24 May 2011

Tips For Choosing The Best Running Shoes

Like the tyres on our cars, shoesare the only things that touch the ground while we’re in motion and are arunner’s most important piece of kit. Wearing the right kind of shoe can help distribute the forces of impact, protecting both your feet and your entire body. Running in the wrong shoes, however, can result in fatigue, back- ache or severe injury.

Yet with such a wide range on offer, choosing your perfect trainer can quickly become over whelming, because despite the numerous tests done by the running press, there is simply no single ‘best shoe’. Your bio mechanics, weight, the shape of your feet, the surfaces you run on and theway you run are all fluctuating factors that make your shoe needs very different from another person’s.

Although there are several tests that you can do at home to learn more about the shape of your feet and gait,with so many different factors to consider it’s best to avoid confusion byseeking out professional help. All specialist running shops should have expertson hand to discuss your running history and goals and help to choose your perfect trainer. Here are a few tips to make sure you have all the necessary information at hand to get the most out of your session and your new running shoes :

How manymiles do you run and what terrain?
Before purchasing a new pair of shoes you need to work out roughly how many miles you will running each monthand on which type of terrains. For example, do you need a road shoe or an off-road shoe?

What kind of stability do you need?
Many specialist shops now use video and pressure plate analysis to assess your posture, flexibility and runningg ait to determine the kind of level and support you need in a shoe. Your foot type, motion and timing will reveal whether your foot promotes (rolls in) orsupinates (rolls out), and whether you require advanced arch support, such asthe Torsion System in many adidas running shoes. You can help the specialists work out your exact needs by bringing an old pair of shoes with you; they will be able to work out your running style based on the wear patters on the soles of your shoes.

Payattention to fit
It’s a myth that running shoes needto ‘break in’, tell the salesperson if they don’t feel right immediately. Your heel shouldn’t be able to slide and the upper should feel secure around the middle of the foot without feeling too tight. Always ensure there’s a thumb’swidth of space between your longest toe and the front of the shoe, as your feet will swell and lengthen during runs.

Considerevery brand
Even if you’ve worn the same type of running shoes for the last twenty years, the same brand may not be reacting to your body or running technique in the same way now. Each brand changes the structure, function and shape of their shoes each season, so keep an open mind when deciding what is the best solution for you right now.

Ask about the return policy
Most shops will offer a refund or exchange even if it is not promoted, so check whether if your new shoes start rubbing your feet the wrong way after a couple of runs, you’ll be able to swap them for a new pair.

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