The Importance of buying the correct Running Shoes 30/07/2014

There is a common perception that running shoes are overpriced and too complicated. I have seen & spoken to many people who buy trainers from big companies because they are comfortable, they look good, feel good while running & can be used for a wide range of activities. But these reasons are potentially detrimental and can increase risk of injury.


I always promote to people to make wise choices while choosing appropriate footwear for running and cross training, (gym, Tennis etc) because different shoes have different attributes which are suited for different activities. A recent & good example of making the wrong decision about footwear for training was by a novice runner. They bought a trainer which they thought was universal, they could use it for the gym, tennis and running. But all three activities are different and require varying features from a trainer. Tennis trainers need a lot of stability to withstand the hard pounding and lateral movements of the sport. Running shoes need to be lightweight, breathable & accustomed to your running style and posture. Depending on the activity, gym shoes generally need to have good grip and be comfortable.


Running shoes are very important for running technique and preventing a wide range of injuries. Every runner is different and every running shoe is different. As mentioned, running shoes have features which are suited for running styles and conditions. When buying a running shoe, it should be suited to your running style, for example whether your foot pronates or supinates in the stance phase (when your foot is in contact with the ground while running/walking) and what part of your foot makes contact first while running.


If you buy running shoes which aren’t suited to your running style, or a trainer which isn’t suited for running you greatly increase the risk of injury. Muscles and tissues will need to work harder if you have incorrect running shoes. And also your technique will be altered ever so slightly at one joint such as the ankle because of the different features. This will have a progressive negative impact on other areas such as knees, hips and back.


Many want a bargain and don’t want to spend £60+ on running shoes. My running shoes for my Ultramarathon cost £100. Typical running shoes should last 300-500 miles, that is a very long time regardless of the distance of your event or training. I did have my injuries issues but none were directly related to incorrect running shoes.


When you go to buy running shoes, make sure you are selective and get the right trainers for your running style, rather than a pair that matches your running outfit. Get your running style assessed by staff to refine your decision making & get the right running shoe. You will save a lot of pain and time calling me up to book an assessment!

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