No two pairs of feet are the same

Published April 5, 2011

Another piece for my journalism course, this time a feature article about an outdoor leisure activity. Luckily, I have one of those, which is a step up from this time last year. Now I can pretend to know what I’m talking about!

Why the correct running shoes can make or break your hobby

It seems like the simplest thing in the world, strap on some shoes and head into the great outdoors for some fresh air and some free exercise. Whilst running is one of those brilliant hobbies that doesn’t have a large barrier to entry, one of the things you do want to take care with is your shoes.

For the first couple of outings, you could get away with wearing your regular trainers, the ones that you also wear to the supermarket or the pub. However, you may find that, before long, your feet ache and your knees begin to groan. If you want to keep on running, it’s time to invest in a decent pair of running shoes.

There is no one exact answer to the type of shoe you’ll get - everyone has different needs and no two pairs of feet are the same. It also depends on what kind of running you’re intending to do. Circling a nearby athletics track will require an entirely different construction to following a mountainous hiking trail. It may take a bit of experimentation before you find what is right for you, but dive in and start somewhere. Head to your local sports shop and ask for some advice.

One of the most important things about dedicated running shoes, no matter what type you buy, is that they have far more cushioning than your more fashionable trainers. They’re designed to absorb the impact of your weight as you jog along, and will benefit your feet, knees and ankles.

Other features to take into consideration include the grip levels required, how flexible the shoes are, whether they allow your feet to breathe, and then perhaps finally what they look like. You may find that your feet have special requirements above and beyond the extra padding and breathable material, and that can all depend on the type of arch your foot have. The middle part of the underside of your foot may touch the floor, or you may have a really high instep, and that means there are added pressures on your joints that the right shoe can help with. It may take a little longer to find the right pair for you, but it is well worth it in the long run.

It may seem like a lot to take in, and you may be worried about setting foot outside your door when just finding the right footwear is so complicated. Don’t let your shoes put you off starting to jog, but make sure it is high up on your priority list when you start to enjoy running and want to go out more often. The likelihood is you will start to hear and feel your body protesting if the shoes aren’t right and rewarding yourself with a brand new pair of sports boots can be a great motivational boost.

Getting a decent pair of running shoes on your feet can make you look the part, which can make you feel the part, and that only improves the desire to achieve.

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