Inevitably, there comes a day when the sum of kilometers ends up taking its toll on the shoes we use to run. And is that training usually not only causes havoc in muscles and joints but also causes our shoes to deteriorate to the point that they can stop protecting us from injuries or make us decrease our performance.
Now, the real problem begins at the moment that we should start looking for the model of shoes that best suits our needs. On the one hand, the offer is very large, so it will probably be very difficult to decide on such a variety of options, with different brands, types and price range. And on the other hand, there is great ignorance of the subject, and because of this, the most suitable pair is not always purchased.
You must be aware that there is no magic formula that will take you to the ideal shoes right now, but it is a long and expensive process. But at this point and before you get into a panic, at Mindfit we have set out to pave your way through a series of tips that, with complete certainty, will be very useful to find the shoe that best suits your foot and your way of running.
Top 10 Slippers
Basic elements of a running shoe
Before entering fully in all aspects to consider when choosing what type of shoe you need, you should know before the SPECS terminology for referring to the different elements of a running shoe. Each manufacturer uses an own nomenclature for their models, but generally the most frequent are the ones shown below:
It is the part that directly contacts the ground. Its surface is equipped with studs, which according to their arrangement, shape, and height from one type of drawing or another. Most models have a heterogeneous stud distribution with the purpose of providing a specific function to each part of the shoe.
The areas of greatest impact, the outer heel (in rearfoot corridors) and the inner metatarsus (in midfoot and forefoot corridors), are usually reinforced with a more resistant and durable material to curb their early wear. In the same way, there are also some models that have holes in the heel reinforced with large studs around, which have the function of giving greater stability and lighten the weight.
On the other hand, the front part usually presents furrows, transversal cuts that connect the sole with the midsole and that make possible the flexion of the shoe. The more flexible the shoe, the greater the ability of the runner to move.
Located between the sole and booty, the midsole or midsole is one of the most important parts of any pair of running shoes since it is the area where all the elements of cushioning, protection, stability and transmission and the return of forces are. Its thickness and the type of material that make it up are two of the most distinguishing characteristics when choosing a model or another.
In general, large brands use EVA rubber for the midsole, a low-density foamed material that is very effective in cushioning the forces generated in the impact. Also, some manufacturers incorporate in their pairs stabilizing pieces to get plus protection, ideal to withstand the sum of kilometers.
It is the bridge between the front and back of the sole. It is responsible for facilitating the transition of the shoe when running, which occurs when the foot makes the full course in the support phase of the stride. Some models can also incorporate a stabilizing piece in the arch, which allows a more fluid and balanced footprint.
Profile and drop
The profile is the height difference between the foot and the ground. This height is determined by the sum of the thickness of the sole and the midsole. Each model has a rear profile, located on the heel, and a front profile, located in the midfoot-forefoot area.
With the data of these two profiles, a value is obtained, the drop, which is the difference in thickness between the rear and front profiles expressed in millimeters. In this way, the lower the drop is closer to the foot of the ground. Most shoes on the market have between 0 and 13 mm of the drop.
The last is a general term in any type of footwear and refers to the width of the shoe. In running models, brands usually work with special widths to cover the needs of all types of runners.
One of the most common mistakes in popular culture is to associate the last with the width of the forefoot, given that in reality, we must take into account the volume occupied by the foot in its entirety. So, if a shoe has a wide last, not only is it spacious, but it will also be tall and even long. In short, its dimensions will tend to be large.
The upper, also called mesh or booty, is the part of the shoe that covers the foot on the top and sides. Until a while ago it was not considered an important component of running shoes but has gained prominence in recent years both for marketing reasons and functionality for the runner.
For this reason, each manufacturer has contributed its bit in the evolution of this part of the shoe opting for different designs and materials, looking for two clear objectives: a model with good aesthetics and at the same time provide benefits for the performance of the runner. These are the most prominent elements of the upper:
- Contrafuerte: piece made with rigid material that is placed next to the heel and that serves so that this is fastened in the shoe, helping to absorb the impacts generated against the ground. We must ensure that it is neither too high nor too hard to prevent inflammation in the area of the Achilles tendon. Not all shoes incorporate this component.
- The neck is the area that surrounds the ankle. You should try to make the material that makes it soft and fluffy so that there is as little friction as possible. The entire inner area of the upper is also padded to guarantee the comfort of the foot.
- Mesh upper: fabric that covers the top part of the foot closest to the toe and that is usually perforated to ensure perspiration. Some models may have closed or waterproof, ideal for rainy climates.
- Toe: front of the upper whose purpose is to protect the fingers.
- Other elements: laces, tongue, eyelets, nerves.
It is one of the most forgotten elements, but not unimportant. And is that the template is essential for the protection of the foot. Made with different compounds, its thickness varies according to the model and is usually perforated to drain the internal heat.
The materials that make it up must be soft, guarantee the greatest comfort of the foot during exercise, and adherents, prevent the template from sliding inside the shoe while running.