Gear & Equipment Running Shoes

Running Shoes

Running shoes can be broken down into essentially three categories, Motion Control, Stability and Cushion.  All of the major shoes companies including Asics, Brooks, Saucony, Mizuno and New Balance produce shoe(s) that fall within these categories in order to better compete with one another.  In principal all companies make good running shoes.

However, some just do it better.

Cushion running shoes are also referred to as Neutral running shoes. The concept of this shoe is to provide neutral support for a runner with higher arches.  This is important because typically runners with high arches under-pronate or supinate while running.  If an under-pronator was to wear a stability or motion control shoe they would be further prevented from pronating thus predisposing them to injury.  Pronation is a natural movement of the foot during running and preventing pronation can be just as harmful as over-pronation.

Stability shoes are also referred to as medium support in reference to the fact that the type of runner that needs this shoe requires some level of arch support.  Stability shoes provide some resistance to pronation for runners that pronate minimally to mildly.  Providing runners with some arch support to resist excessive or overpronation is thought to help prevent injuries associated with overpronation such as Iliotibial Band Syndrome or Shin Splints.  Overpronation is usually seen in runners with medium to lower arches.  If an overpronator was to wear a Neutral or Cushion shoe they may overpronated and be predisposed to injury.

Motion Control shoes are also called Maximum Support.  The purpose of Motion Control or Maximum Support is that runners who overpronated excessively or hyper-pronate need as much support and resistance to pronation from the shoe.  This type of runner usually has low to flat arches.  This type of runner often is also wearing a customized arch support or insert to control their rate and speed of pronation.  The combination of the customized arch support or orthotic and the Motion Control shoe can together over-correct a runner causing them to under-pronate and predispose them to injury.  Remember that a certain amount of pronation is a normal part of walking and running and if you restrict any pronation you will most likely get injured.

Selecting the proper running shoe is the most important part of becoming a long distance runner.  Wearing improper shoes for you foot type and amount that you pronate may predispose you to injury.  Once a shoe is found that is comfortable it should not be changed unless the design is changed causing the shoe to be uncomfortable.  Shoes should also be replaced between 300-500 miles or every 4-6 months for most recreational runners due to wearing and decreased resiliency of the EVA rubber the shoe is made with.  It is common practice for runners to purchase 2 of the same shoes and rotate them so as not to wear the exact same pair on consecutive days.  This ensures maximum decompression and rebound of the shoe previously worn.  To purchase your new running shoes go to http://www.sdri.net/store now!

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