Choosing the right running shoes for you
Running is one of the most natural forms of exercise around, and one of the most popular – after all, it’s cheap, you don’t need a gym membership, and it’s a great way to get outdoors regularly. Running allows us to explore and let off steam, and some studies suggest it might even be addictive – so what to you need to get started?
For most women, a decent sports bra is top of the list, particularly if you’re well-endowed; not having the correct support can make it difficult to moderate your breathing, meaning that even a short run leaves you more puffed out than you should be. However, your other most important purchase should be your running shoes. Without a good, sturdy pair that suits your feet, you can end up causing permanent damage to your ankles and legs, so make sure you have all the information and make an informed decision, rather than just going for a cheap pair.
What should you look out for?
Make sure you have your feet measured up by a running specialist – they should take measurements of the length and width of your foot, and a separate measurement of the length of your foot arch. You may also be required to walk or run on a treadmill, so that they can evaluate your running gait and find what type of sole would suit your foot type best. Make sure when you go that you wear your own socks – the ones you’ll be using to run in – and don’t pay attention to anyone who tells you that shoes need “breaking in”. Running shoes should be comfortable the moment you put them on, so walk and jog around the store if you need to, so that you can get a feel for them.
Most professional runners suggest replacing your shoes ever 300-500 miles. While you may not be running so much that you track your distances, a good rule of thumb is to replace them once a year. Once you know what your favourite shoe is, you can get them from specialists online – expert running retailers Up and Running have a great selection of women’s running shoes. Don’t skimp on price though; a sturdy pair of shoes will give you a better workout than a cheap pair, and won’t hinder your progress by causing discomfort.
Why are good running shoes important?
Simply put, your running shoes should provide support for your feet on every pressure point while you run. This means that from the moment your foot hits to floor to the moment you lift it up again, there should be equal support to ensure that you are not overloading one part of your foot. In particular, you want to make sure that the front of the shoe is well-cushioned – after all, when you run it is usually the forefront of your foot that the weight of your body comes down on first.
It’s also important that shoes actually fit, as you could otherwise end up with blisters and strains, which will not only impede your running ability, but could cause some significant long-term damage.