Created On: 15 January 2010

Your running trainers are an expensive and important purchase and you'll want to get it right.

Choosing the best trainers for you isn't as simple as picking your favourite design and colour any more. If it's your first time buying a pair of good running trainers then it will be worth getting some advice.

What size to buy

The size you think you are and the size you actually are may well be different, ask the assistant to measure your feet (both feet as they can be different).

When you run your feet will swell, a podiatrist will tell you that getting a trainer half a size bigger than your feet is usually a good idea. It's worth mentioning that the best time to try on a pair of new trainers is immediately after a run, perhaps a jog to the shops then...

When to get a new pair of trainers

We are told that trainers are good for approximately 300-500 miles dependant on the trainer and the runner. Therefore an athlete running 20 miles a week will need to replace their trainers twice a year. A pair of trainers might still look fine after six months but, if you could examine the mid sole - the part of the trainer that absorbs the impact you would see that it's time for a change (and you'll feel the difference when you put on the new trainer)

Pronation and what it means for you

Typically runners will come under one of three categories; Overpronation, Neutral or Underpronation. Depending on which you are will change which is the best shoe for you.

Most good stores will have staff that can tell you which of these categories you fall into, it will involve you walking and jogging to and away from them for a few minutes to see how your foot moves as you run. If you have a pair of old trainers bring them with you when you go shopping, shoe wear will assist the salesperson in determining your degree of pronation.

Overpronators

Overpronators will roll their feet inwards as they run, this causes the lower leg to turn inwards which puts the knee and hip out of alignment and can cause the back to be rotated. This can lead to injuries such as shin splints and achillies tendonitis.

As an overpronator you'll want a pair of motion-control shoes. Motion-control shoes are the most rigid, control-orientated running shoes. Designed to limit overpronation, motion control shoes are generally heavy but very durable

An individual who overpronates tends to wear down their running shoes on the medial (inside) side of the shoe towards the toe area.

Neutral

Neutral pronation is the most ideal, efficient type of gait. As a neutral the outside of your heel will strike the ground first and then the foot will roll inward slightly absorbing the shock more effectively allowing the foot and ankle to properly support the body.

As a neutral you will want a stability shoe. A stability shoe is blend of cushioning, pronation control features and durability.

Underpronators

Underpronators (also known as supinators) place most of their weight onto the outside of the foot and raise the arch as they run; this is the opposite of overpronation and is far rarer. Underpronation causes problems for runners as in this position the foot is less able to provide shock absorption which can lead to injuries like shin splints and ankle sprains.

An underpronator will need a highly cushioned and flexible running shoe to make up for the lack of shock absorption at your foot.

An individual who underpronates tends to wear down their running shoes on the lateral (outside) side of the shoe towards the rear of the shoe in the heel area.

Where to buy your trainers

If this is your first time buying a pair of good running trainers then take the time and go to a specialist store. The sales assistants in these stores will be far more knowledgeable than a typical high-street sports shop and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

And remember you will be spending many hours covering many miles so invest in a the right trainer not the cheapest as this will help to reduce injury and discomfort and ensure you're running is far more enjoyable.

Tags: run,advice

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