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They will be one of the best investments you will ever make, well when it comes to running gear anyway (and a close second to a decent running bra for the ladies!) Go on, it is worth it!
Key components : Go for a decent brand like Asics, Nike, Brooks, Mizuno or Saucony. They are all slightly different shapes so find a shop that sells a large range, try on lots and then choose one that feels 100% comfortable. The key components to a running shoe are a slightly raised and cushioned heel, a supportive heel cup and foot arch and flexibility over the big toe joint.
Support: They come with varying degrees of support from nothing (barefoot running) to a full anti-pronation stability shoe. These two extremes suit a small minority of people, so if you have been recommended anything other than a ‘neutral’ shoe make sure you understand the reason why, if in doubt get a second opinion.
Barefoot running : We would not recommend barefoot running for novice runners, and for those keen to give it a go make sure you are already fit, have good core stability (if you don’t know what this is, you shouldn’t be barefoot running!) and ideally are an experienced runner with no injuries or pain.
Anti-pronation shoes are often over prescribed and can cause pain and injury if not absolutely essential. Even if you start your running career with this type of shoe you may find neutral shoes are more comfortable after a few months – go and get rechecked if you are having any discomfort by a physio or osteopath specialising in running.
How often should you change them?
You need at least 2 pairs of trainers over the average 6 month marathon training programme – more if training in wet conditions. Salt water ruins trainers very quickly, so if you are beach running then bear this in mind.
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