Running is a relatively simply sport. Compared to other athletic activities where you need so much gear, in running, you only need shoes. However, do not underestimate the importance of this simple requirement. Choosing a certain running shoe type goes beyond style, color or brand. In fact there is a whole science behind this. Today, sports science allows us to conduct studies which help the sports world better. You’ll be surprised that choosing running shoes goes beyond foot size, age and even athletic ability. Running patterns should be analyzed in order to determine which shoe type fits best for a particular runner.
Wearing the wrong running shoes is one of the most basic causes of running injuries. A common condition that runners suffer because of choosing the wrong shoes is shin splints. Shin splint is characterized as the pain in the calves. It is usually brought about by too much pressure on the legs and the foot. Cushioned running shoes do not necessarily fix shin splints. They key to effectively choosing the best running shoes for shin splints is looking at a pronation guide that will determine the running patterns of an athlete.
Simply put, pronation is the way your feet touches the ground. It has to do with how your feet receives impact and how your push off the ground with every step. There are three general kinds of pronation. The best way to choose the running shoes that will prevent shin splints is to know your pronation pattern, and choose the shoe that matches your pronation needs. A typical way to know your pronation type is through a “wet test”. In a wet test, an athlete is made to run with wet feet, and the marks of the footprints are analyzed to determine a pattern. There are three known pronation patterns: neutral pronation, overpronation and underpronation. Let’s take a look at the various pronation types and the appropriate shoes that match each one.
If you have a neutral pronation pattern, you likely have a normal arch. As you step on the ground, your feet don’t lean inward or outward. In other words, the entire foot comes down flat, and you have a stable base before pushing off for your next step. About20-30% of runners has a neutral pronation.
If you have a neutral pronation pattern, choose shoes with a high quality support cushioning and stability to improve your balance.
Runners with low or flat arches typically suffer from overpronation. This means that when they land on the ground, their ankles are leaning inward. This typically happens when the arch of the foot is stretched too much with every step.
If you have an overpronation running pattern, choose shoes that have support to help slow down the rate of overpronation. This will soften the impact on your feet. Try to pick shoes with medial support and density midsoles.
Runners with a low arch typically have an underpronation running pattern. These are the runners who it the ground with outside edge of the feet because the ankles are leaning outward too much.
If you have underpronation running patterns, choose shoes with enhanced shock dispersion to distribute the impact. You need more support in the heel and the forefoot areas.
Choosing Shoes and Avoiding Injuries
As a runner, you should do what you can to avoid injuries like shin splints. Knowing your pronation pattern and choosing the correct shoe type for you is a good step in ensuring that injuries would be prevented. Runners are also advised to change their shoes every six months, especially if they have a lot of mileage. Most shoe stores assist their customers in choosing the right shoes. Be conscious of your running patters so that it will be easier for you to determine your pronation style.
There are also other ways to avoid shin splints. Studies show that even the way you tie your shoe laces greatly prevent injury. If you have an overpronation running pattern, try to choose shoes with a lot of eyelets for the laces. Tie your laces in a snug and tight manner.
Avoid injury by training in moderation. Do not shock your body by suddenly increasing speed or distance. You should also perform stretches before and after training. Shin splint prevention stretches are very simple and easy to do. If you are a serious runner, study the proper techniques of running so that your form would always be correct. Bad form usually leads to injuries and shin splints.