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One thing i’ve learned over the last few years of running, is that what people wear on their feet is very important. When I used to run infrequently, I’d just chuck on a pair of my dad’s old trainers and make do in those. The trainers you run in can have both physiological and psychological effects. The physical can range from putting more spring in your step with something like an Adidas Boost, or correcting a gait deficiency such as over-pronation or flat-footedness. The benefits are in the mind too. If you’ve just spent £100 on some Nike Flyknit Racers then you may believe you have a slight edge to the guy in front of you in that 5k.
As I’ve begun running consistently 25-30 miles, this has meant that i’ve needed to replace my trainers more often (every 6 months). With my birthday being in August (21st anyone who’d like to send a cheque!), I basically get trainers for every birthday and Christmas!
When I started taking my running more seriously I noticed a twinge in my left ankle, so promptly went to the running shop to have my gait analysed in order to get the best shoes for my foot. They noted that I over-pronated on my left ankle and prescribed a pair of Saucony’s (I forget the model). Over the next few training runs and races, I noticed my ankle becoming extremely painful and at one point had to stop and limp up a hill. Ever the experimenter, I went back to my dad’s old Nike Air Pegasus’ and hey presto – my ankle went back to only hurting a little bit.
At around the same time I read that actually, your foot is MEANT to over-pronate slightly! It’s a bio-mechanic designed to provide a natural buffer to the impact of your foot hitting the ground. The slight flexing of the ankle over the inside of the foot acts as a sort of shock absorber to your ankle and leg. Then I also read about Nike’s Lunarlon foam material and it’s cushioning effects and thought i’d give those a shot… this was where I discovered (through trial and error) that I needed neutral trainers…
Theres a great page on types of running style on the Asics website