When do I need to get my shoes measured?
You want to be getting your feet measured the first time you go to purchase a new pair of running trainers and similarly every time you buy a pair from a new store or brand. Otherwise, once a year is a good guide.
Your feet grow and change based on the levels of support in your shoes. True, you won’t be going up a size every few months but keeping on top of your measurements will optimise your performance.
Do I need running shoes?
Another shocker. Running in your daps from school or heavy skater-shoes will not only slow you down, but it can also increase the risk of injury long term compared to running in specialised trainers. Likewise, just because you own a pair of trainers, doesn’t mean they’re running shoes. Some are fashionable, some are designed for certain sports, some are for the gym, some are designed for running, and so on.
What you’re looking for when it comes to buying a pair of running shoes is motion control, stability and cushioning. These three components can make or break your run.
What is gait analysis and do I need it?
Gait analysis is the systematic study of animal locomotion. The animal – you, in this case – is tracked and the impact footwear or movement has is monitored and your posture is analysed.
Specifically, a gait analysis looks for ‘pronation’; the tilt and rolling motion your foot follows as it hits the floor. The main aim is to determine your running style to determine the best running shoes for you.
There are three common orientations.
The foot and leg are jarred on impact by landing on the outer side of the foot at a steep angle, with minimal rolling to cushion the blow.
The foot will roll inwards from its contact on the outside of the foot.
The foot rolls too far inward – this is the most common state for runners (hence the need to test!)
You can get your gait measured at most sports shops and it’s usually free. DW Fitness is a good bet, as most of their UK stores have a machine you can access.
Practicality v looks with running shoes
Shiny, gleaming, perfect new trainers. It’s a sight to behold. That warm feeling you get leaving a shop clutching your new best friends, wrapped in delicate tissue paper like the foot-silk of the gods.
Running isn’t meant to be glamorous (as such). And we all know a pair of trainers needs to be worn in initially. And if you’re outdoor running they’re likely to get dirty and grimy and wear quickly too. You might want to buy the shiniest, prettiest pair of trainers, but ultimately you want a pair that will work right as opposed to look great and give you blisters.
What do you need in a running shoe?
Technology is always evolving, bringing new materials and designs into the fray. So, which one is best for you? It really does come down to personal preference. Especially with each brand having their own technologies and styles on offer, all offering similar but different things.
Nike, for example, have Lunarlon, Flyknit, Zoom and Hyperfuse, to name but a few. Adidas have Forged Mesh, Quick Strike, Torsion System and much more. Mizumo has DynamotionFit, SmoothRide Engineering… and it goes on. You get the jist.
It really does depend on you; your brand preference, what running shoes work for you and then what technologies they come with that can assist you.
Shoes are as unique to the runner as they are themselves. Get your size, gait and comfort down before looking at all the fancy extras and you’ll be dead-on when it comes to the ideal shoe.
Lace up, go forth and get those miles in.