April 20, 2024

The Running Shoes and Gear You Need to Run Faster and Longer

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Although there are different styles of running shoes, there is no one best shoe. Running shoes are designed to help your foot strike the ground properly, with less shock for the body to absorb. The fit, comfort and support of a shoe matter most when you want to run faster, easier and longer. Running shoes come in 5 categories,

  1. Cushioning and neutral shoes are for runners with normal arches and normal pronation.
  2. Stability shoes for runners with mild to moderate pronatiion have extra material on the side of the arch
  3. Motion control shoes have hard rubber on the side of the arch for runners with extreme pronation and flat feet.
  4. Trail shoes are designed for extra support and traction along dirt trails.
  5. Racing flats are lightweight shoes with little support. They are not recommended for typical runners.

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Do you pronate? Yes, you do. Your best choice in a running shoe depends upon how much your foot pronates.

Pronation is the way your foot rolls inward when it lands on the ground. Usually the outside part of your foot makes contact with the ground first. Then the foot rolls inward and the rest of the foot makes contact. If your foot rolls inward too much, it’s called overpronating. Not enough roll when your foot lands, and it’s called underpronating. Check the wear pattern on the outside edge of your running shoes. If you have a low arch or flat feet, you are likely to overpronate. Get fitted for a pair of motion-control running shoes to control your foot motion better, and you’ll run faster and longer.

For a comfortable running shoe, check the fit carefully. Here’s what to look for.

  1. You’ll want lots of wiggle room around the toes.
  2. Notice if there are pressure points where the shoe rubs and might cause blisters.
  3. You’ll get a better fit if you shop for running shoes late in the day when your feet are slightly swollen.
  4. Try on both shoes, because the right and left feet are often not the same.
  5. Wear your running socks when you try on shoes.
  6. Breathable shoes will help keep your sweaty feet cool.
  7. Run in the shoes before you buy them. Are they snug around the heel, or do they slip? Do they give enough support, not too little or too much?

While you are shopping for a good pair of running shoes, consider the apparel and running gear you may also need. There’s lots of optional running gear to make your experience better.

  1. Running shorts, T-shirts, socks and sports bras come in breathable fabrics like Coolmax and Supplex that wick away moisture to keep you dry. Avoid cotton, because it holds sweat and water, stays wet and makes you uncomfortable.
  2. For cold weather, some runners like to wear gloves, a ski cap, tights or running pants, and a windbreaker.
  3. Sunglasses, sunblock and a running hat or visor will protect you from too much sun exposure.
  4. A fuel belt holds your water bottle and carbohydrate gels. Staying hydrated is important for better performance.
  5. A running watch keeps track of the elapsed time of a run.
  6. A heart rate monitor cautions you when you are working above or below your target heart range. It will help you set and maintain your optimum speed.
  7. A GPS watch works as a stopwatch, timer and heart rate monitor. It also calculates your average pace per mile and distance covered. Connect it to a computer to see graphs of your performance.
  8. Read some running books for added inspiration and motivation. A beginning runner will find a lot of great tips from others who write to share their experience, knowledge and passion.
  9. Visit a specialty store for runners to get knowledgeable help choosing a pair of running shoes and gear. A running store will also have information about local activities, running groups and clubs.

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