Marathon Running Shoes
Running shoes are by far the most important part of the runners clothing and equipment. Your foot acts like a shock absorber while running so the proper shoes will allow this to happen. If training for a marathon in the wrong type of shoes, you will end up injured, frustrated and spend more on medical bills then you would have on the proper running shoes.
Types of Running Shoes
There are four main types of shoes for runners.
1. Stability running shoes - Stability shoes have extra support on the inside of the shoe. Besides being durable, they also provide a good level of cushioning. This style works great for those who do not need the extra stability for motion control, and with normal feet and with a slight inward curve at the arch.
2. Motion controlled shoes - These are designed to control the movement in the joints of your foot. These shoes are designed to be heavy and inflexible and works best for runners with flat feet who need the extra control and durability (weak ankles, weak arches, recurring shin splints, etc)
3.Cushioned running shoes - This type of shoe has the most cushioned mid-soles, but lower amount of support on the inside of the shoe. This style works great for the runner who doesn't put his foot inward when it strikes the ground.
4. Performance/Lightweight running shoes - This type of shoe is highly responsive, making them ideal for quick, efficient runners. As cushioning is sacrificed, this show is mainly for the more experienced runner who doesn't experience sore feet in long distances.
What is Your Foot Type
Before you purchase running shoes, you should know your basic foot type. You can fall into one of three categories normal, flat, and high arched.
- Normal sized arch - If you have normal arches, your footprint will probably show the full foot, with an inward curve at the arch. When a foot with a normal sized arch hits the ground the foot rolls inward slightly, he is said to pronate. This allows the impact of the ground to be evenly distributed across more surface area of the foot. A runner that is of average weight with normal feet would do best in a stability shoe.
- Flat Feet - If you have low arches, your footprint may not curve in at the arch. For a runner that has a flat foot, also known as a low arch, motion-control with firm mid soles are ideal.
- High Arch feet -If you have a high arch, your footprint will show only the heel and ball of your foot, with no connection between them. A person with a high arched foot would run well in a cushioned shoe; the idea being to give the runner more movement of the foot.
Replacing Running Shoes
Wearing your running shoes too long increases your chance for injuries. You should replace them after you have accumulated a certain number of kilometres (Somewhere between 700-1000KM). Most of the time running shoes will still look new on the outside but the quality of the shock absorbency could be way past the expiration date. You most definitely want to replace shoes with worn soles or if they are starting to break down. Your running shoes are a lot like the tires on a car, they are only good for so many kilometres; extend the use and you are risking injury.
Choosing a Running shoe
All major shoe manufactures make the four styles of running shoes. So finding the right pair for you should not be a difficult task. The biggest decision should be based on how well the shoe fits your feet. They should be comfortable when you first put them on, and since the feet swell close to ½ a size larger then normal while running. A good rule of thumb is to get a pair ½ size larger to allow for this swelling. Finding the right pair can be solely based on trial and error. However, when you do find the right pair, stick with them. A great resource for runners looking for more information on shoe types and styles is Runners World website. Recommended brands for Marathon running are Nike, Asics, Brooks and Saucony.
Some runners need special orthopaedic support in their shoes, if you have specialized medical needs such as this you should seek advice from a physician, such as a podiatrist. Many of the classic problems associated with needing special orthopaedic shoes are your foot strike, and many times with proper training and periodic drills, you can correct this problem.