Running is one of the most important and most popular sports activities of all. This is precisely why the manufacturers try to come up with new and better technologies in the market, which offer runners better performance, protection and support. In the broad offer of the models, we can therefore find the right shoe for all types of runners and terrains.
What must you consider when choosing a shoe?
- Terrain on which we run (roads and reinforced paths, trails, nature and mountains)
- Running technique and pronation type (over the heel, under-pronation (supination), over-pronation, neutral)
- Your Weight
- Shoe size - length and width, high or low instep - shoe size
- Preferences consistent with running speed - training, competition, racing shoe, etc.
Running shoes for the roads, asphalt and paved paths.
The most common type of running shoe. These shoes allow you to run and walk smoothly on all roads, smooth dirt roads and other solid surfaces. Typical characteristics of road running shoes are:
- Better cushioning - depending on weight and running technique, more damping technologies
- Rebound support
- Light weight
- High breathability of the upper material - mesh materials
- Smooth and cohesive outer soles - most manufacturers use special material mixtures for the long-lasting durability of the most popular elements of the shoe
- High comfort during walking
- The upper material is less protected against damage
- Not suitable for running in the terrain - the shoe slides on muddy ground and most models are not water resistant
Trail Running Shoes
Trail running shoes will be used mainly on unsurfaced soils, which offer many different bumps (stones, cones, root), such as forest trails. The purpose of this type of shoe is to protect your feet and legs from the unevenness and thus to prevent possible injuries (ankle sprains). The shoe offers better traction on wet and slippery soils (mud). Other traits of trial shoes:
- The coarser outsole provides more effective traction on unrefined terrain and provides increased control of the bounce
- Durable upper material - protects against abrasions
- Less ventilation of the foot
- Increased shoe weight in some cases, the shoe is often equipped with a membrane or a water-resistant treatment
- The tougher outsole improves the torsional strength and prevents injuries asphalt running shoes cannot
Neutral Running Shoes
Some models of running shoes (neutral running shoes) have a neutral use and you can wear the shoes while walking, on the roads and in the terrain. So, if your running route takes you on the road and also crosses uneven terrain, it's best to choose neutral (universal) or trail running shoes.
Pronation is a natural movement with which the leg partially attenuates the impact. However, excessive pronation during running is not desired and can lead to health problems. Runners with excessive pronation should wear shoes with support for the inner foot. Such a category of running shoes is commonly referred to as "support", and provides a higher and harder material layer on the inside of the midsole that does not allow excessive pronation on the foot.
Running technique and pronation
The right pronation while running or walking should go over the heel, so most of the cushioning systems are placed on the heel. These systems provide for the absorption of most impacts, distribute the pressure, protect the movement system and thus ensure increased comfort. During impact, the feet are loaded with a 2-3 times their own weight with each step. The cheapest models (most manufacturers) only work with an EVA foam, which is a simple and cheap construction material, but quickly loses its damping function. For active runners these shoes are insufficient. These runners are more suited to the higher models, which offer more advanced damping materials and technologies.
Neutral - the heel bounces in the middle, or slightly on the inner or outer side.
Supination - the heel is very “bumped” on the inside (the legs are in the shape of an O).
Pronation - in the impact, the foot (ankle) is excessively flexed to the inside (the legs are in the form of an X).