What should you be looking out for when buying a pair of shoes for your 10km, half marathon or marathon training? We explore the most important 5 factors to consider.
- Comfort is key. Don’t let someone convince you that a shoe is right for you when you know it just doesn’t feel right. Avoid shoes that feel restrictive or where you can feel the support pressing into your arch. Always buy shoes that give your feet space to spread within the toe box, but also remember that your feet will swell slightly throughout a run so you might need to factor in a little extra space than you expect. A shoe that is comfortable will make your runs more enjoyable and is less likely to injure you.
- Look for something with cushioning. If you are likely to be doing high mileage on hard surfaces you are going to need something to counteract the forces of your foot hitting the pavement. A cushioned shoe no longer needs to be heavy (who wants to carry extra weight on your feet during a long run!) Shoes like the ON Cloudflyer or Adidas UltraBoost are particularly lightweight and incredibly cushioned. A lighter cushioned shoe will also reduce fatigue throughout the run.
- Be aware that you may need a little more support on a high mileage shoe. That doesn’t always mean something with a lot of arch support, for you it could simply mean something with a slightly more structured upper. It really depends on your running style, but remember that on long runs your form is likely to suffer with fatigue and a slower pace. It’s a good idea to head to the running shop after a training run to recreate that fatigue while trying on the shoes.
- Consider pairing your new shoes with a pair of compression socks. Although there aren’t any conclusive studies on the topic, it is thought that socks can promote circulation and reduce unnecessary movement of the calf muscles which leads to less muscle fatigue and faster recovery. If you’re not quite ready for compression make sure you buy yourself a couple of pairs of good cushioned running socks, they really can make a big difference to your comfort.
- If you’re not really sure which shoe will work best for you, ask an expert. Your local independent running shop will usually employ real enthusiasts that would be happy to help you make your selection. A gait analysis could also help you make your decision.
Nothing makes us happier at The Triathlon Shop than helping someone get the right kit to fulfil their running ambitions. That’s why we have invested heavily in providing the best possible facilities for gait analysis and keep our knowledge of running and biomechanics current and fresh. You can take a look at our gait analysis video for some more information on our services.