How to Choose Women’s Running Shoes
When picking shoes in general, comfort needs to be the first thing that you pay attention to. Especially when it comes to choosing women’s running shoes, there should be a very close examination and scrutiny of what to pick and why. So here we’ll talk about the basic tips and factors that every lady should take into account when choosing running shoes.
Main Types of Running Shoes
First of all you need to know that whatever you feel when trying on the shoes for the first time in the shop may have nothing to do with the feel you’ll have when walking around in them. So there are a number of factors you need to consider when picking a pair. The primary thing you need to pay attention to is the choice between road runners and trail runners. The former are designed especially for pavement walks and some packed surfaces with slight path obstacles. They are light and comfortable for such activities and are meant to stabilize your feet for those hard surfaces.
As for the trail running shoes, we may note that they are designed exclusively for the off-road routes. Details like thick and harsh outsoles fortified structure are ideal for those rocks, mud, and other types of obstacles like these. Thus, if you are to choose running shoes, you’d better start with this dilemma. Still, if you can’t find any trailing shoes you can go for the road-running ones as well.
Another type of running shoes you might want to have is the performance training type, which is meant for racing and speed training only. They are very light and they have reduced cushioning, most frequently not having breathability either.
Determining Your Foot Type
Secondly, as it always is in case of picking anything, you need to know yourself and your body well enough to be able to pick the right pieces. Knowing your feet is another important aspect while picking running shoes. And saying knowing your feet we mean knowing the exact size, and the arch shape they have. If you’re not sure about the size, you can have them measured with special tools to be able to choose the right variants. It would be awesome if you could try on a shoe to find out whether it fits well or not. However, the sizes may vary according to the manufacturer and the sex of the wearer. There might be some difference between your feet’s estimated size and the one of the shoes, still you can fix this out trying them on.
As for the arch, in order to figure that out you need to take a look at your footsteps. This is called the wet test, during which you just need to wet your feet and watch the footsteps you leave. If you have a very narrow and curved print, it means you have a high arch with the ball and the heel barely connected. If there is a medium narrowness between the sides of the curve and the ball is not that slightly connected to the heel, you have a normal arch. Otherwise, in case of having a wider footprint, flat-footed is how they call you.
Pay Attention To Your Stride
Another important factor that needs to be considered when choosing women’s running shoes is the mechanics of how you walk. Particularly it’s about the levels of the sideway motions you make while walking. According to this distinction we may talk about factors like pronation, overpronation and supination. The first is the natural roll of the foot which goes right after the heel strike. This is the normal pattern by which the neutral and biomechanically efficient runners accomplish their running activities.
The second option is characterized with the exaggeratedly inward form of the foot’s natural roll. This can also be quite dangerous for the runners, causing them knee pain and injuries. They need more control and stability, which should, of course, be achieved with the help of corresponding types of shoes.
As for the third option, here we have an outward rolling of the foot as opposed to the inward rolling if the previous type. The runners with this type of feet need extra-cushioning flexible shoes.
If you are not sure about your type and are wondering about this but don’t want to consult a specialist just for this, you may just take a look at the wear pattern of the shoes you use most frequently. If the stride is neutral, it can be noticed by the centralized shoe wear on the ball and the heel. If we deal with overpronation, it can be viewed from the wear patterns going along the inside edge of the shoe. In case of the contrary wear pattern we deal with a supination.
Basic Types of Running Shoes and Their Roles
Now that you know how to find out your exact forms of shoes you also need to know about the basic forms of shoes providing this or that type of effect. In this respect we may talk about the cushioning, stability, and motion control shoes, each of which has certain functions. In case of the first, the primary accents are on elevating the shock absorption and securing the minimal arch support. This is just the exact option for mild pronators and supinators. They may also be suitable for neutrals, who are at off-pavement runs, which can be explained by their shock absorbing function, which in case of minor irregularities may be equal to the strikes that can be experienced on hard surfaces. It’s only about 20-25 % of the runners that have a neutral gait and this is what they need to pick.
The second option is ideal for basic pronation. Using them for neutral runners or those with overpronation may also have a try. Stability running shoes are used by the majority of population, totaling to 65-70%. As for motion control shoes, they are designed ideally for overpronation, estimated to a less percentage of people.
Considering the Structure of The Running Shoes
The following aspect we would like to draw you attention to is the overall structure and the construction of the shoes you are choosing in between. So the top upper part of the shoes called uppers are the first details you need to pay attention to. It can be made of synthetic leather, which is generally made of nylon and polyester. It’s light, quick and quite durable. Another durable material is nylon and nylon mesh, which are also used for their lightness and breathability. Materials like thermoplastic urethane overlays are sometimes placed over the shoe panels to enhance stability and durability of the shoes. And the waterproof options are made of a membrane, which is bound to the interior of the linings. It combines the functions of blocking the moisture from outside, and securing the breathability from the inside.
Coming to the next level we should speak about the midsole layer of these shoes. This is the layer between the upper level and the outsole. It can be made of ethylene, which is a foam used for securing the cushioning effect, posts, which are areas of firmer details added to secure the hard sections, plates, which are thinner and more flexible to stiffen the forefoot of the shoe, shanks being the next detail stiffening the midsole and protecting the heel and the arch, and finally the thermoplastic urethane, which is a flexible plastic used in some midsoles to stabilize the movements and add some extra control.
Coming to the next components of the running shoes, we can also talk about the lasts. These are the overall shapes of the shoes and the forms around which the shoes are created and designed. Lasts can be straight, being the exact type if you are an overpronator with flat arch, curved if underpronation is the case having some rigid high lines and semi-curved if correspondingly we deal with middle or neutral pronators.
Other shoe details include the heel counters being the rigid elements and areas around the heel, created to provide the motion control. Sometimes a wedge is also added to improve the control and the cushioning. Other details include medial post or torsion bars for controlling the excessive inward and outward motions, and the outsole, which is put right where the rubber touches the ground. Rugged carbon rubber is what composes the major part of the outsoles.
Finally, coming to the laces and the general tips you may consider when picking shoes, we can add that the best time for fitting shoes is the end of the day when your feet swell a bit and are especially suitable for fitting. In case of having and wearing orthotics you need to have them at hand when trying on too. The types of lacing can also matter for your choices. Thus, you need to pick the ones that correspond to your feet’s specification, depending on whether you have any toe problems, heel slipping, or high arches.
So here were the basic things you need to know when picking running shoes and taking them all into account you’ll be able to enjoy their benefits and great pluses.
Photo courtesy of francescassandra.blogspot.com