Suitable footwear is crucial for runners: to prevent injury, protect your posture and maximise comfort – basically to help you clock up those miles without doing yourself more harm than good along the way. And there’s a bit more to it than just picking a pair of trainers in your size.
Whether you’re running roads or trails, the shape of your foot and your running gait are all factors that need to be considered, as Deep Heat ambassador Toby Garbett – the former Olympic and two-time World Champion rower who has now swapped oars for triathlons and personal training – explains.
These are some key points to consider when choosing the right running shoes for you…
1. Look at your old trainers and check for wear.
Noting which bits of the soles have worn down most can be a useful indicator of your pronation; whether your foot touches down with the weight neutrally spread, or mostly on the inside or outside edge of your foot, which can determine the right shoe for you. Lots of running shops offer a gait analysis service.
2. Get the right tread for the right weather.
If you’re running in wet conditions, good grip will be a priority. A bit like car tyres!
3. Make sure the shoe offers enough stability.
The shape of your foot, as well as your gait, will play a big part here – a good snug fit will help avoid sprains, imbalances in weight distribution and blisters.
4. Consider the ankle stability too.
Decent support around the ankle is also important for avoiding wear and tear injuries and sprains, as well as helping protect your posture.
5. Ensure the shoes match what you’ll be using them for.
Trainer designs can vary significantly, so make sure you get a shoe that’s designed for running, and for the specific type of running you’ll be doing. Will you be pounding pavements, hitting trails, aiming for speed or endurance, for instance?