It’s easy to look at professional runners and to believe that you can do exactly that too. Of course, it takes some training and commitment to reach the same levels as a professional runner, but getting the right pair of running shoes is a great place to start. Any of the Asics stores in AU will be able to tell you what you need in a pair of shoes, but going into your shoe search armed with the right information can save you a pile of money and time. Injuries are costly, both in terms of what you sacrifice in wasted time, and money spent on fixing the injuries that could have just been avoided in the first place.
If you are only just starting in the world of running, there is a lot to learn and find out, but take heart – you are not alone! When you go out to find the shoes that will take you all the way to the end, consider these points:
What is the average distance you hope to run?
If you are drawn to the world of marathons and long-distance, you would be well-advised to go for shoes that offer more cushioning and stability. A marathon is a long time to spend on your feet, and keeping them cool and comfortable will be pivotal in your success. Because marathons are often run on tarred surfaces, you might also want to consider a pair of road running shoes for this purpose. These shoes are designed to take any hard, flat surface into their stride, and are also designed to disperse the impact of your foot onto the hard surface, and in so doing, to protect your joints and spine from injury.
A comfortable run is also a sustainable one. If you hate your shoes, you will lack the motivation to train for events and will be less likely to participate in the events themselves. Even running short distances is made a lot more bearable when you do it in comfortable shoes. The comfort and functionality of shoes should always take priority over their physical appearance. Shoes that you don’t like the look will not be able to hurt you as ill-fitting shoes will.
On what do you want to run?
Although this may seem like an odd question, the surfaces upon which you will be running will inform your choice of shoes to a very large extent. Your shoes should match your activity, or you will be at great risk for injuries that might have been avoided. If you like to run off-road, you will need shoes that offer good grip regardless of the surface – whether that is snow, dirt, sand, or vegetation. Road running shoes are much flatter and offer less grip, making it rather dangerous to attempt off-road running in these shoes. Asics stores in Australia are equipped to give you advice on any of the aspects that might be hard to wrap your head around.
How do you pronate?
Pronation may sound like a technical term, but all it refers to is the amount of movement your foot naturally makes while it is in motion. Pronation in particular refers to the rolling motion your foot undergoes – if your foot tends to roll too far inwards, you are considered an overpronator. If this is you, you will benefit from shoes that offer extra stability and a firm midsole, to offset the effect of the rolling motion. Look for something with extra foam to provide additional shock-absorbing qualities. If, on the other hand, your foot rolls outwards, leaving you prone to walking on the outside edges of your feet, you underpronate. Pronation is not a good thing or a bad thing – it is simply the shape of what your foot does naturally, and having this knowledge will empower you to make the right decisions to keep your foot safe from harm.
If we’re talking strictly about feet and not how they roll, you will also need to pay attention to whether your feet are wide or narrow. This will dictate the width of the shoe – if it is too wide for your foot, your foot will slide from side to side and develop blisters, whereas a too-tight shoe will pinch your feet.