Suitable Shoes For Runners – A Conversation

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Characters: Tom and Harry.
The following is an imaginary conversation to help out the readers in the choice of good running shoes:

Tom: I Have Made up My Mind to Run, But I am Not Sure Which Sort of Shoes Help Me in Better Running.

Harry: I think this is the predicament, most of us face, a sort of starting problem, a nagging one at that. Well, it is not that difficult either to find out a pair of shoes that suits and sooths your feet and makes your running experience a pleasurable one rather than a burden.

Tom: Which is the Best Place to Buy My Shoes?

Harry: Well, certainly not a big sports shop, that sells all the stuff belonging to a whole lot of other sports. We shall go to a small but a specialized shop. My friend, who himself an avid runner is running a shop in the corner of the street, just to help out the fellow runners. He does this out of passion rather than for profit.

Tom: I Like Shoes With Fancy Things and Bright Colors.

Harry: It is exactly this tendency, that my friend often discourages. He says substance rather than style matters when you are going for running shoes.

Tom: Oh, OK. I am a Member of a Running Club. Does Your Friend Offer Any Discount for Running Club Members.

Harry: Oh, that’s great. My Friend does offer a discount for running Club members. We are also members of our local running club.

Tom: That’s Fantastic. My Girl Friend Likes Small Shoes. But She Always Has a Problem With Them. What Do You Say About This?

Harry: Yep, I know. It’s true with most of the women. Because, women are very self-conscious of the size of their feet. So, they often tend to opt for close-fitting shoes. But it’s a bad habit. There should always be enough room for the entire foot to fit in comfortably. Tight-fitting shoes lead to blisters and toenails. Running shoes are worn for performance and not for style.

Tom: One of My Friends Tends to Shop in Morning. But He Always Had a Problem, Selecting His Shoes.

Harry: I know. This happens with all those people who tend to shop during morning hours. The best times to shop are the late afternoon and evening hours. Because, your feet tend to swell all through the day. So, those shoes, you buy in the evening suit you the best.

Tom: I Heard That There are Different Shoes for Different Feet. Is It True?

Harry: Yes, there are three kinds of feet- the flat feet, the arched feet and the normal feet. Well, you don’t need to be a trained sleuth to make out which foot is flat, which one is normal and which has an arch. It’s quite easy. Just wet your feet and walk. Based on your foot prints you can make out the difference.

Tom: Does the Difference in Structures and Designs of the Feet Affect One’s Running?

Harry: Yes, the veteran coaches and shop owners are quite good in helping you out in the choice of right kind of shoes that suit your feet.

Tom: I Heard that There is Another Aspect also Called Foot Strike that Plays a Major Role in the Selection of Right Kind of Shoes?

Harry: Yes, you are right .The wear patterns (the spots of wear and tear) of your old shoes, offer enough clues for a Guru in this field to trace out which sort of runner you are. ‘Foot strike’ is one of most bantered terms in a running shoe shop.

Most runners are heel strikes. These people first land on the outside of the heel and then gradually move on to the ball of the foot and finally to toes. Some runners however, land straight away on the ball of the foot. These are called forefoot strikers.

Tom: So This is Quite Vital it Seems. Could you Explain it in a Bit More Detail ?

Harry: Yes, sure. For a foot striker wear patterns are witnessed around an area of the shoe which covers the ball of the foot. These people need shoes with a lot of forefoot cushioning. An extremely hard heel striker, typically requires shoes with a lot of cushioning around the heels.

Tom: Ok. I Have Also Heard a Term Called Pronation. Is it Also Related to the Choice of Shoes?

Harry: Yes, of course. Most of the people generally land on the outside their heels. Then the ball of the foot and the toes curl inwards in order to offer some rest to the landed foot. All these processes, which occur without your knowledge, put together are called pronation. Pronation in itself is not bad, in fact it is quite useful. Pronation offers the momentary relaxation that is vital for a runner.

However, some people tend to over pronate. In these people, the ball of the foot and the toes curl a bit more inward. It really hurts the runner. People with flat feet and bowed legs are generally more prone for over pronation. These people shall never buy shoes that curl at the tip. Instead they should go for flat shoes.

There are some rare cases of under pronation as well. In these people the ball of the foot and the toes curl back very little. These people also have high arch feet. Such people should always go for shoes with a lot of cushion under their shoes.


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