Hello runners! Hope you had a great week of running despite Wednesday’s ‘monsoon’! It was a down mile week for me after last week's 20 miler. I put in 26 miles overall, with a great 6 mile tempo run on Thursday night (thanks to my pal Lee who really helped push the pace) and then a nice 11 miler on Saturday morning.
For a while, I’ve been intending to devote a RunWithRadio1045Johnny Blog Post to running shoes. As many advanced and passionate runners know, it’s important to find the right shoes for comfort, as well as the right shoes for your specific pronation. Also, if you’re planning to get new shoes for an upcoming race, make sure you have ‘em in time to break ‘em in properly, as you don’t want to wear new shoes to a race. With that, I’ve spoken with many aspiring runners who are not running in proper shoes. So, today’s post will be most valuable for those of you who are newer to running, as I’m guessing the more accomplished runners have their shoe game down by now. If you’re still running in your Converse All-Stars, or feel a bit overwhelmed when you see a wall of sneakers in a running store, I’ll break it down to the basics.
JOHNNY’S GUIDE TO RUNNING SHOES
BUY ‘EM IN PERSON
Online merchants may have enticing discounts, but when it comes to Running Shoes it is very important to try the shoe on first (with your running socks) and even try and replicate your running stride. Many also suggest you try on the shoe late in the day when your foot is most full. I’ve tried on lots of great running shoes from highly respected brands, but have been going back to the Brooks Ravenna for the past several years. Prior to that, I was an Asics loyalist…until the Ravenna emerged in my ‘try on’ selection. Always, try the shoe on, unless you’re purchasing the same exact model you’ve previously ran in.
KNOW YOUR PRONATION
This is a very important consideration, as you don’t want Running shoes that are not designed for your gate. Generally, running shoes are classified as either neutral or stability shoes, with most of us running in Neutral shoes. Stability running shoes include technology designed to correct overpronation which happens when you roll too much to the inside of your and is often associated with a low arch or flat foot. Underpronation (supination) is when your foot rolls too much to the outside and associated with high arch. Most good running stores will be able to evaluate your gate by watching you walk up and down the aisle. You can also check the wear on the bottom of a pair of current running shoes, so long as they’ve been used primarily for running. If most of the wear is from the ball of your foot, along the inner edge, and toward the big toe that indicates overpronation.
BUY A BIGGER SIZE
Conventional wisdom suggests that you wear running shoes which are 1 size bigger than your regular walking shoes. Feet swell and spread as your run, so it’s a good to have enough room in your shoe to accommodate, while not being so big that they get in the way of your running. (Some recommend a thumbnails length of extra space)
THE BIG BRANDS ARE ALL FINE
In terms of shoe brands, I’ve found that the best brand directly correlates with who’s wearing ‘em. They all seem to stay on pace with their respective technology. I have many running friends and they each seem to swear by a different brand. The key is go with an established brand and pick the shoe which feels best for your foot.
WHAT KIND OF RUNNING DO YOU DO?
Running stores are generally populated with a wide variety of shoes for road running, trail running and cross training. If you’re a road runner (like me), you’ll be looking for a light and flexible shoe designed to provide cushion from repeated impact. Trail-running shoes are designed to accommodate rocks, mud, roots or other stuff with a heavier tread for improved traction and stability.Cross-training shoes are better used for gym/Crossfit workouts and not running. (There’s also the barefoot style, but I would save those for the advanced runners)
And with that, when I first planned on sharing this post, I surveyed my Twitter followers to recommend their favorite shoe! Check it out below.
Thanks for reading and running! If all goes well, next week’s post will feature an interview with Twenty One Pilots’ Josh Dun! Meanwhile, Tweet me @Radio1045Johnny if you have feedback or ideas for future blogs!