For you to go for a run, you don’t need much as far as equipments are concerned. All you need is a pair of appropriate running shoes, a pair of shorts as well as a shirt and you’ll be good to go.
I have been in this field for many years and people always ask me questions about what type of shoes they should go for and why if not how to find them. I believe you too would wish to know the most common questions they ask. Here they are.
- Why is it that runners always buy specific shoes for running?
A runner would go for running shoes if his or her intention were to use it while running because just like other shoes that are made to suit various sports, running shoes are specifically designed for running. When runners are out there to purchase a pair of running shoes, they would base their choice on the functionality in that the shoes must be made in such a way that it provides support as well as comfort in order to maximize performance. Furthermore, runners don’t just buy a pair of running shoes but the type of running that the shoes are intended for also guides the choice. For that reason, there are different types of running shoes and each is designed for a particular type of running. Just like runners, if you want to purchase a pair of shoes for cycling, its predictable that you won’t go for any other shoes but the ones that are designed to suit your cycling needs. For example, a cyclist will look for shoes fitted with a rigid bottom to ensure efficient transfer of energy from the foot to the pedal.
- Why can’t runners wear their running shoes all the time?
They don’t run all the time don’t they? That answers that question. Just like sleeping is different from dancing, running is also not the same as walking and therefore it’s logical that what you use in one area might not be fit to use in another area. In the same way, when shoes are designed for running, no one would be comfortable walking in them because they only satisfy the running needs but not walking needs. If you wear your running shoes when you’re walking or when you wear your walking shoes when you’re running, you won’t only feel uncomfortable, but you’ll also reducing the lifespan of the shoes in question.
- What makes walking and running different from each other?
When you walk, your feet push your body to the side and the process continues so that you sway back and forth, as you move. In simple terms, walking is a technique of controlled falling because the center of gravity is shifted above the leg that is supposed to hold your body next. While you’re walking, a slow roll onto the toes causes the movement of your foot.
When you’re running, your center of gravity is always kept at the center of your body as your legs move back and forth below your main body. You actually use less energy than when you’re walking especially when your feet are in the air but there is an increase in the impact when your feet hit the ground. Unlike walking, running causes pronation … a result of the foot striking the ground on the exterior of the heel and followed by rolling towards the inside of the foot.
- What is the most critical thing when choosing running shoes?
In the olden days, running shoes were made of leather but the shoemakers later started to incorporate the rubber at the time when sneakers’ popularity started to grow. However, the rubber seemed to be too soft that such shoes could no longer sustain the runners because they were worn out very fast.
In 1930s, the founder of Adidas – Adi Dassler – made the first lightweight running shoes, which also became very popular with athletes. However, in 1960s, New Balance started making running shoes fitted with a rubber wedge between the shoe sole and the upper point in order to raise the heel. After sometimes, Bowerman started to make running shoes fitted with a midsole inside to provide extra cushioning.
Furthermore, a midsole was also meant to protect runners from feeling the sharp and hard objects that they always step on while running. Again, the midsole as well provide a rebound for the foot and in that way, making the next step becomes easier. Shoe making companies design different types of running shoes to cater for runners of different sizes and gaits. So, when choosing the running shoes, the choice should be based on the shoes’ functionality. The good news is that shoe technology has evolved in its own way and can now cater for all the runners.
- What are the components of midsoles?
Midsoles are mostly made of either polyurethane, EVA or a combination of both. For EVA, it makes a great midsole because it’s a good material for cushioning not only because it’s flexible, but also because it’s very light. However, it easily loses its rebound as well as resilience, which is one of the major reasons why it’s advisable that you rotate your running shoes between the runs.
Polyurethane on the other hand is not only strong but long lasting too. The only problem with it is that it’s very heavy and doesn’t have as much rebound as EVA. Most shoe companies make running shoes by combining both EVA and polyurethane to ensure that the shoe lasts longer and provides enough comfort.
- How long can running shoes stay on the shelf?
Well, if running shoes are stored correctly without exposing them to extreme temperatures, then you can just purchase the last year’s model and it will serve you well. If you asked me, I would not recommend buying shoes that have stayed on the shelf for over a year because the midsole would not be intact. If you dint know, midsoles continue to harden as well as break down with time even when they’re stored. You can still use shoes that are 5 years old but it’s only that they’ll wear out faster than usual.