By Michelle Hubbard. Michelle is a keen runner and writes for Sims Sports.
We are a nation of running lovers. In 2016, statistics by Roy Morgan Research showed that almost 25% of Australians aged over 14 went jogging(an increase of 66% on ten years previous).
It seems we’ve all woken up to the fact that to run, all you need to do is get up and go. Straight from the convenience of your front door, you can enjoy the benefits of regular running.
As well as keeping you fit and healthy, running also strengthens your knees, joints and bones, helps to keep you in shape and lose weight, can help slow down the ageing process (particularly in your outlook and mental sharpness) and even make you smile. All of this and the only equipment you need is a pair of decent running shoes.
Running shoes are specially designed to absorb the impact and cushion feet. Technological advances in shoe design mean that running shoes reduce the risk of any pain (and we’re not just talking blisters) and damage to your body. Wearing poorly constructed runners can lead to short and long-term problems for your feet (hammer toes), muscular pain including strains, sprains and tears and spinal damage.
When it comes to choosing the perfect pair of running shoes, you need to focus on your feet. As unique as your personality, your feet might have high arches, be flat or, turn out (overpronate) as you run.
A runner with high arches
If you have high arches, you’ll need a pair of running shoes that give neutral foot support to stop your feet rolling and allow for even distribution of weight. ASICS and Brooksare two of the biggest running shoe producers and are popular choices with runners of all abilities.
ASICS designed their Nimbus and Cumulus styles with high arches in mind. Both styles come with super comfy gel cushioning to provide support for your feet. Likewise, Brooks’ Glycerin runners are specifically for those with high arches. The DNA midsole absorbs on impact but still manages to give a boosting spring on push-off.
A runner with flat feet
If you have flat feet, you need to find a shoe that offers stabilising capabilities. Although flat feet are not a health issue, the problems caused by being flat-footed are. Flat feet when running can lead to ankle, knee and postural problems because a runner’s alignment gets thrown out.
ASICS GT-2000 and GT-1000 shoes are both designed to address stabilising issues with cushioning in just the right places. Brooks also has two styles that are suitable for flat feet: their Beast and Addiction shoes feature extra cushioning for comfort and control, with the latter proving the perfect shoe for flat footers who also over-pronate.
A runner who overpronates
Unsure if you overpronate? Look at the soles of your shoes. You will see wear on the inside of your shoes if your feet turn inwards. Overpronation is a common complaint for runners with flat feet, knock knees or poor posture.
Fortunately, choosing running shoes that are designed to counter overpronation will allow you to run comfortably. For example, the guidance midsole technology of ASICS GT-2000 compensates any inward rolling, while allowing feet to flex and bounce. Made from Speva, the GT-2000 also offer excellent support for a runner’s feet. Alternatively, the less expensive GT-1000 support overpronators and are a fantastic choice for the less frequent runner. Long distance runners who overpronate might also consider ASICS’ DS Trainer, loved for being a magical combination of lightweight and durable.
Meanwhile, Brooks’ Adrenaline runners come with a cutting-edge diagonal roll-bar that gently guides the foot back to a more natural position on impact. These also give plenty of support and stability for long-distancers.
A runner with previous injuries
If you suffer from soreness, pain or have a previous injury, you’ll need a pair of running shoes that come with extra cushioning. These extra layers can make all the difference to your comfort and prevent further injury. If you are in any doubt about your health or whether running is the right type of exercise for you, we suggest you visit your GP.
If you get the go ahead and you’re ok to run, ASICS Cumulus and Nimbus are suitably cushioned and ideal for runners with existing injuries or who are prone to complaints. Alternatively, Brooks Transcend has 25% more cushioning than the rest of its running range to provide support where you need it the most.
Which make of running shoes is best for me?
It comes down to your personal choice, colour preference, other activities that you participate in and, your budget. Both ASICS and Brooks make running shoes for runners from beginners through to Marathon runners, so you can be sure that they know what they’re doing.
Now, all you need to do is assess what type of shoe you need and choose a pair that will fit like a glove (and look great too)!