Thursday, 23 June 2011

Tips for buying runners made for your feet

Use these rules as a guideline for buying your next pair of shoes.

1.     Cushioning is key. 
     Special stability may be necessary.
     Brand and service
     Don't buy on sale

      Cushioning is important to soften the impact on your body. This will allow you to run better, for longer and with minimal impact on your joints. You must be aware that cushioning in shoes does wear out. Because it is blown rubber it compacts and compresses as you run. With a decent pair of Asics or Brooks running shoes you will get 800-1000km of great cushioning before you need to replace your runners for new ones. Other cheaper products will wear out faster and provide less cushioning. Be prepared to pay $160 - $200 Australian or 110 Euros plus for good cushioning.
      Special stability may be necessary for your foot.  It is essential to have good alignment when your foot strikes from the ground into a stride. Your runner will effect this dramatically, so know what your buying the wrong pair of shoes will harm your body and cause injury. The majority of people have what is called pronation. Pronators will land on the outside of the heel, progress to the forefoot and fail in to the inner ball of the foot as more stress is being place inside your ankle, and knees. It is necessary to get shoes to support this motion if you are this foot type so that your body is evenly aligned and weight evenly spread. Supination is very rare and is usually mistaken for a neutral strike pattern. People with a neutral strike land on the outside of the heel and progress to the ball of the foot with their weight evenly spread.  Neutral runners must not be placed in shoes that are designed for pronators as they will get shin pains over time and cause other issues due to the shoes forcing the body out of correct alignment. You need to put your trust into your shop assistant, just be aware that they don’t tell you one thing and then direct you to a pair of sale shoes that are not suitable. Be prepared.

      Brand and service. There is a lot of technology in running shoes. Don’t get sucked in for a quick sale with an assistant that is vague or talks too much. Look for good advice and good brands. If you buy a decent brand shoe and it is genuinely faulty then these suppliers usually have a rule that the shoes can be replaced or switched over almost immediately. You can run into trouble buying cheap brands, sale shoes and buying from markets or on the Internet where you do not know what you are paying for. Be smart and get good advice.

      Don’t buy on sale. This might sound crazy as we are not all growing money trees, I don’t have the secret seed for a money tree. However, invest in good advice and you will improve your chance of finding a shoe that is right for your foot. If you have a great experience of cushioning, size and get no pain from your shoes then I would suggest you stick to the brand and model. This is when you know what you are getting and can look for the sale option.

Good luck with your training and pick a great pair of shoes.

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