Running is a good cardiovascular and endurance exercise. It can be done without any expensive equipment or tools. All you need is a pair of good
. But picking up the right shoes for running can be a bit tricky. The best running shoes are a lot more than just looks. Apart from being fashionable, they should also be lightweight, comfortable, and durable. With a plethora of options available in the market, you might be easily confused. This is why we have put together some tips on the components of a shoe that can help you choose the perfect pair of shoes for your running activity.
How to Select Running Shoes?
The components of a shoe and their salient features are listed below. You must pay attention to these while selecting a pair of the best running shoes:
Fit and shoe size:
The size and fit of your running or
will dictate the comfort level of the shoes. If the shoes are too tight, you might end up with blisters or corns. On the other hand, if they are too loose, you might not find the right grip and could fall or slip and injure yourself. Hence, make sure to try on the pair of shoes and walk around a bit to gauge the size and fit of the shoe. Purchase the product only if you feel at ease in them.
Heel height of the shoes:
Running shoes can be bought in different heel heights. The right heel height can depend on several factors, such as your height and personal preferences. For example, short people may prefer to wear a high-heeled pair of shoes whereas tall people may like to pick a pair with no heels. Either way, always consider your comfort and personal preferences and then select the item.
contain some cushioning to lower the impact of the shock on the ankle and knees. Highly cushioned shoes may offer more comfort to some runners but they can also affect your balance. Similarly, shoes with little or no cushioning may offer better balance but can be uncomfortable in the long run. The important thing to keep in mind here is that regardless of your preferences, the heel cushion is a crucial aspect of your running shoes as it can protect your joints. So, make sure to pick a pair of shoes that provides ample cushioning.
Saddle and toe box:
The saddle is the area near the instep that connects the laces to hold your shoe in place. The saddle can alter the look of the shoe and also its comfort level. When you try on a pair of new running shoes, see if the shoe takes the arch of your foot or not.
The toe box is the part that secures your toes. A tight toe box can restrict movement, cause blisters and cuts, and also lead to foot deformities. A loose toe box, on the other hand, can result in a poor grip. The best running shoes should naturally accommodate the length and width of your feet.
Outsole, midsole and ankle collar:
The outsole is the outer most part of the shoe that touches the ground when you walk or run. It affects the shoes’ durability and hence should be chosen carefully. Outsoles can be made of rubber, leather, or other similar materials. Look for a pair of shoes with an outsole that provides traction, is lightweight, and can extend the life of your shoes.
The area between the outsole and the upper part of the shoe is known as the midsole. It provides cushioning and absorbs shock, hence protecting your joints. Shoes with firm midsoles may reduce the scope for flexibility. They may also not absorb enough shock and can make it hard for you to put on or take off your shoes. Extremely soft materials, on the other hand, may compromise the quality of the product and reduce its life. So, look for materials that are neither too soft nor too long and offer adequate comfort and room for flexibility.
The ankle collar holds the heel in place. It is situated at the top most part of the shoe towards the opening where your foot enters the shoe. Pick a shoe with an ankle collar that does not irritate your ankles or Achilles tendon. Also, find a pair that lets your heel slip into the shoe easily without friction.
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To sum it up
The comfort and durability of your running shoes are as important as looks and style. So, make sure to pick a pair of shoes that ticks all of these boxes. Happy running!