5 things to keep in mind when you go buying the perfect running shoes
The right running shoes can radically change a runner's experience. Investing in quality running shoes can help prevent foot and ankle damage, supply optimum balance and flexibility, all while offering you a pleasant and comfortable cardio experience. It can be quite tempting to let irrationality take charge when you try to pick out running or walking shoes.
You may pick ones solely based on its appearance or substitute your weekend Plimsoll sneakers as running shoes. If you relate to these scenarios, it is about time you get proper running shoes.
High quality running shoes are usually designed according to the terrain they are meant to be used in, which is important to keep in mind when shopping. Road running shoes go all out on flexibility and are usually breathable and light, making them ideal for sidewalks, roads, treadmills or tracks. Trail running shoes on the other hand are resilient towards natural obstacles such as rocks, roots, or mud due to their added sturdiness which make them best suited for off-track runs.
Ensure the upper accommodates
A sneaker's 'upper' refers to all parts located above the sole. The upper should accommodate your foot shape and size and also be smooth to touch on the inner side. It should neither chafe your skin nor bind your foot. In order to ensure that the upper 'feels' right, you may also want to check if your feet would be better suited for a narrow or wide version of your specific shoe size.
Be wary of ankle slippage
The ankle collar is the wrap at the top of the shoe opening which holds down your heel in place. While some running shoes rely on thick padding to keep your heels secured, others rely purely on the collar shape as a buffer.
Firstly, make sure your heels do not slip at all when you test the shoes out. Then make sure any padding on the sides of your ankle is not too suffocating. Lastly, ensure that the shape of the curve on the back of your ankles does not irritate your tendons.
Choose balanced cushioning
Although some people love feeling the ground beneath their feet during runs while others prefer to feel as if they are on clouds, more often than not it is best to stay at a midpoint. Try to strike a balance between cushioning, comfort, and a firm platform push off for forefoot cushioning. For heel cushioning too, make sure you can experience ground-feel while also having the right amount of cushioning for comfort.
Does it Truly Fit?
Unlike most shoes, running shoes should not have a 'break in' period. It should neither slide nor make you experience any form of pinching from day one. To achieve the best fit, go shoe shopping during the evening when your feet are the most bloated.
Photo: LS Archive/ Sazzad Ibne Sayed