Choosing the right shoe for your training is quite important since that’s the foundation of keeping your feet and joints in a good shape and even preventing an early–onset arthritis.
Most commonly the dilemma is between running and cross-trainer shoes. While both types share some features, they are pretty distinct in their purposes.
For regular runners a good running shoe is a must – they are light, adapt well to the foot, and provide enough cushioning and support. If you are really serious about running though, you might want to go the extra mile and take the following factors into account:
1. Where you are going to run
We all have different preferences about where to run. Some like the fresh air outside, the wind in your face, and the changing scenery.
And some like to just watch their favorite show while sweating on the gym’s treadmill. Whether it’s on a forest trail, roads, or a specific running track – all these surfaces require a different type of shoe.
2. Your foot type
Supinator, pronator, or neutral – those are the three categories you can fall into. Most of the special running-equipment stores have the necessary tools to determine your type.
To get an idea yourself, check one of your worn-in pair of shoes. Based on the wear pattern, you can see where you put the most pressure on while walking.
- Supinators are characterized with a high arch, and weight distribution is mostly going to be on the outer part of the foot.
- Pronators are on the other end of the spectrum, they have a very low or flat arch and it is most commonly seen in heavier people.
- Neutral foot type, the most common one of all, means that the weight is evenly distributed along the foot.
3. Size of the shoe
Here I include both length, and width. Obviously you want a shoe, that fits you well in both dimensions, but keep in mind that it is a good idea to have your running shoe a bit longer, than your normal shoes. I usually go half a size up.
Cross-trainers, on the other hand, are a little bit heavier, have a wider middle sole to give you more stability, and less of a cushioning, compared to runners.
They are designed to serve multiple purposes – whether it’s weightlifting, metabolic conditioning workouts (metcons), and even some running in-between (as long as it doesn’t come to long distances).
Unlike runners, which lack lateral stability, cross-trainers are supposed to give you exactly that. There are a lot of good options out there, my personal favorite being the Nike Metcon series.
UPDATE: If you read all that but you are still not convinced what type of shoe to choose, or you just don’t want to buy two different pair of shoes – I got good news for ya! The new Nike Metcon DSX Flyknit 2 not only looks SUPER cool, but also combines the best of the two words! Check out my review of them here!
In conclusion, your shoe can have a huge impact on your performance, the health of your joints, and your posture. Choose it wisely and your joints will thank you.