CHOOSING A TRAINING SHOE
The choice of training shoe will depend on the type of sport you are involved in, your level of commitment (e.g. leisure or competitive) and your foot type. A criteria to help select an appropriate shoe is firstly to apply three simple tests – twist + toe flexing + heel pinch. The majority of people involved in running related activities would benefit from a shoe that is difficult to twist, only flexes at the ball of the foot and has a stiffened heel cup.
The trainer for gym work will differ in it’s structure and sole profile and most often be more affordable than a road running shoe. Likewise, outdoor footwear when worn for indoor activities can be detrimental to the loading stress in the lower limbs, due to having a higher sole to floor friction resistance. The shoe would comply with the three criteria above but would have a very low sole profile (tread) or smooth sole .
This shoe very much depends on the nature of running the individual is likely to undertake. Generally speaking the average leisure runner/jogger (the difference lies in the speed of leg motion) will need to be equipped with the shoe supporting the above three criteria but not to be confused with a top of the range shoe (e.g. £80+), that would be designed for heavy mileage and competition running.
Sole profile is also very important depending on whether you want to run on road or through the countryside. Country running will need a ‘trail’ type shoe with appropriate sole profile for dealing with grip through mud and grass. A road shoe will have a much lesser sole profile to make it more compatible with the surface.
Whether you are an Asics, Nike, New Balance, Mizuno, etc aficianado matters little; what does matter the most is your foot structure, and therefore the model rather than make is what makes the difference.
These are so important to make the difference in comfortable running as the correct choice can mean miles of happy running or frustration with niggling injuries.
Sarum Physiotherapy Centre Biomechanics Clinic runs a treatment and advisory service in all these areas and if you have made the wrong choice we are here to help resolve the situation, but we don’t sell running shoes!
Don’t let that frustrating training interfering niggle spoil your preparation – when help is literally on your doorstep.