Running is a simple sport. Left foot, right foot, repeat. The only specific sport equipment you'll need to run properly is a good pair of running shoes. They need to be able to do the job in hand and to a high standard. |
If you take your running (and your health) seriously, you should invest in a pair of shoes meant for the running gait and the specific biomechanics of a runner. There are also some other aspects, such as grip and protection.
A tennis shoe is meant for sliding over clay or grass, not to propel you forward for miles, going from pavement to grass to the occasional puddle. The most important design elements of a running shoe, though, are the ones relative to promoting a correct gait and helping you absorb some of the impact with the ground, which is what eventually leads to joint overuse and injury.
Let's start from the most essential aspect of a pair of running shoes - fit. There is nothing worse than running in a shoe that is too small (no, they won't "give in and feel better"), too big, too narrow, or with a heel that rubs and blisters you. Take the time to try both shoes on, and if possible, have a little run in the shop or on a treadmill.
For the past two decades, runners have been split into different categories depending on their pronation, which is how much your arch collapses during the running gait. The collapsing of the arch (pronation) is your body's natural way of absorbing the shock of the impact with the ground. Pronation is good, but sometimes runners pronate too much, meaning they have a flat arch and the foot rolls inward excessively while running. Sometimes they don't pronate enough, with an arch that does not collapse at all.
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