Running is a sport and like all sports, it is important to have the right equipment. Of course, most of the equipment you need for running are things that you wear, but having the right running apparel can increase performance, make you more comfortable and even be better for your body. One of the most important pieces of running apparel is your shoes. The impact of running can take a tremendous toll on your feet, ankles, knees, and joints when you run, so having the right shoes is of utmost importance. But running shoes can cost upwards of $100 or more, so is it really important to buy the most expensive shoes? Not necessarily. Here are some points to consider when choosing the right ones and how much you really need to spend on running shoes.
1. “Running” is a relative term
Let’s face it, the majority of “runners” are really just joggers. If you jog a few miles a few times a week, you don’t need the same level of performance from your shoes as serious runners that log several miles a day almost every day. That also means you don’t need to spend as much money on specialized performance running shoes. In addition, long-distance runners have different needs than sprinters or other speed runners. Serious runners may actually need a few different pairs of running shoes to meet all of their needs, but they don’t all have to be top-of-the-line.
In fact, many serious runners will buy a new pair of shoes a few weeks before a big event such as a marathon and wear them just to get them properly and appropriately broken in. Once the shoes have gotten them through the event, they become training shoes and a new pair of shoes is purchased for the next big event. What you need to spend on shoes is going to be largely determined by the level of performance you need. Casual joggers will not need the same level of performance that serious runners who log hundreds of miles a month will.
2. Performance versus fashion
Some runners are more concerned with fashion or appearance or having the latest, greatest running shoes, while others just want a good pair of high-performance shoes. If you want the latest, greatest and most fashionable running shoes, you will most likely pay top dollar for them – and some people are fine with that. Even then, however, there are still ways to buy the latest fashion/ performance shoes at a discount.
Promo codes and other coupons can help you get the latest fashions at reasonable and even deep discounts. You can check it out here. If you just want a good pair of performance shoes at a reasonable price, however, one of the best ways to get them is to purchase shoes from the previous year. The technology won’t have changed much, but the prices will have dropped significantly.
3. Running style
Casual joggers and runners may not be aware that how your foot hits the ground with each step can have a significant impact on knees, ankles, and joints. Serious runners, however, are generally very aware of this. If you only run or jog a few miles a day, this may not be as big of a deal as if you run a dozen miles a day or more or several hundred miles a month. Pronation is the natural inward roll of the foot fooling the heel striking the ground. Having the right footwear can help distribute weight better, which can, in turn, minimize impact to knees and joints.
The right footwear is going to be different for different types of runners. Traditional running shoes have a slight incline between the heel and the toe, which helps bring your weight down in the right part of the foot with each step. The more help you need with your stride, however, the more engineered a shoe has to be, which can increase the price. Runners that have a good natural stride may prefer a minimalist or barefoot shoe, which tend to be much less expensive. If you aren’t a seasoned, experienced runner, however, it might be worth the extra money to invest in a more engineered shoe to help minimize damage on knees and joints.
4. Orthotics and inserts
Some runners may have issues with their feet or arches that affect even their walking habits. In some cases, they may have had expensive orthotics made to help combat their foot issues. In that case, the design and construction of the shoe are not as important because the orthotics will actually help correct issues with stride or foot placement. Inserts are another way of increasing the quality of shoes without having to buy the most expensive shoes.
Keep in mind, however, that expensive running shoes are often expensive based on a number of factors. They are often made of better or more durable materials that provide an appropriate cushion while also breathing well. Protecting your knees and joints are not the only thing that good running shoes do. They also help minimize the smell of sweaty feet as well. If you don’t want to pay top dollar for a top-of-the-line pair of running shoes, you can also invest in inserts that can both help lower quality shoes provide better support and even minimize the smell.
The more you run, the more performance you need from your running shoes. Conversely, however, that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune on shoes. Many people buy expensive running shoes as much for the latest fashion as the latest tech and the price often reflects that. The biggest brands will also carry the highest price tags, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they offer higher quality performance than lesser known brands. Technology also doesn’t change significantly over the course of a single year, so you can save a great deal of money on running shoes by purchasing the previous year’s models. If you want it all: performance and the latest fashion from the biggest brands, your best bet is to browse for discounts that are available for even the latest fashion running shoes.