If you want to get started in the world of running and choose your first shoes, the first thing you should know is that there are no perfect shoes. The best shoe, beyond a model or a brand, will be the one that suits your needs according to various factors that we are going to analyze in this article, so take good note.
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Points to Take into Account to Buy Your First Sneakers
- Go to a Specialized Sports Center
The best thing is that you go to a specialized sports center where an expert can analyze your footprint and, according to your needs, recommend the models of shoes from different brands that may be the most suitable for you.
You should always try on your shoes first and check that you feel really comfortable with them, as if you weren’t wearing them. It is recommended that you bring your own socks, with which you are going to run, and check if the comfort is optimal.
During long or intense workouts and in hotter climates your feet will tend to swell and swell, so they will need a little extra space. In this case, you can do two things, either go to try on your shoes in the late afternoon, when your foot is more swollen, or buy your shoes in an extra size (if for example you wear a 43, you can buy a 43 and a half).
In this way, you will make sure that you do not buy shoes that are going to tighten too much when your foot tends to expand, or that they will come too loose. To avoid the latter, avoid trying them in the early hours of the day when the size of the foot is smaller.
On the other hand, you will surely see many offers in online stores with fantastic discounts, but the risk of buying a pair of shoes without trying them first can be very expensive. However, if you already know your size for a specific model with which you have experience and you feel comfortable, you can buy them in an online store.
- You Need Some Comfortable Running Shoes
Ditch the idea of wearing those comfortable shoes that you wear to go play paddle tennis, go hiking or play soccer on weekends. If you want to start running regularly, you need to buy shoes adapted to the exercise you are going to do. If you are going to run at least once a week, get yourself shoes that have good cushioning and are very comfortable, since they are the two key elements.
Keep in mind that, even if you are not going to run long distances from the beginning, or want to prepare for a marathon, you still do not have a refined technique as a runner and it is likely that you adopt some vices when running. By choosing well-cushioned running shoes to start, you will be less likely to injure yourself and you will be able to gradually improve your running technique. Although you should not get carried away solely by the cushioning: later we will see that going over is not recommended.
Fitness and pace of the race are also important. If you do not usually practice any sports and you know that you are going to start running at slow rates, choose flexible and cushioned shoes. If, on the other hand, you already have a good physical shape and your muscles are more developed and have greater flexibility, you will need lighter shoes with less drop (difference in height between heel and toe) and less cushioning.
- The Surface Where you are Going to Train and the Weather
It is important that you take into account the terrain where you are going to carry out your workouts. It is not the same to run on grass, mountains, asphalt, concrete or track. And for that reason, there are different types of shoes for beginners that are also adapted to any type of surface. So you better determine where you are going to go regularly for a run to help you choose the shoes you will need.
If you go running on asphalt, for example, you will need shoes with good cushioning. While, if you run in the park or on the grass, the stability will gain more relevance and your sole will require more adherence. If you dare with stony terrain or rocky trails, then you will have to resort to trail running shoes that provide greater grip, stability and protection.
The weather is another key point to consider, even if it doesn’t seem important to you. If you live in a rainy area or go out for a run very early and the terrain can be wet or slippery, look for a model of shoes that is characterized by having the greatest possible adherence to the surface where you are going to train.
- Your Tread Type and Running Style
Being a pronator, supinator or neutral runner is not the same. Surely you have heard this before but you don’t really know what it means. It has to do, indeed, with the footprint you make when running.
The pronation is the twist that makes the ankle into the foot to make a footprint as we run. Pronar is not a bad thing, in fact, it is a natural cushioning mechanism for the body’s weight. But if the pronation is excessive, we will notice a pattern of greater wear on the inner outer edge of our shoes. In the long run, an overpronation can cause discomfort in the runner, so it is advisable to buy suitable shoes to correct it.
When the pronation is not too severe, but the footprint is basic enough to only absorb shock and relieve pressure on the knees and joints, then we will talk about neutral or biomechanically efficient runners .
The supination occurs when the rotation of the ankle to the outside of the foot during the tread. In this case, the reduction of impact when landing is insufficient and the wear pattern on the shoes is usually on the outer outer edge. Only 5% of runners are supinators, so there is not much variety of specific shoes for them. If this is your case, you should bear in mind that you will need shoes with greater cushioning and flexibility to correct your footprint.
If you want to know what your type of footprint is, it is best to go to a professional to perform a footprint test.
- The Structure of your Feet and the Weight of your Body
Other factors to take into account are your body weight and the structure of your feet. Running shoes generally have recommended weight ranges depending on the stability and cushioning you need. If you weigh 65 kilos, for example, you can wear light shoes with less cushioning, while if you exceed 90 kilos, it is recommended that you get ones with much greater cushioning.
On the other hand, finding out what type of foot arch you have, if you don’t know, is very simple. You can go to a podiatrist or perform the footprint test. Knowing what type of foot arch you have (low arch or flat feet, normal arch or high arch) will help you a lot to narrow down the type of shoes you need and to achieve the greatest possible comfort.
The width of the foot is also an important factor if you want maximum comfort. Try to choose shoes that do not constrict you and that have some slack inside to avoid the formation of blisters, chafing or other ailments. There are brands that manufacture various shoe widths, the most common being that you will find size D for men and B for women. The difference between sizes is usually half a centimeter, so if you have a narrower or wider foot, feel free to use the size that suits you best.
Do not leave aside other health issues related to a chronic or specific injury that you usually have frequently. Consult your doctor or physical therapist before choosing your shoes. For example, if you are prone to ankle or knee sprains, it will always be more convenient for you to decide on buying shoes that give you the greatest possible stability. In the same way that if you tend to suffer cramps or overload in the calves, it will always be more advisable to wear high-drop shoes (greater difference in height between the heel and the forefoot area).
- The Budget You Have At Your Own
The first thing you should be clear about is that ‘expensive’ does not necessarily mean ‘better’. In the market you will find some models of shoes up to more than € 200, but those may not be the most suitable for you. Similarly, do not buy cheap and flimsy shoes, because if you find them uncomfortable you will quickly become demotivated or injure yourself more easily, and if they wear out or damage very quickly you will have to buy others in a short time.
What you need are shoes that have the necessary attributes that adapt to you. That is why it is better that you make an investment in good running shoes that will last you longer and with which you will be as comfortable as possible, without getting carried away only by trends or fashions.
In short, be realistic with the purchase of your shoes. There are high-end ones, of course, but you’ve just started. Get a mid-range pair and if you get hooked and progress or want to try training on other types of terrain, you will have the opportunity to buy better shoes. Remember that, in addition, over time the pattern of the sole wears out and you will have to renew them whether you want to or not.
- Avoid Making Certain Rookie Mistakes
At the beginning I told you that one of the key elements when choosing good shoes is the cushioning they offer you, and it is true, but without exaggeration. According to recent studies, choosing shoes with excessive cushioning favors the heel strike, noticeably decreases the perception to adapt to the terrain when we run and does not allow the muscles of the feet to tone up and gain the strength they should. So choose cushioning, but in moderation.
Avoid by all means buying shoes that are too heavy, no matter how much you like the color or model that you have tried on. In the long run they will only bring you problems, so always opt for lightweight shoes that do not exceed 300 or 400 grams.
Do not forget the toe of the shoes, that is, the front part where your toes are located. It is essential that the width of the toe is large enough so that your fingers do not collide with the shoes (hence also the advice to buy an extra size). Skipping this and running with a narrow toe will cause your toes to warp, arch, or ride on top of each other and even suffer internal trauma, causing them to blacken and bruise.
Find the Perfect Shoe for you!
Do not buy shoes because you saw them on sale or because they are worn by an athlete you follow. There are many different brands and models, in the same way that there are many runners with different tastes and bodies, so it is impossible to determine which are the best shoes to start in the world of running.
Therefore, taking into account all the factors that we have seen in this article, it is best that you go to a specialized store and they help you choose the perfect shoes for you. If you are convinced that running is going to be part of your life, don’t neglect the search for your shoes, they will be your best ally to become a true runner!