Anatomy of a running shoe

Anatomy of a running shoe?  Who knew?

When I first started running I bought the cheapest pair of running shoes I could find.  That was so long ago that I don’t remember the brand or where I bought it. It certainly wasn’t at a store that specialized in running…back then those were for ‘serious runners’.  I was intimitated.

Over the years since I’ve bought countless pairs of running shoes and run in just about every brand and type.  I’ve had laceless shoes, shoes with inflatable bladders to ‘customize the fit’, shoes with air pockets in the soles, minimalist shoes and super cushioned shoes.  And in every colour under the sun…my favourite being a multi-coloured pair I wore at my second Reggae Marathon Half Marathon a few years ago.

Today, echoing the explosion of interest in running, the choice in running shoes is truly mind-boggling.  And it’s as intimidating as ever…if not more so.  So to break it down (bad pun), here’s the anatomy of a running shoe:

anatomy-of-a-running-shoe-pieceBased on this, I use these guidelines when chosing running shoes:

  1. Buy a pair that fits correctly; don’t buy a pair that ‘look good’.  Running shoes are truly a case where form follows function.  It your running shoes don’t fit properly you will not enjoy running in them.
  2. Keep a second pair of running shoes and alternate running in them. Give them a day or so to bounce back (groan…another bad pun…must be Monday).
  3. When should you change your running shoes?  Your feet will tell you.  And your eyes.  A general guideline I use is when the midsole lookes ‘wrinkled’ or compressed and when the outsole has worn out, it’s definitely time to buy new running shoes.
  4. Don’t buy the cheapest running shoes!  Your goal is a well fitting pair of running shoes that work for your foot type and running style. Look out for end-of-season running shoe sales to save dollars.
  5. Find a store that specializes in running and trust them to help you find the right fit.

That’s it…anatomy lesson over.  Now lets go for a run.

Until next time…

Reggae Marathon RunninGuy (aka Sugar ‘Tuff Gong’ Bong)

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