Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Principles of Good Running Shoes

Runners often pick running shoes based on the shoe brand. This may work sometimes, but good shoes should be chosen based on its structural elements and how it functions. Running is a high- impact activity that can be hard on a person’s joints and overall body, so finding the right shoe for running is essential.

The first thing a person should consider in a running shoe is the midsole, functional portion of the shoe. The midsole is the layer of the shoe, which is found between the outer sole and the upper portion of the shoe, absorbs shock, and controls excessive motion in a person’s running pattern. Knowing your foot type will determine what you should look for and consider in the midsole.

A good running shoe should also have a stiff supportive heel. A supportive heel is necessary because most runners have a heel to toe running pattern. The heel is an essential part of the shoe, because it is important source of stability. Also the heel can be a point of adjustment to increase comfort in some runner’s gait. That is why people can buy running shoes with difference in heel thickness. Some runners need a thicker heel to reduce the pull on the posterior elements in their legs such as their Achilles tendon, while other runners need a thinner heel. For all runners it is important to make sure the heel counter is comfortable for your foot and running pattern.

The outer sole of a running shoe is critical too. It is attached to the midsole and functions to resist wear, provide traction, and absorb shock. More importantly it is vital that the outer sole matches the terrain of the shoe’s intended use. The outer soles are made out of different materials and various rubber combinations. Be sure to select a shoe with an outer sole that matches your style of running.
It is also critical there is enough room in the toe box of the shoe. The toe box of the shoe should be flexible enough to allow adequate flexion in the big and second toes. A person should have a thumbnail distance between the end of the shoe and a person’s big toe. This will allow for adequate movement in the toes and reduce trauma to the toenails during runs.

Finding a quality running shoe is important. When evaluating shoes quality make sure it contains all of the necessary elements of a running shoe, and most importantly it works with your foot type. For more information on shoes check out our website.

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