It would seem that nothing complicated: go to the store, choose the model you like, try it on, and you can post photos run. Why, then, is finding the perfect running shoe like searching for the Philosopher’s Stone, and why do even seasoned runners “miss”?

Here are some of the most common mistakes we make when choosing running shoes:

1. We choose the wrong size

“I have been 38th all my life, why take a size with a margin?”

Sneakers of the wrong size can easily cause chafing, blisters, discomfort, black nails, and sometimes even injury.

Are you sure you know your current foot size?

Leg size can increase with age due to changes in bone tissue, weight gain, joint diseases (arthrosis and arthritis) after pregnancy in women.

Towards the end of the day, especially if you have walked a lot, your legs swell, leading to an increase in the size of the foot.

In addition, some runners may have different legs in length and width due to uneven load on the left and right legs.

Complicating the task is the fact that shoe brands often have different sizes. That is, size 8 for one manufacturer and size 7 for another may, in fact, be the same.

What to do:

  • To begin with, measure the length and width of your feet using a special meter. The meters are often found in large sports shoe stores. If this is not possible, immediately before the planned shopping, measure the length of the foot yourself.
  • It is better to go for fitting in the afternoon, when your legs are a little tired from the daily load: somewhere this is how you will feel on long distances, when you have to run the most decisive kilometers on tired legs, and comfortable shoes are very important.
  • One of the rules for successful running shoes is: choose shoes one and a half largerthan you wear in everyday life. The reason is the same – when running, the foot increases in size, and if you take the sneakers back to back, you can damage your thumbnails. Try tight sports socks instead of thin nylon socks.
  • Before buying on the Internet, it is better to go to the showroom and try on the model you like. If during the fitting process you feel discomfort, it is better to refuse the purchase. Do not expect to spread or stretch your sneakers with special sprays.
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2. We do not take into account the type of pronation

“Why did I buy cool sneakers with support and twisted my leg, but I absolutely cannot run in them? “

The features of the foot are as important as the correct size.

Pronation is our natural cushioning mechanism: cushioning the foot on landing and pushing off the ground. However, violations are often found – insufficient or excessive pronation.

At excessive pronation (overpronation), the footfalls inward too much, and this causes an uneven distribution of the load. The knee joints and ankle ligaments “get the most.” Overpronation is common in people with flat feet, but it can also appear due to poorly trained stabilizing muscles.

At insufficient pronation (hypopronation), instead of supporting the arch, the footrests on the outer edge, and this part practically does not spring, leading to an imbalance in the distribution of the load, a result – in possible injuries. Hypopronation is common in runners with high arches.

What to do:

  • Determining on your own if you need pronation corrective shoes can be tricky. First, take a look at the outsole of your casual shoes: if it’s worn out too unevenly (one side is worn out and the other looks like new), there is reason to think.
  • The Wet Foot Test allows you to determine pronation by looking at the footprint. To do this, wet your foot and then step on a piece of cardboard. Then match your print to the appropriate pronation level as shown.
The 5 Most Common Running Shoes Mistakes
  • Determination of pronation in the laboratory is the most accurate measurement method. It is carried out using a special treadmill, which is equipped with a video camera. The high frequency of shooting helps to determine the nuances of the athlete’s biomechanics and running technique, and most importantly, to measure the exact angle of deflection of the ankle.
  • For hyper-pronators, there are special running shoes with support (look for the overpronation / stability tag – there are quite a few of them). For those with insufficient pronation, “neutral” sneakers with good cushioning are suitable, some brands have “undepronation / neutral” series.
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3. We focus on fashion trends and appearance

“They are red! Just think, they don’t fit a little, I’ll get used to it “

But seriously, shoe trends change as often as the off-season weather. Most recently, minimalist shoes were at their peak, and then they were easily overshadowed by the huge “monstrous” cushioning soles like the Hoka One.

What to do:

  • Sneakers are still sports equipment, and not an element of style, so it is better to choose based on the runner’s anthropometric data: the greater the weight of the athlete and / or the longer the distance, the higher the need for cushioning.
  • Pay attention to the width of the last: lace-up sneakers should fit tightly around the foot, but not squeeze the foot. Try different brands of shoes to find the one that works best for you.

4. We do not take into account seasonality, road surface and our goals

“I want all-season, so that I can run a trail marathon for long, tempo and marathons. There are such people? “

Of course, for a beginner runner, all-about-all sneakers will be enough. And then it starts: it turns out that in the cold season, it would be nice to buy a pair of waterproof shoes, and everyday sneakers have become too heavy for high-speed runs.

What to do:

  • There is nothing wrong with the expansion of the “shoe park” (unless the wallet suffers a little): it means that you have reached a new level, and the need for high-quality shoes has grown. Otherwise, there are solid pluses: for example, according to research, alternating between different shoes helps reduce the risk of injury by 39%.
  • If you really want to train on the street all year round, but the very thought of running through cold puddles inspires fear and awe – it is better to get insulated waterproof sneakers. Look for shoes marked winterized or GTX.
  • Over time, every runner ends up buying a pair for competition, so-called “marathons” or “half marathons” – running shoes that are optimized for racing, but also suitable for tempo training in a stadium or arena. It is a lightweight shoe with a snug fit and a stiffer outsole for a quick and sharp push off the surface.
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5. Running too long in old sneakers

“Old, you mean? They look fine! and there are no holes in the fingers

Alas, this is not a marketing gimmick – sneakers really have a limitation in “mileage,” and they lose their cushioning properties after 600-800 km. This means that a worn outsole no longer allows you to distribute the shock load optimally. As a result, running technique suffers, and a disappointing prospect of injury appears on the horizon.

What to do:

  • Keep track of the “mileage” for each pair. It can be done both in the old way – on paper, and with the help of an option in running applications (for example, “gear” in strava).
  • An implicit marker: if, in the absence of a state of fatigue, you began to systematically run more slowly, it is quite possible that the cushioning of your sneakers has significantly sagged and it’s time to go for a new pair.
  • Listen for body signals. If you suddenly experience pain in your periosteum, Achilles tendon, or knees while running, this could also be a sign that your shoe is worn out.

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