Choosing a pair of formals and a pair of running shoes are two different things…Simply because the running shoes are made for a different purpose. They may be showy but they are not meant for parties. They may be stylish but they are not meant for cutting a style. They are designed for runners, not for walkers and strutters. They are designed to speed up a runner to cover longer distances in a shorter time…comfortably.

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You must know well that if you try to run with a pair of formal shoes on, you are sure to either hurt your feet or your shoes. Running requires that your feet fit comfortably inside your shoes and when you set off in modest pace or quick strides, your shoes must comply with the movement of your feet. For this, both resilience and strength are required. If you are not comfortable with it, you just cannot run.

This buying guide for running shoes will prove very helpful to you in choosing the right fit for your feet. Whether you visit any showroom of footwear or one of the many online e-commerce stores for the purpose, this guide will prove extremely helpful to you.

Best Running Shoes For Men

It is a fallacy to think that if you buy something from a showroom, you are sure not to make any mistake regarding selection of the right pair of shoes. Of course, it may reduce the chance of making a mistake because you get the opportunity to try them on the spot. Nevertheless there is still room for making a mistake.

On the other hand, if you think of doing online shopping, the chance of making a mistake in buying the right pair becomes greater. That is the reason why most retailers offer trial period within which you may return your shoes. However, you are advised to make sure about the return policy.

Best Running Shoes For Men



Best Running Shoes – Things You Must Know

Not to talk about people who care for style, most do not pay much attention to their shoes before buying them. All they care for is the right size and elegant looks.

The reason behind their negligence is that they think that after all shoes are to be worn on their feet, and feet don’t attract people’s attention much, simply because they are to be worn on feet.

In a way they are right. People always start watching you from your face down. And so far as nothing goes wrong with your face and your physique, their gaze will continue to stick to these details. But the same principle does not apply to running shoes.

There are certain technical aspects of this type that need to be taken into account before making a purchase. Even slight difference in these aspects may rein in both your pace and performance, and finish your race before the finishing line. Simply because of the discomfort they cause you. We shall discuss them in some detail here.

Shoe Vamp & Toe Cap

Best Running Shoes

These make up the upper part of the shoes. They are made from diverse materials which are stitched together. These include tough, hard-wearing, quality textile, leather, mesh, etc. The reason for using specific material for specific part of the shoes has not only to do with aesthetics but also with comfort for the wearer and durability of the product.

On some of its parts the logos and designs are either printed or knitted. Many brands choose high-quality leather bearing 3D printed logos for their shoes.

What you need to look out for, here, is the upper part of the shoes that perfectly matches the size and shape of your feet. As it is, different shoes have differently styled upper part. Very often it so happens that the seams of certain parts which are introduced purely for enhancing the looks of the shoes rub against the skin of your feet from inside and after wearing for some time, it starts hurting you.

That is the reason why you need to feel with your hand the inside of the vamp of your shoes. Reputed brands take particular care about giving proper finish to these parts from inside so that they won’t bite your feet which they are meant to secure.

As for the toe cap, there is yet more to be said about it. This part is made from rubber and plays two-fold roles: one is to protect your toes in case you dash your feet against something, and another is to hold the fabric of the shoes. What you need to look out for in toecaps is how comfortably they house your toes. If there is any problem with toecaps, your toes will get bent inside and before long your movement will be inordinately hampered, causing pain.

Ankle Collar

This is the part that may hurt your ankles. As a runner, you know quite well that when you run, mostly the body weight is put on toes and the soft part of the feet that comes immediately after the toes and before the instep arch. Your heels don’t touch the ground.

So, the collar of ankles of the shoes and the inner side of the upper shoes constantly rub against your ankles, the back of the heel, and the bridge of your feet. It not only chafes these parts but also damage Achilles tendon.

That is the reason why these places must be lined properly with soft materials or be designed in such a way that it would minimize this friction and prevent the resultant damage.

Some ankle collars are raised at the back. The big disadvantage of it is that the raised part may press again and again against Achilles tendon and cumber your movement. It would not only cumber the movement of your feet but also strain the side of the bridge of your feet, causing pain in that region.

Therefore, you look out for nicely cushioned ankle collars that you can easily slip your feet into. And, of course, it must not be designed in such a way as to hurt your Achilles tendon.

Heel Counter

Climbing Stairs

The thing that you need to look out for in this part of a shoe is that it is curved in such a way that it keeps your heels in position and at the same time allow for free movement of your feet. When this part suits your feet, your footfalls will be perfectly balanced.

Saddle

It is the part of the shoes that supports the insteps of your feet. The term ‘saddle’ perfectly suits it. And if we continue to develop the horse-riding imagery further for the sake of convenience, the laces of your shoes can well be compared to reins. Together with the laces, the saddle perfectly secures your feet in place.

The saddle is made from quality leather and lies on the outsole of a shoe. It is smooth and supple. But even more important than being smooth and supple, the saddle must have the kind of curvature that best fits the insteps of your feet.

Shoe Tongue

This part of the shoe is joined to the upper part of the shoe from inside, and is there to protect the laces from scraping the upper part of your feet. In some shoes it is just an extension of the upper part of the shoe.

Here, what you need to look out for is that the material used in making it is not rough. If it is padded properly, it would contribute to comfort.

In some shoes, the tongue is stitched to the side of the shoes so that it would not fold inward while slipping the feet inside the shoes. At times when you are in a hurry, this problem may look bigger than it normally is; because you have to take out your foot again, pull out the tongue and wear it again.

Outsole

This is the most durable part in running shoes. Even if the upper part, insole and linings inside the shoes get worn out, outsole will remain almost in the same shape in which you found them at the time of buying them.

It is made from carbon rubber or blown rubber or foam compounds like ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and polyurethane. These materials make it quite flexible so that it not only gives traction to the shoe but also enables it to bounce back when the pressure is taken off it. It does help considerably in gaining momentum while running.

Flex Grooves and Toe Spring

These have the responsibility to lend to the shoes the same flexibility that your feet have while running. To make it plain, these enable shoes to bend exactly at the place where the sole of your feet bends.

In order to achieve such a result many brands design the outsole of shoes in such a way that its front end looks like your tongue when you try to lick your nose with it. One of the ways in which brands achieve this result is by removing the midsole and reducing the foxing. This design enables the toes and the ball of the feet to press against the toe spring and achieve better traction as a result. Interestingly, it doesn’t compromise the comfort level of a runner.

Important thing to look out for here is that you try out differently styled flex grooves and toe spring. This trick pays off only if the shoes fit perfectly on your feet. Fitting them with laces may not help. On the contrary, it may hurt your feet.

Midsole

You find it between the front of the outsole and the heels. Its flexibility considerably takes away the force of the impact that is generated when a runner lands his feet on the ground. Some manufacturers use foam in it. It will avail you to look out for the term EVA here.

Heel Cushioning

running shoe Close Up

More often than not this part of the shoes is raised above the rest of the insole. It is soft but not cushioned. For that matter no part of the insole is cushioned. If this part is cushioned, it will rather hamper running instead of help it. It would make them feel like moon walk in fast motion.

The reason is that it would loosen the grip of the soles of the feet on the insoles of the shoes. Any advantage that is gained from the surface of the outsole that is designed for increasing traction will be lost by such unscientific cushioning of the heel from inside.

Having said that, it must be added that the back of the heel does need appropriate cushioning. This is because when you run, this cushion at the back of your heels will constantly receive a kind of massaging that would lessen the strain on your Achilles tendon.

The material used for the purpose may vary from product to product. In some shoes the area of the insole where the lateral arch may rest is cushioned. This is to lessen the shock in that region. Because it is rounded more than other parts, that is the only part of the instep arch that is involved in sharing the strain that your feet take while running.

This, surely, doesn’t mean that other parts are not involved in running! They are involved but in different ways, not in absorbing the shock that footfall generates.

By the way, the reason for more rounded lateral arch is to be found in the tendency of human body to develop more in parts which are exercised more. But this bit of information would be useless if it were not to explain why cushioning is provided in that part of the sole in a shoe. It not only works as a crash pad but also lends stability and increases grip on the ground.

Heel to Toe Drop

This is simply the extent to which the heels slope down toward the ball of your feet. If you notice, you hardly find any running shoes that have the degree of heel to toe drop that is very prominent. Take any offering of any reputed brand, and you will notice that the running shoes don’t have the extent of drop that we find in any party wear. Simply because if the heel to toe drop is a big one, it would cause your heel to touch the ground first and send the shock straight to your knees. This may cause serious injury to your knees.

Help for Perfect Balance

There are many technical aspects that go in to lend perfect balance to the shoe design. And all these have to do with padding, securing and supporting the different parts of the feet while running.

For instance, there is the insole of the shoes. It is most carefully designed in order to support the instep arch of the feet. Suppose if this part is padded more, what would happen? Well, by experience you know that it make you utterly lose the grip on the ground that is achieved through the forefoot.

On the contrary, if the forefoot part is padded more, then it would utterly stress out the peroneus and tibialis anterior muscles, and give you cramps. One reason why varus wedges are used in a shoe design is to be found in this. These are introduced to give comfort to your legs and, at the same time, contribute to stability.

As a runner, you need stability, not correction. Human anatomy shows variation from person to person. Therefore, if an attempt is made toward correcting your stride, it may bring you more harm than help.

Shoes for Women

Best Running Shoes for Women

The basic principles for buying running shoes for women remain the same. Whatever differences are to be found are to be found in the appearance of the shoes which may do justice with the concept of woman.

When we talk about the basic principles, these include the feeling of comfort it gives when you wear them and boosting performance. These requirements are fulfilled through proper padding and exact fit.

But, the problem is that the movement of the feet varies from person to person and it puts particular demands on different parts of the shoes and their respective designs. Some women may tend to pronate less whereas some may pronate more. Those who do pronate more are bound to find those shoes comfortable that are padded more to support the instep of their soles. But, for those that do not pronate more, neutral running shoes are the right choice.

But, as stated right in the beginning, the most articulate aspects of women’s running shoes are found in their size and appearance. Just take a cursory look at differently styled women’s shoes and you won’t fail to notice how colorful they are. Faint pink, purple, yellow, grey, white….You won’t find any dark hue in them.

While the soles of their shoes are made from materials like EVA and rubber, the upper part may consist of mesh, textile, rubber and synthetic materials.

Best Running Shoes For Women




A Word of Warning

  • The markets are literally flooded with both traditional and trendy designs. You need to care about it that you don’t strive after the looks alone. And this instruction is as true for women as for men. All that glitters is not gold. So don’t charge for it before checking out the materials used in their design and the level of comfort they offer. And if you buy them online, before closing the deal it is good you thoroughly look at the product descriptions, images, customer reviews, etc. Choose something that covers not only longer distance but also longer time.
  • Don’t hesitate in visiting several stores to find out something that is not only different from others but also stands the test of quality. Many are shy to do this but, after all, you are the person who is to wear it and spend for it. So better pay attention to the looks of things instead of expressions on the faces of salesmen and salesgirls. It is really good you go for online shopping; because you have greater variety and all the sizes available there. Moreover, you can also compare prices across different brand categories and across online stores. There are many e-commerce portals out there and most of them are good. Sometimes the same products are sold at different prices on different portals.
  • And, if you are buying online, then better be concerned about the sizes available in the size chart and measure the size of your feet. Also take into consideration the shape of your feet and match it with the different designs that are available. If you have broad front feet and choose a pair of shoes that is narrow in that region, then you will have to go through the bother of returning it and buying something else again. Wasting time that way could be quite bothersome.
  • Online markets are full of marketing tricks to lure more and more customers to their site – tricks like Deal of the Day and heavy discounts. Why not take advantage from them? It is and is not surprising if you find a quality and costly product selling at a whopping 50% or even greater rate of discount. This facility is certainly not available to you in showrooms.

Conclusion

Finally, we don’t have slightest doubt about it that our buying guide is quite exhaustive in treating the subject of running shoes. We have so thoroughly described each and every detail of running shoes that, if you pay close attention to what we have to say about them, there remains but little chance of your making error in choosing the right shoes for you. You may err only if you are not fully aware of what exactly do you need! Yes! It is very much possible. Very often people don’t exactly know what they really want. That shows how little they care for themselves. Please love yourself enough to care for these things enough.

So, the point is…

READY GET SET GO…

YOU’RE READY TO WIN…AS A CONSUMER, YOU MUST

Rewa Bhadwal

Last update on 2022-08-07 / Images from Amazon