In the case of running models, choosing quality running shoes is half the battle. It is much more difficult to find shoes that are right for you. You need to take into account not only size, but also the peculiarities of the road, pronation, running technique. This is when even the little things are important. Our article will tell you about how to choose comfortable, high-quality running shoes for running in the city or off-road.
Types of running shoes
What is the difference between running shoes?
The choice of running shoes depends on the purpose for which they are purchased. There are models with completely different characteristics.
Training. Elastic and comfortable sneakers with quality cushioning, smoothing out shock loads when running on the street or indoors. They securely fix the foot, fit snugly, but are soft and springy at the same time. The design of the shoe is engineered for a consistent comfortable workout. They can be used not only by an athlete, but also by anyone who does jogging to stay in shape.
Competitive. Not suitable for training runs, only used for short and long distance marathons during competitions. They feature minimal weight, thin solid soles. They do not provide cushioning, the models for the competition do not smooth shock loads. But they allow for good speed during the race.
Type of road surface
What sneakers to choose for asphalt or off-road?
When choosing sneakers for regular jogging is necessary to consider the type of road surface. Many characteristics of the shoes will depend on this – cushioning, sole material and the severity of the tread.
Asphalt. City dwellers most often have to run on asphalt. In this case the maximum attention should be paid to cushioning. It reduces the shock load on the ankle. Shock-absorbing inserts are mandatory in the heel and toe of sneakers. As for the sole, it must be soft enough, with low treads to prevent slipping on wet pavement. The same sneakers are suitable for the stadium and in the gym.
Rugged terrain. Jogging in nature, off-road require quite different shoes. Particular attention should be paid to the depth of the tread (at least 4 mm), as well as the quality of fixation of the ankle. Such models have rigid shoes, and the upper part is reinforced by protective pads in the toe and heel area.
Choice of running technique
Athletes choose the technique of running intentionally, in other people it depends on individual characteristics, body weight. The main difference – on what part of the sole falls on the landing. If you have not paid attention to this before, make a test run.
From the heel. The most common technique of running at a slow pace, in which the maximum load falls on the heel area. Optimal for people with overweight and flat feet. For it, it is better to choose running shoes with reinforced cushioning and a large height difference from heel to toe.
Natural running. When running naturally, most of the load is on the center of the foot. In this case it is better to buy running shoes with reinforced cushioning on the whole surface of the sole to reduce the shock load.
From the toe. The technique is used mainly by athletes during intensive races on short distances for competitive purposes. Cushioning is not needed in this case, preference is given to lightweight sneakers on a thin sole.
What is pronation and why is it important?
Pronation, or the type of arch of the foot, is a point worth paying maximum attention to. In humans, the arch of the foot serves as a natural shock absorber. When it lands while running, it becomes flatter, thus reducing the shock load on the joints. Pronation can be of several types.
Neutral. A normal foot with no abnormalities. People with neutral pronation suits most sneakers, there are no special nuances in the choice.
Hyperpronation. When landing, the arch of the foot drops to the inner part. Hyperpronation is one of the main causes of flat feet. The choice in this case falls on sneakers that support the foot well, but do not have a very rigid shoe and not too strong cushioning.
Hypopronation. About people with hypopronation they say that they “clubfoot. That is, when walking and running, the foot falls outward. Because of the low flexibility of the foot, it creates an excessive load on the lower leg. In this case, sneakers with good cushioning and a smooth drop (transition from heel to toe) are preferred.
What sneakers to choose for summer or winter?
If you plan to run outside in both summer and winter, you have to have several pairs of sneakers at once. Their choice will depend on both the season and weather conditions.
Summer. It is better to give preference to lightweight sneakers with mesh uppers, so that in hot weather your feet do not sweat while running.
In-season. For spring, fall and summer bad weather it is worth considering models for off-road running. They have deep enough and tenacious treads for good traction on wet or muddy surfaces. This will protect against an accidental fall on a slippery road. It is not bad if the material has a moisture-proof impregnation.
Winter. For the cold season models for running on cross-country terrain are also suitable, but here it is worth considering membrane versions. And for full confidence on the road are great special sneakers with spikes of metal, in which you can run even on ice.
What is the most comfortable and reliable lacing?
Many people do not pay attention to the lacing when choosing sneakers. But it’s an important element, responsible for reliable fixation of the foot. There are two types of lacing – the classic type with tying knots and the fast type, when you just tighten the locking mechanism. The second option is more comfortable, but the principle value of the type of lacing has no value.
It is much more important to pay attention to its other features. It is better to give preference to the models in which the lacing is located asymmetrically, shifted closer to the inner part of the leg. It is very good if the loops have the possibility of some displacement, not united by one common strap. This allows for a tighter fixation of the shoe on the foot.
How to choose the right size sneaker for running?
You can pick the perfect sneakers for all the discussed parameters, but if the size does not match your foot even slightly, it will be uncomfortable to run in them. Here we should take into account a number of basic requirements – the shoes fit tightly on the foot, they do not drag, but there is free space in the toe area, the movement is not constrained.
Sizing labels may vary depending on the brand, but in the description there is always such an indicator as the length of the insole in centimeters. That’s it and should be guided. And for accuracy you need to measure your foot correctly. It is better to measure it in socks that you use for running. You need to stand with your foot on a piece of paper and trace the outline of the foot. Then use a ruler to measure the length from the edge of the heel to the tip of the projecting toe (thumb or forefinger).
Add 0.5-1 cm to the obtained result. It remains to check the figure with the manufacturer’s dimensional grid. A little clarification – feet may sometimes vary slightly in length, so it is better to measure both feet and focus on the larger figure. It is also necessary to take into account the fullness of the foot. The need to choose shoes with a greater completeness may be indicated by a noticeable stretching of the material on the outside.
Trying on .
What to look for when trying on running shoes?
Running shoes are better to buy in conventional, not online stores, so there was an opportunity to try them on. This should always be done on a sock and preferably in the evening, when the feet are slightly swollen. Go for a walk, run around the store to understand if the shoes suit you or not. Particular attention should be paid to the following points.
The heel should fit tightly. If it even slightly “walks”, there is the possibility of injury when running. But the shoes should not constrain the movement.
In the area of the big toe there must be a free space. It should be not less than 5 mm if you put a foot on the heel. In tight sneakers running will turn into excruciation.
Trying on several pairs. It is better to stay in the store a little longer, trying on several different models, comparing their comfort. Even if the first pair of shoes seemed successful, the next one might be even more comfortable.
Extra insoles. If the sneaker suits you in all respects, but the type of pronation does not fit, you can try to remedy the situation by buying an additional anatomical insole.
What brands make the best running shoes?
It is always better to give preference to well-known, trusted brands. Even if their sneakers are much more expensive, they will last longer and meet all the requirements for athletic running shoes. At the moment, especially popular and trusted by customers are the following manufacturers.
Brooks. One of the best brands of running shoes, which earned the respect of even professional athletes. The American manufacturer produces really light and comfortable women’s and men’s models using its own technology.
Asics. Asics is a Japanese manufacturer that offers models of various purposes – for running on asphalt, cross-country, for training, races for short and long distances. On sale is a lot of successful options for men and women.
Nike. Brand with a worldwide reputation, offering excellent models for regular exercise – running on the street on asphalt, off-road. Professional models for competitive races manufacturer does not produce. But there are sneakers for running in the winter.
Salomon. The range of French manufacturer widely represents men’s and women’s sneakers for running on trails of varying difficulty, all kinds of surfaces. If you need quality sneakers for off-road, winter studded models, you should pay special attention to the brand. But for asphalt the choice is limited.
Mizuno. High-quality and stylish sneakers for runners with different levels of training, including professional athletes. So, there are models for regular training and overcoming marathon distances. The main difference from other brands is the use of a wave cushioning system that minimizes shock-loading.
Checking for originality
How do you tell the difference between original running shoes and fakes?
Unfortunately, even in some seemingly quite serious sports stores you can find fake sneakers of famous brands. Naturally, their quality will not be the same at all. Each manufacturer has its own method of protection against fakes, but there are also ways that you can check the shoes of any brand.
iGepir program. A smartphone app that allows you to get information about a product by reading the manufacturer’s barcode. But some stores stick their own barcode on top, in which case it is not possible to use this method.
Lot number and article number. Find the lot number and manufacturer’s article number on the shoe label and on the shoe box. They must match. If all is correct, then look for a unique serial number on both sneakers – it must be different. This method is applicable to the models of all major brands.
Common external signs. Sneakers of any well-known brand should be carefully examined. Fake can give out a low quality workmanship – uneven stitching, an abundance of glue with a pungent smell, “burrs”, poorly processed holes for laces.
Often come across very “quality” fakes, in appearance almost indistinguishable from the original. So you should always buy shoes in a trusted store, and if you are sure of the size and model – on the manufacturer’s website.