Running is one of the most popular sports in the United States and with good reason. It offers several benefits, such as weight loss, cardiovascular conditioning, and improved bone health.
Since running can be such an important part of our lives and health, choosing the correct footwear is important.
Running shoes are designed in varied shapes and sizes; some are recommended for beginners, whereas others are designed for more experienced runners looking for maximal benefits.
If you are looking for new high-quality running shoes, here are the features you should check out:
Sturdy Arch Support
Your arch should naturally curve upward on the inside of your foot, with good arch support to keep it there. You can check if a shoe has enough arch support by pushing on it; you shouldn’t feel any movement up or down in the shoe.
Arch supports bend slightly at first, but they should hold their shape as soon as you let go of them. High-quality running shoes use rubber and plastic pieces to create supportive arches that will last through many miles.
A weak arch puts added strain on your calf muscles and Achilles tendon, which often results in injuries like shin splints and tendonitis.
When choosing running shoes, look for a secure heel fit with plenty of cushioning underneath it. In high-quality running shoes, the rear end of the shoe should be slightly higher than the front to provide stability as you run.
The heel counter is key-it’s a cup attached to the back of the shoe that protects your ankle from rolling inward too much (an injury called “over-pronation”).
It also helps put more power into your stride. That rear part of the shoe should hug your Achilles without squeezing it, and you shouldn’t have to wiggle your foot around to get comfortable with a new pair of running shoes.
Therefore, if possible, try to find out how much cushion your shoes have built into them before you buy.
When your feet start to sweat, they will need a little relief from the pressure created by being compressed against the warm surfaces of your shoes as much as possible.
In other words, you need airflow between your skin and your shoes, or you could end up with some serious problems over time.
Therefore, you should look for lightweight material on top, whether it is leather or mesh, that allows air circulation around your feet.
More flexibility in the upper helps shoes bend with every step without adding unnecessary weight. Look for panels of mesh throughout shoe uppers made from lightweight materials.
A thicker upper will only mean more weight and less breathability, so keep an eye out for this feature when you’re shopping around.
For trail running shoes, keep in mind that these typically have a stiffer upper mesh to protect your feet from rocks and debris on the trail.
Running shoes with non-slip laces stay tied better than those without, so you don’t lose a shoe mid-stride or break your stride to tie them up.
High-quality running shoes have fastening loops on both ends of the laces that keep them from loosening while you run. You can even double knot these trail shoes for extra security.