Guest post by Jane Grates. Jane is based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her websites Runnerclick, Nicershoes and GearWeAre are great resources for runners. When she isn’t busy managing her sites, she is traveling to popular running destinations with her husband.
There are plenty of running shoes out on the market. But what shoes are the best fit for you? The right athletic shoe for you depends on a few factors. Read on to find out how determine what running shoes will work best for you.
Cushioning – Maximum Cushioning vs. Feeling the Ground
When shopping for running shoes you will notice that there’s a wide variety of choices when it comes to cushioning. Choosing the right amount of padding doesn’t have to be overwhelming — there’s really no ideal amount that’s perfect for every runner. Finding the right pair of shoes comes down to two key factors when deciding on the right amount of cushioning: body frame and preference.
When you’re running, your feet and joints take an impact of three to five times your body weight every time your foot hits the ground. That’s why it’s important to keep your body frame in mind when choosing the proper amount of cushioning.
For example, if you’re 6’1” and weigh 180 pounds, you might want to choose a running shoe with plenty of cushioning like the Saucony Triumph or the ASICS Nimbus. If you’re more petite at 5’4” and 120 pounds, you can do without the extra cushioning and choose a shoe like the Nike Air Pegasus.
If you like a lot of cushioning when your foot touches the ground then you might want a shoe with maximum cushioning like the Nike Vomero. However, if you’re a runner who prefers a more natural style, a barefoot or minimalist running shoe with less cushioning may be right for you. Shoes like the Merrell Trail Glove or the Vibram FiveFingers are perfect for runners who want to feel the road.
If you prefer a shoe that’s somewhere in between and allows you to both feel connected to the earth while still offering support on impact, then the New Balance Minimus might be the right shoe for you.
Arch Support and Foot Flexibility
When deciding on the proper support for your running shoe, you will want to consider two factors: your arch type and your feet’s flexibility. People with higher arches face different challenges than those who have little to no arch.
If you notice that you have a high arch and your foot tends to have less flexibility, you require less support. Try shopping for a running shoe that falls into the performance neutral category. A few great brands that fit into this group include are Brooks Ghost and ASICS Cumulus.
If you’re in the majority of the population, and fall under the medium arch category and your foot tends to be moderately flexible. You’ll want shoes with medium support that also offer performance stability such as Nike LunarGlide or Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17.
If you notice that your foot has a lower arch then it’s likely that you’ll do better with a running shoe that offers the maximum level of support. Two popular shoes that provide this added support and fall into the motion control or motion control plus category are New Balance 1340 and the Brooks Transcend 4.
Thanks to Jane Grates for this guest post! We can’t wait to find the perfect shoes and hit the pavement, track or treadmill.
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