In running, trainers are a widely discussed topic, because it is one of the few items which are necessary to practice this sport and, consequently, choosing the correct trainers is extremely important. For this reason, it is essential for you to properly understand what shoes you should use for running.
The design of running shoes has undergone significant changes during the last 100 years, transitioning from sports shoes to real masterpieces which incorporate technique, technology, and engineering.
In addition, the matter of how trainers influence injuries has also begun to be discussed, along with the question of why it is key to ensure the use of proper footwear, with customized features that adjust to your body and your gait, in order to achieve a better performance and suffer less injuries.
Types of trainers
There are differences between trainers, when we refer to sports: training shoes, running shoes, trekking shoes, among many others.
If the trainer or shoe is intended to be used in trekking, the footwear must be resistant to the environment and to changes to the same. The trainer will have non-slip rubber soles, and firm materials that can endure terrains of varied compositions, and different weather conditions and slopes.
If the trainer is lighter, with an elevated rubber sole, and a cushioning structure in the heel area, then that trainer is a proper running shoe.
Running shoes must have a proper cushioning in order to absorb the force of the shock of your body against the ground; they must be flexible, with a soft sole, in order for the foot to correctly execute the impact phase against the ground, with the subsequent lift-off; and they must be light, so that each step is taken as comfortably as possible.
Certainly, finding the best trainer that will adjust to you and your stride is essential. But, having established that, what things should you look at in order to know whether you are choosing the correct footwear? And how can you know if the chosen trainer properly adjusts to your body and gait?
In simple terms, we can divide runners into two groups of people: rookies and experts. In general, it is recommended for people who are just getting started in running to choose trainers with a greater shock absorption system in their soles, both in the mid-section of the sole as well as in the heel area, because rookie runners are still not adapted to the constant impacts on the ground while running.
As your level of experience in the sport increases, you can move onto a slightly firmer sole, in order to favour reactivity over shock absorption. In fact, a new trend is what is known as “minimalist jogging or running”, in which the runner uses trainers with a very thin sole, very similar to running barefoot, but this is a subject which we will address in another upcoming publication.
Another issue which is relevant to take into account is your gait. Depending on your specific type of gait, you will be able to find out if you require more or less elevation in certain sections of your trainers.
Types of gaits
Pronator: This is, by far, the most common type of gait; people who run and step with the internal section of the foot, have this gait. More than half of all runners have this type of gait.
Supinator: This is the type of gait of people who usually run with their legs separated, and who support their weight on the external sections of their feet. This type of gait is infrequent; only 10% of runners have this type of stride.
Neutral: This is the second most common type of gait among runners. It consists of a flat support of the foot. Approximately 30% of runners have a neutral gait.
Once you have found your ideal shoes, you should always keep in mind how long you will be able to use these shoes during your races. In general, a good trainer can last for 650 to 750 kms, while minimalist shoes should be changed every 150-200 kms. In sum, it is important to be familiar with your trainers’ useful life.
Running shoes must be the first decision you must make if you intend to begin running or, if you’re already practicing this sport, you should always keep these factors in mind, in order to know when and how to choose the best option for yourself. Always remember that understanding your own body, and educating yourself, are your best weapons. Now, put on your best running shoes and run!
Also, remember that in addition to the items required for running, you should be aware of your own physical condition. This is key in order to allow you to correctly practice your sport and improve your skills. Also, recording your habits will allow you to know yourself better as a runner, avoiding injuries and enabling you to arrive to the finish line in your race in good conditions.
Move Check Running is a platform which will provide you with an objective and specific analysis of your habits and movements, using Artificial Intelligence. You can use Move Check Running at any time, and from anywhere; all you need is a computer and an internet connection. Don’t miss this chance to improve your performance!