Updated: Oct 26, 2020
Walking, Hiking or Running is a great way to keep fit, and it can be a lot of fun, too. Besides making the investment in yourself to exercise more, a good pair of shoes is a low-cost investment in your overall health and state of mind.
Choosing The Right Shoe
Choosing the right shoe for you can improve your running gait, prevent injuries, and for all of you fashionistas reading this, they will look fab on your feet.
There are thousands of different running shoes to choose from, and most of the big athletic gear manufacturers invest immeasurable research dollars each year into the science and technology of running shoes. For that reason, I usually stick with well-known name brands and high review ratings of 4 stars or more. I have owned some off brands, and they do not perform well for me or hold up under the stress of training and running competitively.
What Makes A Running Shoe A Good One?
A running shoe comprises an outsole, a midsole, an upper, a heel counter, and a post or footbridge. Apart from that, running shoes vary enormously in design and color. A running shoe has to be flexible and durable, control motion, and absorb shock. In my experience, also breathable for running in the heat.
It is best to get fitted for your shoes at a specialist running shop, or at least a sports shop so that you can hear useful advice from the sales staff.
Try on shoes in the afternoon when your feet are slightly larger.
If it's about the price for you, you can find them online with free shipping for a better deal than the local store, but I feel that spending money locally is a good choice when you can afford to do so.
Each person has slightly different feet, so a perfect shoe for someone else might not necessarily be the best one for you. The shape of your feet, weight, foot problems, running style, and running surfaces (tarmac, sand, treadmill, etc.), and various other factors can affect which running shoe will suit you and your lifestyle the best.
Types of Running Shoes for Different Types of Feet
You can divide your feet into one of three basic types Standard, Flat, or High Arched.
Have a look at your wet footprint on the bathmat when you get out of the bath.
If you see a full imprint, this means you are flat-footed.
If there is an arch cutaway, your foot is standard.
If there is a very narrow band or no band between the foot's front and back, you have high arches.
Foot type affects which sort of running shoes will be better for you. The average foot tends to be the most biomechanically efficient, and you will need shoes with moderate motion control. If you have high arches, avoid stability or motion control shoes, limiting foot mobility. If your feet are flat, high stability or motion control shoes with firm midsoles will reduce the amount your foot naturally rolls in and be more comfortable and better for you. Avoid highly curved or cushioned shoes if your feet are flat, as they will restrict stability.
When trying on running shoes, make sure they feel good as soon as you put them on. The average pair of running shoes should last about 625 miles or 1000 km, so comfort is key!
For Trail Shoes, I have found that Salomon Speedcross 5 GTX has a long life, excellent arch support, and a forgiving impact cushion.
My stats; my feet are standard to flat, and I run about 50 - 60 miles a month. I am in my late 40s and weigh in at about 225 lbs. Silly as it is, my 5k times are even better now than when I was 200lbs. Those three recommendations work well for me, but you need to figure out what is best for you through a little trial and error.
Lace them up, let's go!