Every ambitious runner dreams of acing marathons, sprints, relay races, etc. In recent years, people have begun to understand the importance of a good pair of running shoes to excel at their game. Not only do they help prevent injuries, but they also help runners perform better (of course, your skills and techniques matter). The market is flooded with innumerable options to choose from, and everyone claims their running shoes are the best. Some people believe that the most expensive shoes mean they are the best. Some beginners think that they can make do with any running shoes. Some runners think shoes will magically increase their speed. Sadly, none of these are true. The “facts” you often read about or hear when looking to buy these footwear could sometimes be misleading. And it’s necessary that we debunk such myths so that despite thoughtful consideration, you end up buying the wrong shoes.
There exists the best running shoe.
Whenever buying running shoes online or in-store, many people look for “top running shoes.” While it is natural to want to buy the best footwear, no one shoe works best for everyone. There is no guarantee that a 5-star rating shoe is explicitly well-suited for you. Running shoes are made depending on factors such as gait, pronation, types of feet, support required, running surface, etc. What may seem like the “perfect shoe” for you may actually be detrimental to your performance. So before you purchase shoes, just by looking at their rating, consider other factors as well.
All running shoes are the same.
Different brands use different technologies and manufacturing processes to make running shoes. Even within the same brand, you will find several categories. Different brands and different shoes fit differently. Even the size of one brand may be different from another. So, if someone claims that a shoe or brand fits them perfectly, don’t believe it instantly. Instead, try other shoes and brands to see what works for you. The fit characteristics to look for in running shoes include a snug heel that is slip-resistant and enough wiggle room for the largest toe and ball of the foot. The footwear you buy should also feel comfortable.
Running shoes are a prescription.
Many runners mistakenly consider that one type of shoe will work for them their entire lifetime. Some runners have specific feet or leg characteristics predisposing them to certain foot problems. If you have visited a shoe store and been recommended to wear a certain type or model, you need not carry that “prescription” lifelong. The specialty stores can help you determine the right running shoe category. But several other factors affect your gait, such as your weight, range of motion, stride habits, speed, muscular strength, etc. These factors may change over time, as will your requirements for running shoes. So, assessing these factors after specific periods is best, especially before buying a new pair of footwear.
Running shoes will make you fast.
One of the oldest and most persistent myths about running shoes is they will magically propel you to the finishing line. The fact is that a well-fitted pair of running shoes does not actually increase your speed but makes you feel that way. This is because the right footwear reduces the strain on your legs and feet as you run. They do not weigh you down or interfere with your stride. The best shoes are the ones that you don’t even notice. The only way to gain peak performance is with training and practice.
Stay loyal to one model of running shoes.
Several runners settle on one shoe type after experimenting with different brands and models. They either wear them for every run or buy another pair of the same model and keep alternating between them. The fact is running in different shoes actually makes you less prone to injury and stronger. With different pairs of running shoes, you interact with the ground differently, so you stride differently. This helps strengthen your muscles and connective tissues and reduces repetition stress on the same areas.
If you believe all the claims and information you find about running shoes, you need to dig a little deeper. It may be complicated to identify which claims are true and which are myths. With a plethora of running shoes available in the market and everyone wanting to buy the best ones, deciding what to buy can be challenging. Never compromise on the fit and comfort regardless of which shoes you purchase. The better your shoes fulfil these criteria, the better your performance will be. Also, understand your style of running to buy footwear that meets your requirements. Consider your foot type, pronation, and if you have any existing foot conditions. You can also consult foot specialists who can provide some guidance in this aspect. Lastly, research well and know your game well so that you can distinguish between facts and myths. We hope this guide will help you make an informed purchase.