We minimize the risk of injury and improve our athletic performance.
During a run, the athlete’s muscles and joints experience enormous loads from impacts on the ground. Therefore, the most important component of the athlete’s equipment is running shoes. Properly selected shoes guarantee a run without discomfort and injury.
Famous triathlete and trainer Joe Friel said in one of his interviews: “Running shoes have become so technologically advanced that the wrong pair of sneakers can cause injury.” And we can’t help but agree! Broken nails, blisters, pain in the feet, knees and back are the most common injuries from training in the wrong shoes.
Therefore, today we propose to understand one difficult question: what should be considered when choosing sneakers? Together with the manufacturer of high-tech shoes Under Armor and Igor Brykov, a shoe selection specialist at the RunLab store, we have put together tips that will help you not get lost in the assortment and get that very perfect running pair.
- The size. The size of shoes should be chosen so that the thumb does not reach the toe of the sneaker at least 3-4 millimeters. What is it connected with? When running, the foot increases in length and width, and if you pick up sneakers exactly the right size, running will not bring pleasure, but only injury. For the same reason, sneakers are best measured in the evening, when the foot swells from the daily load. Please bring your running socks and orthopedic insoles, if you use them, to try on.
- The weight of a pair of shoes. “Not always light sneakers are good. Lightweight models are suitable for competitions so that the shoes are felt as little as possible on the foot. The weight of the sneaker is shock-absorbing inserts, fixing elements and other technological solutions. They will help you feel good the next day after the race. But a pair should not be heavier than 400 g,” Igor Brykov, shoe selection specialist at the RunLab store.
- The sole and upper of the shoe must be flexible and soft in its front part. Pay attention to the inserts made of abrasion-resistant rubber, in most cases they are located in the heel and on the outside of the toe of the sneaker, where the main load falls.
- Depreciation. Most often, it is located in the heel, sometimes it is also present in the toe, there is also an option when the cushioning cushion is evenly distributed throughout the sole. All manufacturers of quality running shoes indicate exactly where the cushioning inserts are located in the sneakers.
Every six months, global shoe brands release new models, the main focus in the development of which is on cushioning and manufacturability.
For example, the new season from Under Amour is the UA HOVR line of running shoes, which consists of two models: Sonic and Phantom. Thanks to innovative materials and cushioning systems, they provide excellent shock absorption and energy return. Therefore, the runner retains the feeling of “zero gravity” regardless of the distance traveled. If we talk about the sole in general, it is very durable and does not wear out.
Rigid elements of the top of the sneaker are allowed only in the heel part. But they should not be in contact with the leg, rub and put pressure on the Achilles tendon. The shoe must be secure to the foot. If this is a run in the mountains or a sandy surface, the foot periodically rises unevenly: if it is poorly fixed, it will fall out and the athlete will be injured. When running on pavement, you don’t need a hard fixation, because the pavement is smooth and the movement is in a straight line. Moderate support should be felt in the heel and midfoot, otherwise the legs will cramp.
The lacing should ideally be placed asymmetrically on the shoe, closer to the inside of the foot. It is better if the lacing loops are not united by a single rigid bar. They should be able to move slightly so that they can fit the shoes more tightly on the foot.
Breathable technology. Running shoes are never made of leather or other poorly breathable materials. Ventilation is especially important for long distance runners. From the line of new products, we advise you to pay attention to HOVR Sonic. The flat knit material on the upper provides excellent ventilation.
It is interesting! The proportions of the female foot differ on average from the proportions of the male: the female foot is narrower. In addition, it is worth remembering that the average weight of a male runner is 80 kg, and female runners are 55-60 kg, so a male model of running shoes may seem tough to a girl. Girls, if you decide to buy a men’s model, choose a low degree of depreciation and not too wide a block.
The choice of sneakers based on the surface
An important factor in choosing running shoes is the surface on which you plan to run. First of all, the sole of the sneaker depends on this. For running on treadmills, asphalt and other hard, flat surfaces, a smooth, soft sole is suitable.
For unpaved paths and soft soils, a stiffer sole with a tread is selected. The tread is the grooved bottom of a shoe with grooves and grooves that improve traction and recoil.
Running in the woods and in bad weather requires an even more aggressive tread, and sometimes iron spikes, so as not to slip on the trunks of fallen trees, ice, etc. Also, these soles are made rigid to protect the athlete’s foot from all kinds of sharp stones and snags. In addition to the outsole, off-road shoes often have a dense mesh, which is more difficult to damage.
“Cushioning is important for long recovery runs or low heart rate runs, shoes must absorb the shock load on the joints. High-speed workouts with higher heart rate zones require more responsive shoes that allow you to feel the ground better, and not get stuck in a soft sole, ”Igor Brykov, Shoe Fitting Specialist at RunLab.