Running Shoe Components
A running shoe comprises an outsole, a midsole, an upper, a heel counter and a post or footbridge. Apart from that, running shoes vary enormously in design and color. A running shoe has to be flexible and durable, control motion and absorb shock. It is best to buy your shoes from a specialist running shop, or at least a sports shop, so you can get good advice from the sales staff. Try on shoes in the afternoon, when your feet are slightly larger.
Each person has slightly different feet, so a great shoe for someone else might not necessarily be the best one for you. The shape of your feet, your weight, any foot problems, your running style and running surfaces (tarmac, sand, treadmill etc) and various other factors can affect which running shoe is going to suit you and your lifestyle the best.
Types of Running Shoes
You can divide your feet into one of three basic types – normal, flat or high arched. Have a look at your wet footprint on the bathmat when you get out of the bath. If you see a full imprint, this means you are flat footed. If there is an arch cutaway, your foot is normal. If there is a very narrow band or no band between the front and back of the foot, you have high arches. Foot type affects which sort of running shoes will be better for you. The normal foot tends to be the most biomechanically efficient and you will need shoes with moderate motion control. If you have high arches, avoid stability or motion control shoes, as these will limit foot mobility. If your feet are flat, high stability or motion control shoes with firm midsoles will reduce the amount your foot naturally rolls in and be more comfortable and better for you. Avoid highly curved or cushioned shoes if your feet are flat, as they will restrict stability.
When trying on running shoes, make sure they feel good as soon as you put them on. The average pair of running shoes should be able to run 1000 km so comfort is a must!