Running Shoe Tips

Trails offer great challenges and softer surfaces, both a boon to your training and a respite from the pounding of pavement and concrete.

Trails offer great challenges and softer surfaces, both a boon to your training and a respite from the pounding of pavement and concrete. A dedicated trail shoe can make your trail running more enjoyable and possibly safer because of their improved traction and stability features. Some road and trail shoes offer hybrid outsoles that allow for mixed training.

Racing shoes can save time

Consider that racing shoes can save you up to 1 second per mile for each ounce less than your current shoes. What does this mean for your PR (personal record)? If your training shoes weigh 12 ounces (per shoe) and a heavy racing shoe weighs 8 ounces (per shoe) you could be running a 5k 12 seconds faster just by using lighter shoes. Racing shoes are for just that, racing, and do not offer as much shock protection as training shoes, but if this time savings is worth the extra recovery time you will need, you should seriously consider it.

Search your insole

Pull the innersole out of your shoes and take a look at it. If it is the flimsy white variety made of EVA foam, you can get much more comfort, support or both by replacing it with an aftermarket innersole of softer or more supportive materials. Consider doing this when you are buying new shoes as well. Hang on to the old innersoles and use them to customize new innersoles for special purposes like accommodating Morton's neuromas or adding extra padding, or improving the fit of loose shoes.

Replace your shoes at least twice a year

Examine your shoes for wear by looking closely at the sole of your shoes and at the midsole. When your shoe becomes a little worn on the outer sole, look at the sides of the midsole for small creases in the EVA foam. These creases indicate that the midsole is compressing and does not provide as much cushioning as it did when new. When the midsole become compressed, you may begin to notice sore muscles more, or even become injured. Think about replacing your running shoes two or more times a year.

It's all about the feet (fit)

Have both feet measured for running shoes to insure that your feet are the same size. If your feet do vary in size, one slightly larger than the other, try to allow enough room for the larger foot (about a thumb's width) without allowing too much space in the smaller foot's shoe. Always have your foot measured for running shoes standing up with your knees slightly bent. Your foot flattens out a little bit when it is under the load of your body weight and your running shoe size may be larger by a size or more than your street shoe size. Take along your choice of socks to make room for them as well. Prevent blistering - always make sure your running socks are smooth and well fitted to prevent blistering. Some new sock models offer right and left specific socks.

Types of Shoes

Lightweight Training! Racing Shoes

Lightweight training shoes are made to run fast in. They are meant to be used for intervals or speed work and possibly special occasions when you want to run long but fast. There is only one way that a shoe can be made lighter. They take something away. This might be extra stability or cushion, or both, and almost always amounts to a less durable but lighter and quicker feeling shoe. They are usually built on a semi-curved or curved last (shape) and fit very snug or close to the foot. Racing shoes tend to be stripped of the most cushioning and are intended for use on race day only, to reduce damage by impact.

This type of shoe is for the efficient, semi-fast to fast runner who wants a second, light pair of shoes for fast-paced training. They are also popular with bigger runners who want a racing shoe with a little more cushion and support.

Trail Shoes

Trail shoes offer increased outsole traction, midsoles similar to those of stability shoes, but possibly a little firmer to stop stones from pushing up through. Also uppers with toe bumpers and reinforced stitching for more rugged wear, protection and durability. These shoes are for you if you do a lot of off road running and need shoes with extra traction, more durable uppers and extra protection from stone bruises.