Shoes shoes shoes!

There are lots of thoughts on shoes and footwear for running and a lot of it comes from shoe retailers and manufacturers. Remember tobacco companies once told people that smoking was good for you so be careful where you get your information from.

The human body is a bio-mechanical machine designed to run and the most important part of that machine is the feet. Try going for a “natural” run by running barefoot on the grass or even better on a beach.  Pay attention to your foot strike (how your foot hits the floor) and your body position; is your body over your foot when it hits the ground or infront or behind? Even better get someone to film you so you can watch it back.

You should see that you extend your toes to meet the ground and absorb the impact through all of your joints (ankle,  knee, hips).

This doesn’t mean we should run barefoot but we should be aware of our foundations before we add additional layers.

Let start with the basics; when it comes to running shoes there are lots of things to take in, over-pronation, under-pronation, heel strike mid-foot strike, forefoot strike, heel drop, heel support and beyond.

However what is most important is that YOU feel comfortable!

It's true that some shoes cost a lot more than others but this often comes down to the type of material and quality of construction.

Generally more expensive shoes will last longer (buy cheap buy twice) bur shoes like Karrimor and Decathlon's own brand will do the job perfectly well but probably won't give you as many miles.

You can help shoes last longer by looking after them.

DON’T wash them as this can damage any glue used to make them

DO dry them if they get wet

DO undo laces (yes your mum was right)

DO rotate your shoes rest days are good for shoes too!

Whatever shoe you go for make sure you know the stats, is it designed to help with over-pronation? What is the heel drop? Does it have a wide toe box? This will help you understand what you do and don’t like so when you upgrade you can get a shoe that matches what you like (don’t forget preferences can change).

Look out for running shops or manufacturers that let you test shoes either in a race or at a show or event - it's always worth gathering information even if you want to stay loyal to a brand. Things can change in the shoe world.

Once you are spending more time in your shoes you need to ensure they are comfortable for a long time. There are some extra things to think about such as your feet swelling,  your bio-mechanics will alter as you get tired, and this may mean your feet behave differently. No matter what you wear your feet will ache but if you develop blisters or sores then something needs to change.

The other big ingredient in the equation is your socks. Try to wear socks that move moisture away from your feet but do consider the thickness carefully and personally I wouldn’t recommend trendy pop socks.

The other key thing to consider when you choose your shoes is the terrain you intend to run on; road or trail. Normally on the trails you need more grip but also a tighter upper to hold your feet in place on uneven ground.

On the road you may want more shock absorption like Hokas or Ons but how the shoe feels on your feet is always the most important thing.

So put on your shoes, tie up your laces (however you like) and get out and run.

Ben

xxx