Shoes that will go the distance

24 November 2021

These days I live in pajama sets and house slippers. In the very rare instances I go out of the house, that's when I get to wear the pretty shoes I have been buying sporadically over the past few months. I guess I'd show photos here for posterity, for the sake of posting Outfits of the Day like the good ol' days.

Polka dot dress and purple boots for Clozette's annual review and planning

Purple dress and Melissa x Viktor and Rolf when we got J's new phone

Peach and teal for my passport renewal appointment

What I severely need right now are exercise and running shoes. I have my roller skates, yes, but I need running shoes for when I [attempt to] work out. Experienced runners and beginners alike will vouch for the fact that a decent pair of shoes can make all the difference when you start running. The incorrect shoes are likely to not only influence your running performance negatively but will also put you at risk of injury. Investing in a pair of shoes that are designed to accommodate your specific running needs is a move you will never regret, and yes - the extra money IS worth it. The right cushioning and enough support will protect your feet for many runs to come - after all, injury avoidance is the one thing that you can rely on to keep you on the road for longer, so why not start with your shoes? Here are some tips!

Do your research before buying

Visit any of the Asics stores in Australia, and you will be amazed at the technology that goes into running shoes. Whether your preference is for long-distance running, midway distances or even sprinting, the consideration that goes into the design of each type of shoe is jaw-dropping. The more you know about your feet, how they are constructed and how they move, the better results you can expect from the shoes you end up with.

Understanding gait

Having your gait analyzed is one of the best gifts you can give yourself as a runner. Yet again, Asics stores in AU will come to the rescue with their skill and expertise - simply ask them to help you get a better understanding of your gait, and they will help guide you to the solution. Knowing what your pronation style is can go a very long way in the decision-making process. This is because pronation refers to how your foot moves from side to side when it is in motion, and knowing this is the secret to knowing what shoes you need.

As for the ideal fit, it turns out that grandma’s advice still holds - the width of a thumb in front of your big toe is the recommended amount of space allowance in running shoes. The reason for this is that your feet swell when you are in motion while running, and this natural expansion calls for some space allowance. Of course, it goes without saying that with running shoes, how they feel is more important than what they look like.

Knowing the difference between ride and weight

Ride refers to how the shoes are built, and how it accordingly feels on the feet of the wearer. Remember that the ride, your gait, and the terrain you like to run on all affect your overall running experience. When it comes to the weight of a running shoe, however, a lightweight shoe will give you a good speed performance, but if you need a shoe with more support, rather sacrifice the lightweight feeling for something slightly heavier, and which will give you the support you need.

The general rule is that lighter shoes are better for speed, while heavier shoes tend to be so due to extra built-in features, such as extra support or stability. Regardless of what construction type you need, you should bear in mind that comfort and a secure fit are vital, no matter what shoe you choose. Any discomfort on a running shoe can be amplified into a major annoyance or even an injury in a very short time.

In addition to providing a stable substrate, the upper of whichever shoes you pick should also provide stability, flexibility, breathability, and structure to the overall motion. The choice of materials for each component will also make a difference. However, the materials used in the construction of the shoe should never hamper your ability to move, so make your choice wisely!

Why the right shoes matter

At the end of the day, your shoes should be supportive of your running, and not put you off from the activity. The chemistry between a runner and the right running shoes is unbeatable, and with the right pair in hand, you can look forward to many years of passionate pursuit of this healthy and rather addictive hobby! Put in the time you need to do your homework, and take advantage of a great pair of well-considered shoes.  

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