Posted on June 17 2015
Selecting a pair of running shoes takes much consideration. The market offers dozens of brands and styles of shoe, and it will likely take time to find the ideal fit for the needs of your feet. While there is no shoe suited for all runners that we can recommend, it’s important that you understand how a well-constructed running shoe can benefit your feet.
Protect Your Feet
Running shoes—often commonly referred to as tennis shoes or sneakers—provide greater protection than other types of shoes. Your feet are better protected through added support and stability because sneakers:
- Fix overpronation, which is when your foot rolls inward while you run. This misaligns your knee from your lower leg tilting inward. Overpronation can cause shin splints, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and other potential issues.
- Fix supination, which is when your foot rolls outward while your run. Supination places extra stress on the ligaments and bones on the outside of your foot, causing knee pain.
- Add midsole protection, allowing the shoe to absorb more impact; however, softer midsoles do not last as long. So the more midsole cushioning, the more often you’ll need to buy new running shoes.
- Support your foot’s arches, which is essential for people with flat feet. Even individuals with high arches can benefit from the right kind of arch support.
LiveStrong cited evidence from the American College of Sports Medicine that indicates midsole cushioning and added arch support can prevent injuries from overuse, such as tendonitis, stress fractures, and joint pain.
Improved Athletic Performance
From the added support and protection, people can experience improved athletic performance from wearing the right running shoe. This extra performance is yielded from the comfort and enhanced running capacity offered by this type of footwear. Even people who are not competitive athletes can achieve this type of improvement, which causes other advantages.
Physically active people typically live longer, healthier lives. In fact, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) found that moderate activity (e.g. 30-minute walk) contributes to longevity by helping lower blood pressure, control blood sugar, improve bad cholesterol levels, and enhance bone density.
Economy of Energy
Economy of energy is our fancy way of saying that running with the proper sneaker requires less effort. A 2012 study at the University of Colorado determined that running with specialized shoes—instead of running barefoot—uses less energy. A major contributing factor is added cushioning from running shoes; without that added cushioning, your body compensates by using more leg muscle.
So, When Do You Buy New Running Shoes?
The ACSM suggests that people purchase new shoes every 350 miles. There is, however, no exact time frame because running shoes are made from different materials, as well as the purpose for wearing the shoes (walking vs. running). Regardless of how long you’ve had a pair of shoes, discard them if you notice wear patterns that reveal the sole layers underneath.
When you’re ready for a new running shoe, SRI Shoe Warehouse offers a variety of brands and style of performance footwear that have the potential to fulfill the three benefits provided by sneakers for men and for women.