Running is such an accessible sport, all you need are two feet and a pavement to pound. Just pop on a pair of trainers, step out the door and move forward for a prolonged period of time. Joking aside, running, although a highly competitive and skilled sport at top level, is one of the first ports of call for those looking to get in shape.
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After your first run, you’ll find that those converse all-stars or vans aren’t the best match for half an hour of repetitive movement, and those baggy jogging bottoms get a little hot and sweaty after a while. Even after a few months of hitting the roads, building up to 10km, 12km, 14km runs and investing in all the gear, problems can arise. These issues are usually associated with footwear, and the wrong kind can lead to foot pain, knee pain and joint injuries; all because of the type of running shoes you choose to wear.
It can be quite difficult to know what to buy, especially when you head into the local sports shop, because generally you won’t be asked what sort of runner you are, and so you choose the show based on looks, colour and visual attractiveness – don’t we all love a bright, vibrant shoe? Here at The Hut, we’ve put together a quick guide on the different types of shoes for different types of runners.
Know your pronation and buy the right running shoes
Pronation is the position of your feet when they hit the ground. Your feet will hit the ground thousands of times during runs, sending shocks and impact pressure all the way through your core and body. Our bodies are designed to take this weight and shock by absorbing the impact through our core and stabiliser muscles, over time strengthening our physique. If your feet are slightly ‘off’ each time they impact the ground, then over time, your whole body will be taking a huge amount of force in the wrong places, leading to over-development of some muscles and under-development of others. This undoubtedly leads to injury from over-straining of muscles.
The best running shoes for a ‘neutral pronation’
If you’re lucky enough to have a neutral pronation, then your feet will be landing right where they should be, which is pretty central and based around the outer heel. With this type of pronation you can run in most styles of running shoes, from highly-supported stabilisation shoes to more lightweight and bare shoes.
You can even have fun with styles and play around to find out what feels the most comfortable. Try out some minimal barefoot style running shoes and make the most of your gait. Minimal running shoes are designed to keep you closer to the ground, mimicking a barefoot feel. Benefits include optimisation of natural foot form, and strengthening your foot muscles all-round.
The best running shoes for a ‘overpronation’
In overpronation the foot rolls inwards towards the body, which can lead to the dangerous overcompensation of stabilising muscles which only ends in dysfunction and injury.
To counteract this, a highly-stabilised shoe should do the trick, using it’s reinforced base and support to help overpronating feet to land with the sole parallel to the ground.
The best running shoes for a ‘underpronation’
For people with high arches, underpronation can often be a common danger, in which the foot lands slightly outwards because of low pronation. For this the solution is to use a neutral show, which will offer a slight support, but nothing too extreme like the stability shoe. This will help to neutralise the impact and take away any danger of the condition getting worse.