No one’s feet or running technique is similar to the other, and that knowledge should also apply to the choice of shoes.
In social media and especially in different types of running groups, it is quite often that we see this same question that runners ask other runners.
“Which type of shoes should I choose for this particular terrain?”.
Well, the answer is not always that easy. From our point of view, it’s not enough to know the type of terrain or surface, other runners’ choice, your level and your weight.
The shoe industry is huge, and there is far too much self-interest involved when it comes to marketing and promoting your own brand. The shoes are usually marketed via influencers (other runners), and probably these guys are not too seldom also the trend setters in the industry. For example). ”Cushioned or not cushioned”, “Barefoot shoes or not barefoot shoes”.
If you for example have been running in cushioned shoes with extra support all your life, and then suddenly starts to run 6 times a week in a pair of barefoot shoes, because a professional runner influenced you to do so. What do you think will happen?
Well, probably you would get all kinds of problems and/or injuries. But that is of course also individual.
Here are some simple advices in the process of choosing the right shoe…
Know your feet
The first step to make a good decision is to know your feet. Do you know your feet? What is the shape (wide, narrow, etc.)? How is your ankle stability? How is your footstep? Do you prone? Shoes must be adequate for you, so that they don´t produce any tensions that could develop into muscular problems as the run progresses.
And remember. With increased age, weight gain, pregnancy or many hours of pressure, your feet can also change over time.
The second step is to select shoes which are functional for your running technique. Do you practise your running technique? This is really important. Are your feet strong enough, and do they have an adequate ankle movement to be able to run with low drop shoes without suffering too much on your achilleas tendon and backside of the leg muscles?
Environment, surface and weather
Where are you going to run? In which environment? Street, Trail, Mountains, Mud or Ice. It is of course important to have different shoes for different purposes and terrain.
How can I get help?
Have someone professional to help you with a running technique analyse and a foot analyse. It could also be a good idea to videocam your running step, trying different types of shoes, and thereafter choosing the right shoe.
If you have problems with your feet (like pronation), it’s for example possible to get a pair with extra support or a custom-made sole made for your unique feet. But that is only a short-term solution. You also have to work on the weaknesses in your feet and make them stronger and more mobile.
A personal insight from me (Katinka) from my custom-made soles is that they as a bonus effect were very good when doing downhill running, preventing blue toes and blisters. :-).
Anyway. No shoes are better than others and we simply have to look for the ones that are the best suited to our unique anatomy and functional way of running.
/SkyRunner, Katinka & Fernando
Research by Fernando Armisén Entrador, Head of Personal Training, SkyRunner, specialised in Skyrunning and Trail.