Olympic fever has gripped much of the world, with the world’s best athletes representing their countries in their chosen sports at an elite level. It’s an event that often gets regular people inspired to dust off the active wear that’s hiding in the back of the wardrobe, create the ultimate running playlist, and set the alarm for early in the morning. Most important, though, is your choice of running shoes. While not everyone can be an elite Olympic athlete, you can certainly run a mile in their shoes. Whether you’re a sprinter, a distance runner, or somewhere in the middle, here’s what you need to look for to get the best running shoes for your needs.
H2: Running Shoes for Sprinters
Sprinters, such as Usain Bolt, Michael Johnson and the late Florence Griffith-Joyner, all had one job to do – run from point A to point B as fast as possible. The best running shoes for this situation will always be lightweight; the athlete’s feet should not feel weighed down if speed is crucial to their success. They want the least possible path of resistance, and lightweight running shoes will facilitate that. Lighter shoes often don’t provide the same level of support and cushioning that a heavier shoe will, but for people racing for fastest possible times, this is often less of a priority.
H2: Long Distance Runners
Whether you’re training for a marathon or you prefer long distance runs to relax and clear your head, the best running shoes for your needs will offer enhanced cushioning for added support. Long distance runs aren’t called ‘endurance runs’ for the sake of it, after all. Marathons are 42 kilometres in length; they’re meant to make you work hard, so added cushioning in the footwear typically acts as a shock absorber to protect the runner’s joints.
H2: Gait Analysis and Professional Fitting
The importance of having your footwear professionally fitted cannot be understated. If they’re too big, too small, too wide or too narrow, they can result in blistering and possible injury. Like Cinderella and her slipper, the best running shoes fit just right in order to provide the necessary support and performance.
A professional fitter will conduct a gait analysis before determining which shoe is right for you. This process involves putting you on a treadmill for a number of minutes to observe how your foot makes contact with the surface as you run. The gait analysis will determine whether you run with a neutral gait or whether your foot tends to overpronate as a result of having flat feet. If you have flat feet, you’ll naturally tend to roll your foot inward to act as a shock absorber. This can lead to potential injury. The best running shoes to correct this would therefore be a pair that has motion control as a key feature.
H2: In Summary
While you might be inclined to gravitate towards the most expensive pair of running shoes, they might not be the best running shoes for you. Understanding your feet, what you want your running shoes for, and how frequently you will use them are the key factors to choosing the right footwear. Follow the same approach as your favourite elite Olympians and you’ll be able to get the most out of your training.