Running Shoes Guide
Taking your first steps
So you’ve decided to kick off your running journey, but what do you need to consider when getting started?
Whether you are planning on starting small or training up for your first marathon, running shoes are the most important thing to consider when choosing your kit. But why choose a technical running shoe over a comfortable athleisure shoe?
Unlike your standard casual shoes, running shoes are there to ensure you are given adequate cushioning. This cushioning also improves energy return so that you can be more efficient and reduce the chance of injury. Foam technologies used by the likes of adidas with their boost technology and On Running's Helion technology are worth considering.
The upper and lacing in a technical running shoe add structure around the foot and reduce any movement. This in turn also reduces the chances of an injury. You’ll often find a more secure heel cup and constructive elements around the midfoot to aid this. To ensure you are getting the right level of support, it would be wise to consider the pronation of your foot. Getting to grips with this will help in getting the right level of comfort for your running style. Take a look at your current pair of shoes. If the shoes are wearing closer to the inside of the foot then you are an overpronator and will need some additional support by either footbed or a more stable running shoe.
Standard gym/athleisure shoes are not designed for fast movement outdoors. On a technical running shoe you will find the outsole is made from an extra sticky rubber which a tread pattern designed to optimise grip and traction, reducing your risk of slipping. Be sure to look for grip and profiles that suit the running you are looking to do. Looking to hit the trails? If so, look for long lugs and jagged profiles to ensure you get the grip you need when you need it. If urban road running is more your style look then look for a low-profile tread pattern to allow for greater surface contact across the shoe and better comfort.
Running shoes are stripped down and designed to make running as easy for you as possible, any unnecessary weight will be dropped to keep the shoe light underfoot. Often a fashion/athleisure shoe will be focused on appearance and additional weight will not be considered. At first, this may not seem like a big difference, but the longer you run the more you notice the weight of the shoe.
Typically you need to go a whole size up when buying running shoes. As you run your feet will heat up and swell so it’s important to leave space for this. When checking the fit of the shoe you should be able to fit a thumbs width between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. You want your feet to feel secure but not cramped so be sure to consider the width when making your choice too.
Top tips for getting started:
1. Be patient. You’re not going to become a sub 3 hour marathon runner overnight. Take it easy and consider using a couch to 5k plan to help keep you motivated. If you do too much too soon you’re at risk of injury.
2. Join a run club. This could be virtual or in-person but having that support network and community available to you can make the world of difference.
3. Consider running with music or a podcast. Some people struggle to stay focused on running and that’s okay. Listening to energising music or an entertaining podcast could help to keep you going.
4. Don’t forget to stretch at the end of your run. It’s so easy to just flop on the couch and relax as soon as the hard work is done but taking those extra couple of minutes to stretch out will really make a difference and your body will thank you the day after.
5. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. Just be proud of yourself for getting out there and doing what you can, regardless of the distance or pace.
We hope this guide has given you the ins and outs to get your next pair of shoes and start running. Be sure to follow our run page on Instagram and our Run Collective Strava page to stay in touch with all things running from Sigma Sports.