Wearing proper foot attire is an integral part of a successful exercise plan. Runners must wear the correct shoes because of the repeated pounding the feet take when an athlete takes to the track, street or treadmill.
Running is a high-impact activity, and a pair of good shoes helps with impact absorption while protecting the runner's joints. Different types of feet require different types of shoes to maximize performance and prevent injury.
Running shoes are very advanced in technology and materials. They can be divided into three categories - cushioning, stability and motion control. Although all good running shoes have each of these elements, some are more customized than others.
This type of running shoe offers more impact absorption and work best for runners with high arches. The feet of runners with high arches often are rigid and tend to be pronate (turning inward so that the inside of the feet bears the person’s weight) and, therefore, have a harder time absorbing impact. Cushioning shoes are constructed using a slip-stitch last.
Stability running shoes are designed for runners with over-pronation tendency and offer the best support for athletes requiring stability in their mid-foot.
These shoes can be beneficial for runners with flat feet or hyper-mobile feet would benefit from this type of running shoes because they offer the runners better position and alignment to minimize excessive motion.
Both the motion control and stability shoes are constructed with a combined slip-stitch and board-last that provide more firmness to the shoe.
A physical therapist can determine which type of shoe is best for you after conducting a quick, biomechanical foot assessment. Then, a knowledgeable sales person will be able to assist you in which brand of running shoes is appropriate for your foot.
The price of good running shoes is a result of the technology built into today's shoes – almost as if each running shoe is custom made to fit the specific needs of your feet.
Other key points to remember when choosing a running shoe is that they should be replaced about every six months and the running surface does not actually make a difference when it comes to shopping for shoes.
Running shoes are also excellent for walkers. They are very comfortable and lighter than other shoes. They can be expensive, but good running shoes are worth it for the specific support features that are built into them.
The most important thing is to match the right type of shoes to the needs of the runner’s feet. Brand names or a friend's recommendation aren't what matters when it comes to selecting a shoe. The single most important thing when shopping is finding the proper fit.
Experts recommend breaking in a new shoe at least a month before a marathon.
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