Running is not a one-size-fits-all sport. It takes time to build your focus and improve your performance. None of those are possible without the right pair of shoes on your feet. Here are a few pointers for each type of runner when choosing the right running shoe.
Proper Running Form
There is such a thing as the best form in running. Shoulders should be pulled back and not hunched over. Head should be looking straight ahead, directly in front. Arms and elbows are at the sides on a 90-degree angle while both hands are relaxed.
The core should be kept tight and contracted. Hips should be leaning slightly forward, ready for the run. Knees are bent so when the foot hits the ground, they are positioned for impact. The same goes for legs, angled forward, prepared to absorb the shock. Last but definitely not the least, the feet should be slightly lifted off the ground, aiming to hit the surface.
A proper running form is crucial to avoid risking injuries. When you’re on your feet for long hours, strengthening and conditioning should be part of your working routine. But other than having the best form, you need to back it up with the right shoe.
Knowing Your Pronation – 3 WAYS TO FIND THE RIGHT RUNNING SHOE FOR EVERY TYPE
The best way to know the type of running shoes you should be wearing is to do a simple test. You need to determine first what type of runner you are in terms of pronation. It merely means knowing which part of your foot you tend to hit the surface more while running.
The way to know is by walking or running on a treadmill. Ask someone to record your leg movement for you to analyze where your feet tend to lean toward or how it behaves while hitting the surface. You need to see your foot placement and arch height.
When you’ve identified these parts, then you’ll know which type of shoe fits your needs and which category you belong to. Pronation comes in three varieties: overpronation, under pronation, and neutral pronation.
The most common type of runner’s feet is neutral pronation. When you’re running, it’s the heel that gets in contact with the surface first. Your foot rolls and lands evenly on the ground. This means your body weight is neutrally supported by the heel while the foot absorbs the impact.
If you’re a neutral runner, you need running shoes with average cushion to provide sufficient support for the heel or soften the impact on that part of the foot. You’ll also need moderate arch support to help support the heel during extreme conditions.
Some runners don’t land on the heels of their feet as well as the other runners do. While doing the recommended test, if the arch of your foot tends to be slightly elevated, then you lean toward under pronation.
That means your foot barely connects to the surface. You tend to lean on the outer parts of your foot. You draw strength from your legs and land on your small toes most of the time. It’s as if you were tiptoeing while running.
For this type of runner’s feet, the impact of each step is limited to the upper parts. The type of shoes suitable for under pronation should have no added stability as he or she doesn’t need it.
However, the heel part of the shoe should be heavy to encourage the foot to roll toward the arch. With the added heaviness, it will balance the under pronation and distribute the weight of the runner equally on foot.
Opposite to under pronation is overpronation. This type of runner’s feet is commonly known as being flat-footed. What happens is that, when the foot hits the surface, the arch flatly collapses. The center part of the foot hits the surface more.
When this happens, the rest of the foot is unable to absorb the impact fully. It tends to destabilize the body while running, which makes it prone to injury. The most suitable pair of running shoes for overpronation will need to have very durable and stiff soles to compensate for the low impact.
Other than the thick-soled shoe, runners with overpronation are encouraged to apply additional leg support, like muscle tapes, as a way to prevent injuries.
Running Shoes + Correct Pronation = A Match Made in Heaven
If tennis players have rackets, runners have shoes. Every runner has different goals, which means it’s safe to say they have different needs. For a shoe to fit those goals, you need to match the kind of runner you’re aiming to be. Factor in your body type and endurance in the equation, and you’ll have the perfect pair.
If by any chance you already purchased a pair of shoes that don’t meet your needs, you can always find ways not to waste the money you already spent. These shoes can either be swapped with another one or you can sell them online for a profit. That way, you can get extra funds to buy yourself your perfect pair?
Regardless of what type of runner’s feet you may have, there are ways to improve how sole gets in contact with the surface you’re running on. It’s only a matter of identifying the type of runner you are and doing various conditioning exercises for you to achieve maximum running performance.