Sunday, August 22, 2010

Footloose and Fancy Free: Buying the Right Pair of Running Shoes

I write this blog entry a lot based on both, my personal experience, and my fiancĂ© – Pratheek’s. Pratheek runs and cycles a lot, and he’s made more than a few mistakes by buying the wrong running shoes! And hopefully, with all that wisdom gained, we’re going to give you some tips on how to pick a pair of running shoes that’s best for you.

In this blog, we’re going to be talking about road running shoes which you should buy if you run or jog on the treadmill or a flat, hard surface. There are an entirely different set of shoes to run off-road (trail running shoes). Based on the shape of your feet, there are three kinds of running shoes. 
To find out what the shape of your foot is, you should do the following test: dip your foot in water, and then make an imprint. If your imprint is a blob that is about the shape of a regular foot (like we draw it!), then you have a flat foot. If the imprint has a large gap between your big toe and your heel, you are probably high arched, and if there is a slight gap between your big toe and heel, and a majority of your foot makes the imprint, your feet are neutral.

1. Flat-footed: If you made a large imprint, then it means your feet move inwards as you run or walk. You can also notice this when you look at old shoes and it seems like it’s more worn out towards the inside of the shoe. The slightly more complicated term for you is then: over-pronator.
  
2.
 High-arched: You would need a shoe with a lot of cushioning and flexibility for the space between your big toe and heel to brace the impact when you run. Your feet would curve outwards as you run or walk, which means you are an under-pronator.

3.
Neutral: If you have neutral feet, then you probably don’t have much to worry about. Test your walking shoes and if they seem comfortable enough, you should go for them.

Make sure you also make compensations for your weight. If you are heavy and run or jog versus light walking, then you need to get shoes with extra cushioning.
Remember though that the best brands that we see advertisements for are not necessarily the best for your feet. If you are someone who is new to walking on the treadmill or has just taken up running, you can reduce risk of injury by talking to representative at the store and asking for the right kind based on your foot shape. Some brands that make good running shoes are: Nike, Saucony, Asics, Mizuno, and Pearl Izumi.
If you are convinced about your foot shape and want to look around for some shoes to buy, drop in to www.wisdomtap.com. Our shoes are categorized based on pronation. You can click here to go straight to the shoes section!

Hope this helped!

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