Best Running Shoes | Stability, Cheap, Cushioned, Long Distance (UPDATED)
10 universal rules: how to choose running shoes and get it right
During a run, the athlete's muscles and joints experience tremendous loads from impacts on the ground. Therefore, the most important component of an athlete's outfit is running shoes. Choosing the right footwear guarantees a run without discomfort and injury.
The famous triathlete and trainer Joe Friel said in one of his interviews: Running shoes have become so technological that the wrong pair of sneakers can provoke injury. And we cannot but agree with this! Broken nails, calluses, pain in the feet, knees and back are the most common injuries from training in the wrong shoes.
So today we propose to sort out one difficult question: what should be considered when choosing sneakers? Together with the manufacturer of high-tech footwear Under Armor and the specialist in the selection of shoes at RunLab Igor Brykov , we have collected tips that will help you not to get lost in the assortment and get that very perfect running pair.
- Size. The size of the shoe should be chosen so that the thumb does not reach the toe of the shoe at least 3-4 millimeters. What is the reason for this? When running, the foot increases in length and width, and if you pick up the sneakers exactly in size, running will not bring pleasure, but only injury. For the same reason, it is better to measure sneakers in the evening, when the foot is swollen from daytime stress. It's worth bringing along your running socks and orthopedic insoles, if you're using them, to try on.
- Weight of a pair of sneakers. “Lightweight sneakers aren't always good. Lightweight models are suitable for competitions so that the shoes feel as little as possible on the foot. The weight of the sneaker is cushioning inserts, fixing elements and other technological solutions. They will help you feel good the next day after the race. But a pair should not be heavier than 400 g, ”- Igor Brykov, shoe selection specialist at RunLab.
- The outsole and upper of the shoe must be flexible and soft in the forefoot. Pay attention to the abrasion-resistant rubber inserts, in most cases they are located in the heel and on the outside of the toe of the sneaker, where the main load falls.
- Cushioning. Most often it is located in the heel, sometimes it is present in the toe, there is also an option when the cushion is evenly distributed over the entire sole. All quality running shoe manufacturers indicate where the cushioning is located in the shoe.
Every six months, global shoe brands release new models, the main attention in the development of which is precisely cushioning and manufacturability.
For example, the novelty of the season from Under Amour - the line of UA HOVR running shoes, which consists of two modelsher: Sonic and Phantom. Thanks to innovative materials and a cushioning system, they provide excellent shock absorption and energy return. Therefore, the runner retains a sense of zero gravity regardless of the distance traveled. Overall, the outsole is very durable and doesn't wear out.
Photo: Under Armor
Rigid upper elements of the sneaker are allowed only in the heel. But they should not be in contact with the leg, rub and press on the Achilles tendon. The shoe must be sure to fix the foot. If this is a run on mountains or a sandy surface, the foot periodically does not rise evenly: if it is poorly fixed, it will fall out and the athlete will be injured. When running on asphalt, a rigid fixation is not necessary, because the asphalt surface is smooth and the movement occurs in a straight line. Moderate support should be felt in the heel and midfoot, otherwise the legs will be cramped.
- Lacing should ideally be asymmetrically placed on the shoe, closer to the inside of the foot. It is better if the lacing loops are not united by a single rigid bar. They need to be able to move slightly to fit the shoe more tightly on the foot.
- Breathable technology. Running shoes are never made from leather or other materials that are not breathable. Ventilation is especially important for long distance runners. From the line of new products, we advise you to pay attention to HOVR Sonic. Flat, woven upper provides excellent ventilation.
Selecting sneakers based on the surface
An important factor for choosing sneakers is the surface on which you planning to run. The sole of the sneaker primarily depends on this.
- For running on treadmills, asphalt, and other hard, level surfaces, a smooth, soft sole will work.
- For unpaved tracks and soft soils, choose a harder outsole with a tread. The tread is a grooved underside with grooves and grooves that improve traction and recoil.
- Running through the forest and in bad weather requires an even more aggressive tread, and sometimes iron spikes, so as not to slip on the trunks of fallen trees, ice, etc. Also, these soles are made rigid to protect the athlete's foot from all kinds of sharp stones and snags. In addition to the outsole, off-road shoes are often equipped with a compacted mesh, which is more difficult to damage.
“ For long recovery running or running at low heart rate, cushioning is important, the shoe must absorb shock to the joints. Speed workouts with higher heart rate zones require more responsive shoes. which will allow you to better feel the surface, and not get stuck in a soft sole ”, - Igor Brykov, shoe selection specialist at RunLab.
What is pronation?
Contrary to misconception, you should not just buy the first running shoes that fit in size. First, you need to determine the type of your pronation.
Pronation is a natural movement that causes the foot to roll in. Due to the structural features of the foot, some runners have:
- insufficient pronation (hypopronation);
- excessive (overpronation);
- no blockages in the foot - neutral pronation.
Gait analysis, wet test, or close observation of the running person's foot during landing and take off will help determine pronation.
Gait analysis . How does this happen? You take turns putting on different sneakers, tailored specifically for you. Rate your feelings, convenience and comfort. During this time, the counselor records your run on the treadmill with a camera. Further, the recording is analyzed using a special testing program: the angles in the joints of the legs at various phases of running are determined, the general position of the body and posture are examined.
“Even the right running shoes solve the problem of hypo / overpronation by only 30%, the rest depends on the person. For example, it is recommended to do exercises for the development of small muscles of the foot and stabilization ”, - Igor Brykov, shoe selection specialist at RunLab.
Photo: Under Armor
After carefully choosing a running pair, listen to your feelings: walk in new sneakers, jump, run on a treadmill. If nothing rubs or crushes anywhere, this is the “perfect” pair of running shoes.