Posts Tagged ‘shoes’

run shoes
Every runner needs to have the perfect running shoe that fits well and works well for them. Specific footwear characteristics should match the individual needs of a runner. Also, each training type – endurance, strength, or speed – that runners undergo have different demands on their bodies and also their running shoes. Thus, it is important to know which kind of running shoes match your specific goals and individual needs.

With the wide developments in running technology today, it can sometimes be confusing and even intimidating when choosing your new pair inside a running shoes store. How will you choose what’s best for you and your training when there are different categories, shoe types and shapes within the standard Neutral, Stability, and Motion Control?

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The design and technology of shoes varies depending on the brand and type of shoes. As a general guide for running shoe categories, here are brief definitions for the 3 major categories of running shoes and some tips when buying your new pair:

NEUTRAL
The shoes under the neutral category are usually designed with a flexible forefoot and soft but firm midsole. These are the best types of shoes when you tend to land on the outside of your foot. You can determine where your foot lands by checking the soles of your old shoes – if the outside of the sole is worn out, then you tend to land more on the outside of your shoes. This may also be the running shoes for people with a high foot arc. Check if the arc of the shoes you’re planning to buy has enough support or rigid especially if you have a high foot arc. These kinds of shoes support the arc of your foot more than your ankle or your knees. You can observe that this type of running shoe often has a curved sole.

When buying a shoe, observe the arc and check the heels.

When buying a shoe, observe the arc and check the heels.

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STABILITY
Running shoes that are under the stability category are designed to control your feet from turning outwards when you run, balances your heel, and supports the arcs of your feet. These types of running shoes provide extra cushioning and excellent stability for your feet when you run. These shoes are for runners who lands on the outside of their heels and slightly turns their foot inward (pronates) when running. The arc of these shoes are not as rigid and may have varying degrees of support.

MOTION CONTROL
The soles of running shoes under the motion control category are usually straight or flat. Some designs have slightly curved soles but the main goal of these running shoes is to keep the heel secure and minimize the rate of pronation when you run. These shoes usually have a wider landing base for your heels, and a strong, rigid heel counter. These running shoes are good for runners who have flat feet or low arches. Runners who tend pronate their feet and have unstable knees when running can benefit more from these types of running shoes. Check the soles of your old shoes – if they are worn out on the midsole, then this running shoe category is for you.

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How to choose running shoes? Here are some tips when buying your running shoes:
1. Walk and Run in the store. Spend time with the pair of shoes before buying it. I know lots of people who buys specific kind of shoes just because they discovered that some great runner used it to finish first place in a race. You have different needs and what works for others may not work well with you. Test out the running shoes in the store. Don’t be afraid to take a few steps on them and even run a couple of meters if possible. Some good running stores even have treadmills for you to run on!

2. Don’t throw your old pair – yet. Bring your old pair of running shoes to the store where you’re going to buy your new shoes. If the place where you are shopping for a new running shoes is specifically a running shoe store, they may have staff who knows about shoes and can analyze the wear pattern of your old shoes. Because you will want to try on walking and running on your new shoes, bring your socks with you and any orthotics if you have one. If the running store have equipment for foot analysis, do not hesitate to have your gait analyzed even if you already know your foot arc or foot type. Let the staff know your running history, goals, injuries and what type of training you usually do.

3. Know your soft spots. One of the main reasons why we need to wear shoes is comfort. Your feet should be comfortable enough while you walk or run in your new running shoes. Pressure spots or loose fitting shoes often leads to blisters.

stock-footage-closeup-of-woman-tying-running-shoe-at-beach4. Perfect Fit for your Feet. If your running shoes are too loose and your feet slides inside your shoes, you will lose energy on every push off that your feet makes when you run. It is okay to adjust and re-adjust the laces of the running shoes while inside a store. Tie your laces so that you have a feeling of security without discomfort.

5. Running shoes are special. Running shoes are designed specifically for forward motion (i.e., running forward), heel cushioning and arc support. If you have time to observe the soles of different types of shoes, you can see that running shoes have horizontal line patterns on their sole. If you plan on using running shoes for other sports or physical activity, you will wear your running shoes out faster and you may even risk yourself injury. Cross-training shoes are designed for more lateral support (moving sideways, etc.) and toe flexibility. Buying a different pair of shoes like a cross-trainer for other activities is a good investment because your running shoes will last longer and you will reduce risk of injury.

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When to buy your running shoes
You may ask yourself, “When do I need to buy a new pair of running shoes?” Usually, the top part or the body of your running shoes looks like they are still in great shape but the cushioning and motion control may have already been lost. Check the soles of your shoes if they are worn out too much. It is helpful to mark the date that you bought your running shoes. If you keep a record of your runs, compare it with the date that you bought your running shoes. When you reach around 800 kilometers or 500 miles, you may need to buy a new pair.
Getting a new pair of running shoes is an investment since your feet are the only parts of your body that touches another surface and absorbs all the impact when you run. Your legs and feet are your main engine for running so you need the excellent tools for support, stability, and comfort for them all the time. One of the keys to reducing risk of injury is to replace your shoes once they break down or wear out.

Choose the GPS watch that fits you. Read an overview of Garmin watches here.

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After 2 months and 10 days of migrating to the land affected by the recent Polar Vortex I was finally able to run! Coming from a tropical country, I see snow only from the movies before. Snow seemed to be just as pure as it is white – silent, gentle, and calming. No one ever told me about the wind chill that comes with it or the slippery black ice. A week after I arrived, there was a snowstorm that affected most parts of Toronto. Another week after that, an ice storm came that caused massive blackouts which lasted for weeks. What a welcome for me!

Today was different. For the past weeks the temperature has always been 2-digits below freezing, but for the next five days starting today, it will finally go up above zero! According to weather forecasts, it will snow for the next two days – snow during positive temperature is not good, so I decided to finally face the cold and try out running.

It's better to look up to the skies and see how it's a nice day to run, than look down at the snow on the ground!

It’s better to look up to the skies and see how it’s a nice day to run, than look down at the snow on the ground!

It wasn’t my best run but I learned that running in the cold (i.e., way below tropical temperatures) is not as difficult as long as you are warmly but comfortably clothed.

Here are some tips on running out in the cold:

  • Make sure you are clothed properly.
First, wear something that keeps your sweat from your skin (nylon/drifit) while keeping you warm. I wore arm warmers as well.

First, wear something that keeps your sweat from your skin (nylon/drifit) while keeping you warm. I wore arm warmers as well.

Wear a comfortable but sufficiently warm sweater.

Your second layer should be a comfortable but sufficiently warm sweater.

Lastly, wear  a warm light weight jacket to make sure you won't freeze after a few laps!

Lastly, wear a warm light weight jacket to make sure you won’t freeze after a few laps!

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Wear additional accessories such as gloves and ear muffs to keep other parts of your body from frostbite.

Wear additional accessories such as gloves and ear muffs to keep other parts of your body from frostbite.

You definitely would like to keep yourself warm by wearing appropriate clothing, but try not to wear too much that it hinders movement.

  • Wear appropriate shoes. Slipping and sliding on the ice while you run is a big concern. However, you wouldn’t want to run using your boots! Make sure that you’re wearing appropriate running shoes. Good news for me that my Asics did well today, I didn’t slip!

  • Try to map out your route . Run on familiar places where you know the roads are properly shoveled and maintained. You can wear snow spikes for your shoes as well if you can’t stay away from icy roads.

    It seems like it was already plowed, but there's still lots of ice and salt on this sidewalk.

    It seems like it was already plowed, but there’s still lots of  snow, ice and salt on this sidewalk.

My shoes and feet loved this clean roundabout!

My shoes and feet loved this clean roundabout!

Deep snow hides the pavement.

Deep snow hides the pavement.

Be careful of slush or ice.

Be careful of slush or ice.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for falling snow or even icicles. Also, remember that some branches could easily fall because of the additional weight of the snow they have been carrying.
Big icicles!

Big icicles!

A large branch had already fallen off.

A large branch had already fallen off.

  • Last and most important of all, stay away from Spider Squirrels (or any wild animals)!

Running in the cold is not as difficult as long as you are careful enough and you are sufficiently warm when you run. Always avoid ice and stay aware of your environment. Warm up properly before you run. Another important thing is to remember to keep yourself hydrated! Even in the snow, a cold drink is still better absorbed by the body for hydration. But for now, I prefer a hot drink after my first snow run.

Hot coffee for my "recovery drink." Don't do this at home! :p

Hot coffee for my “recovery drink.” Don’t do this at home! :p

Keep warm and enjoy your run!

 

 

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