As a runner, if you are reading this article you are looking for new shoes to start or continue your journey with this sport that is running. But, before going to the store, we have to know exactly what we need, which many times is not what we want, and it is very important to choose a pair of shoes based on what we need, because our health will depend on it. Running, although it may seem the opposite, is a very harmful sport, and to avoid those injuries we must eat correctly, do a progressive training and adjust to our capabilities and, of course, wear adequate material, especially shoes, which is the most important garment for a runner.
In order to reduce the search for shoes we have to know what is best suited to our case and to do so we have to answer some questions:
How much do I weigh?
Running shoes can be classified by the weight of the runner, so, depending on this data there will be models that work better than others. Generally we talk about shoes for people over 75 kg and for people under 75 kg (women should subtract about 12 kg from all the weight data they read in the article), although this data is not completely accurate, as a guideline it is very useful.
If you weigh 90 kg you should look for training shoes with lots of cushioning and stability, while if you weigh 65 kg or less you can look for lighter models with less amount of cushioning, the exception to this is if you weigh 90 kg and run fast in your runs (faster than 4.30 min/km), then you can look for lighter training shoes as if your weight was less.
What is my footprint?
The question of whether we are supinators or pronators has become famous; most runners are pronators. Pronation is a natural body cushioning mechanism and about 60% of prone runners to a greater or lesser extent, 35% of runners will be neutral and only 5% will be supinators.
It is highly improbable to supinate, only if your arch is high and very rigid can you do it, but as I say it is rare and there are no specific shoes for supinators, but this type of runners use neutral cushioned and flexible sneakers.
Finding out our footprint is not easy. Homemade methods such as wearing out the soles or any test that is done on us in static or walking are not valid. The best way to find out our footprint is to have an expert watch us run, either in a specialized store or a sports podiatrist.
In case of doubt and if you have run before without discomfort, neutral running shoes are always the best choice by default.
What is my arch height?
This is something that is rarely taken into account, but it is very important, since the height and flexibility of the arch has a great influence on the biomechanics of the runner. The lower and flatter arches are mostly pronounced and need shoes that are suitable for this type of arches, where the arch area of the shoe is not marked or prominent, as this can cause discomfort or blisters.
Higher arches should look for shoes with a normal or marked bridge height so that the foot receives support from the shoe and the fit is much better adapting the shoe to the shape of the foot.
An expert will be able to give you exact information about the height you have, but there is a homemade method to guide you, such as wetting the sole of the foot and stepping on a sheet of paper. High arches will hardly leave any mark on the middle area of the foot, while flat feet will leave a very marked area.
Have I been injured?
Our past or current injuries are also very important, a poorly chosen shoe can cause many problems and injuries of all kinds, from fasciitis, bursitis, tendinitis of all kinds, periostitis, etc., almost as it can help you greatly reduce a pre-existing injury.
Whenever you go to buy a shoe, tell the seller of your current and past injuries, if you use custom templates and why you do it, if the seller knows what he sells will know to recommend a model suitable for the discomfort you have suffered or suffer in those moments.
Do I want them for training or competition?
The runners who run faster and do more kilometers per week need several models of shoes to rotate in the training sessions. In addition, if you compete you will need a model suitable for the distances you run in competition.
Novice runners, or those who simply run less than 40 km a week and do not have high level marks or records (4 min per km or faster) can opt for a single shoe for everything, although two pairs are always recommended to alternate and that the shoes recover their properties and last more kilometers.
Our pace is important when choosing a shoe, the slower it is the more we should lean towards stable, durable and cushioned shoes, giving less importance to the weight of these, the faster we run we can start to value more flexible running shoes, lower midsole profile, more ventilated and less cushioned and stable.
The terrain where we run is also important, it is not the same as asphalt or grass, nor is it the same to run in a hot region as in one with frequent rain, the shoe must be prepared for the terrain where we usually run and for the weather conditions where we carry out training or competition if we are looking for a competition model.
Essential to try before you buy
With these data you will already have a large part of the work done in the process of choosing your new running shoes. Knowing what is needed and doing a little research, we can reduce the search for shoes a lot, up to four or five models. With that in mind we can make the final decision in the store based on the feel of each one and the fit of the shoe to our foot.