Choosing Marathon Running Shoes
When you are going out to purchase a new pair of running shoes there some points to pay attention to. Have a look at the following check list for buying a new pair of running shoes.
- Season appropriate running shoes
- Training shoes or race shoes
- Slow pace or fast pace running shoes
- Neutral shoes, support shoes, or motion control shoes
- Track shoes, road shoes or trail shoes
- Best brand of running shoes
Especially for those of you living in countries with four distinct seasons you need to consider the temperature. For hot (humid) weather season you need shoes which are able to wick out the sweat so that your socks (feet) stay moderately dry. Proper ventilation is needed to prevent blisters and avoiding added weight from sweaty socks and shoes. Imagine that even a few added grams in your shoes will be lifted up with every step for many miles which are thousands of steps so this would add up to several kilograms of extra weight. For the cold weather season running shoes which soft warm padding will protect your feet and ankle from cooling down too much. The winter shoes should also keep out most of the cold wind to protect your toes. Shoes for rainy weather season shoes be able to keep out most of the water. Check the bottom of the shoes to see if there are no ventilation holes. Ventilation holes in the bottom of your running shoes would force you to avoid every single puddle preventing you from looking further forward then is recommended.
The total distance you run for training will be more that you run in races. Shoes you use for running your training runs would need some more cushioning to provide protection for joints. Your race shoes need to be as light as possible with the minimal amount of protection to carry you safely to the finish line.
Before you actually run a race in your special race shoes you will have to break them in by running a couple of long runs in them. This is so that you can experience how your feet react to them. If you would come home with millions of blisters you’d be better of racing in a different pair. Running about 100 Kilometers in them would make them softer and adapt to your stride. Most shops have two sections of running shoes, one for racing and a section for training shoes. If not, ask for advice from staff.
Depending on your level of experience you would be running faster or slower during training. If you carry about some extra body weight you’ll be running slower and will need running shoes with more cushioning and stability. More experienced runners with a fast pace would do better with light weight shoes for a higher turnover.
Every person has different biomechanics and would need to choose running shoes according to the needs of your feet. It is normal that our feet roll inward or outward, this is called pronating and supinating. However, it is the excessive pronation and supination which could cause injuries. Running shoes which control the movement of the feet are called motion control shoes.
One more treat of the feet is the height of its arch. A lower arch would need a supportive insole/ shoe insert to protect the bottom of your feet. Low-arch or flat feet could be a cause of unwanted injuries.
You can do the flat feet / low arch test if you are not sure. Moisten the bottom of your feet and stand on a newspaper with good posture looking forward. Normally the front of your foot behind your toes should be connected to your heel by a narrow strip. If your foot is flat, then the strip is the same width as the front of the foot, creating a footprint that looks like a stretched out pancake. With a normal arch, the strip is about half the width of the front of the foot. If you have a high arch, only a thin strip connects the front of the foot with the heel.
There are special running shoes for the track which provide more grip for best economy from energy supply. The tracks usually provide a soft carpet which allows you to wear light weight running shoes with minimal protection.
Road running shoes need soft cushioning to protect your feet and other joints from excessive damage. Road running shoes also have a sole which lasts longer on the asphalt so that you can run for about 500miles before you need to buy new ones.
Trail shoes do not require so much cushioning because the dirt will provide a soft landing. Trail running shoes do need to be a little stiffer at the bottom and provide support around the ankle area to prevent injuries. Running on uneven ground with different kinds of terrain need increased stability.
After reading the information above, you might be able to imagine that it is difficult to suggest a best brand of shoe. Running shoes should be chosen according to the needs of your feet not according to popularity or fashion.