Know Before You Go: What New Runners Should Know Before Purchasing Running Shoes

January 5, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Bareskin Towel, Fitness, Sports and Rec, tips | Leave a comment
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Author: ben

If you are new to running, choosing the right shoes can easily feel overwhelming. Walking down the fitness shoe isle, the towering shelves bulging with boxes labeled in insider’s language, can leave you scratching your head, wondering “What are the best shoes for running?”. Arming yourself with a few key pieces of information before you reach that isle can help give you the confidence to choose the running shoes that will offer you the best beginner running workout, while preventing aches and injuries common to runners.

One of the most important things to know is wether you are an over pronator, an under pronator, or a normal pronator. These words sound like they are from a sci-fi movie, but they explain something very basic: where your weight is distributed when your foot hits the ground. If you are an overpronator it means that you have a tendency to roll your foot and ankle too far inward, and you should look for stability soles and/or motion control running shoes. If you are an underpronator it means that you are a runner who keeps your weight rolled to the outside of your foot and you should look for neutral shoes with some extra cushioning (this will encourage your arch to roll in and absorb more impact). If you are a normal pronator it means that your weight is evenly distributed as you run and you can wear a wider range of shoes (heavier normal pronation runners should tend towards stability shoes, while lighter normal pronation runners should tend towards neutral shoes).

How can you tell what type of runner you are? There are two simple ways. The first is to take an old pair of shoes, either running or everyday, and place them on a counter or table. Examine how the soles rest on the surface. If the sole is worn on the inside edges, you are an overpronator. If the sole has the most wear on the outside edges, you are an underpronator. The second test is called the wet test. Wet the bottom of your bare foot in a shallow pan, then step onto a brown paper bag. This will give you a picture of how your weight is distributed. If you see most of the bottom of your foot, it means you have a flat arch and are probably an overpronator. If you see only the outside edges of your foot , it means you have a high arch and are probably an underpronator.

Knowing what type of runner you are before you get to the store can help you answer the question “What are the best shoes for running?” without so much head scratching.

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Useful information about running.


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