- Lighter in weight.
- Offers good control.
- Recommended for people who overpronate.
- Although they have cushioning but firm foam or plastic is used for enhanced stability and thus they are not as comfortable as cushioned shoes.
Cushioned Running Shoes:
These are extremely light weight among all the categories of running shoes but lacks features for motion control. They prove soft and comfortable for your feet and thus you can run faster wearing these shoes. They are built on a curved or semi curved last. These are most suitable for people having neutral foot structure and added cushioning with these shoes offer more support for these people.
- Enhanced shock dispersion.
- Enhanced cushioning and comfort.
- Suitable for people with neutral pronation.
- Lacks stability and control.
Barefoot or Minimalist Running Shoes:
These shoes are designed to mimic barefoot running and thus offers a wide toe box along with low heel to toe drop. These highly responsive running shoes and have no support or cushioning features. These shoes are really light weight. Many people find these types of shoes quite tempting.
- Highly responsive with their light weight.
- Offers increased feet awareness.
- Ease of uphill running.
- Adjustment takes time.
- Enhanced risk of injury.
- Not suitable for beginners.
Other Types of Running Shoes:
- Off Road Running Shoes: These shoes are designed to aid running on varied types of surfaces such as terrains and hills. They offer good support level for surfaces with traction, slippery places etc. Usually these types of shoes are more durable. Some shoes in this category are specifically designed for terrain and hills and are thus termed as off-road trail and off-road hill running shoes.
- Track Spikes Running Shoes: These types of shoes are much lighter and are designed with a much lower heel. They are more efficient although offer less support and cushioning. Some of these shoes can be raised for running on toes with increased speed whereas some also include metal spikes on taper so that runner gets increased grip. These types of shoes are most suitable for racing competitions and are preferred by fast long distance runners.
Selection of Running Shoes:
Your selection of a particular type of running shoes depends upon a number of different factors. Some of these aspects include:
- Type of running
- Purpose or goal or running
- How you run i.e. biomechanics of runner.
- Weight of runner
Choosing Appropriate Size:
When you are selecting a particular size for your feet, remember that as you will run a few miles, your feet will tend to swell as a result of running. When you run during the day, you will probably have your feet suffering from swelling and pains in afternoon or evening so try a new pair of shoes before buying at that time. When you try shoes make sure that they should fit well at heel but there should be space (around width of a thumb) between big toe and shoe end so that you can be comfortable while wearing those shoes.
Different types of runners have different needs depending upon their purpose, feet and running type and there are various other factors that needs to be considered. So before opting for a particular type of running shoes make sure that you do proper research and buy a pair that you can comfortably fit in and use for your regular running routine while keeping yourself safe from common injuries of running.