Running leggings or running tights and comfortable shoes are essential for every professional runner to perform better. Different shoe manufacturers produce shoes with styles and fancy features. For professional athletes, fancy features that make up the shoe are of little consideration when choosing the right footwear for their fitness training or competitions. The fancy features will not necessarily contribute to better performance or, in any way, lead to the prevention of injury.
The assertions that certain shoe brands and models work best for all runners aren't accurate. Various runners find comfort in multiple brands having their reasons, which are discussed in this article.
1. For improved performance
Various shoes offer additional support to the athlete, ranging from minimal to high. Since professional racers are highly focused on better performance, choosing shoes that provide comfort is key to their success.
Various technologies have led to the production of shoes with diverse functionality. Road running athletes would prefer wearing shoes that will provide comfort in their field, while trail runners will perform better wearing athletic footwear that provides comfort.
Professional runners would not prefer slippery plastic shoes, which will offer discomfort, thus leading to low performance. However, they will go for cushioned midsoles, which reduce the shoe's forces and lower the body's deceleration, resulting in better performance.
2. Prevention of Blisters through proper Cushioning.
Blisters are mostly caused by friction between the skin and the surface. Shoes that have the right midsole thickness provide a better experience during the various foot striking patterns. Most shoes that focus on fanciness may miss out on providing the right cushioning. on the other hand, comfortable shoes will reduce the stress on the ankles, toes, and heels. For such reasons, the runners would prefer comfort over style.
Attractive shoes may not have the right cushioning. Therefore the runner would prefer comfort over style. Comfortable shoes will reduce the stress on the ankles, toes, and heels.
3. Reducing Injuries
The comfort provided by running shoes influences the risk of exposure to the various injuries associated with athletics. In a study by Muendermann et al., runners who wore comfortable runner shoes during their fitness sessions had a 53% lower risk of extreme injuries than those whose shoes were not comfortable.
Improper footwear can cause various injuries ranging from bunions and corn to fractures. At extreme, it may cause Metatarsalgia; a condition in which the foot's ball is inflamed and becomes painful. This condition is caused by wearing too-tight shoes or too loose ones.
4. Economy of energy
Professional racers desire to attain the economy of energy for ultimate performance. Less muscle work is essential for the provision of the economy of energy. Since muscles contract to help absorb and return power, runners always wear shoes that provide comfort to attain the economy of energy. Racing requires endurance to attain the best performance; therefore, even the minimal change in oxygen used in respiration is meaningful.
5. Arch support
Flat-footed runners and Pes Cavus, those with a high arch, would not be comfortable with the same brand shapes. Runners with high arches would suffer arch pains if given shoes that are not comfortable for their wear. Shoes that don't provide the right arch support may lead to overpronation, thus giving a difficult racing experience.
Over-pronation is a condition whereby the foot turns inward towards the arch. This condition may occur naturally or as a result of the wrong footwear. Over-pronation may cause shin and ankle pain to occur in some athletes. Comfortable shoes are required in the prevention of shin pain and ankle pain resulting from over-pronation during running. Stability in a running shoe means a maximum construction that corrects the overpronator's stride.
Supination occurs when most of the body's weight lies outside the foot. Some professional runners may suffer from excessive supination due to previous injuries or overwork of muscles, tendons, or the ligaments that make the ankle stable. This may have developed from the use of uncomfortable running shoes. Properly cushioned and flexible shoes will provide comfort to the runner's stride and prevent further injury.
How to choose the right comfortable shoes
The choice of athletic footwear may sometimes prove very difficult, especially where there is a variety. However, the priority during shoe selection should be comfort, other factors to consider include;
Comfortable shoes include the right width and length. To prevent blisters, the runner should not pick too tight or too loose shoes. The shoes should not be pinching or sloppy, and the foot should be centered.
Consider the place you will be running.
Those who run on the roads would be comfortable with road running shoes, which would provide cushion and stabilize their feet on hard and even surfaces.
Runner shoes with bigger lugs than road-running shoes provide a better grip on uneven terrains giving comfort to the trail-runners. These types of trail running shoes are fortified with plates underfoot to protect the trail-runner from sharp objects and rocks.
Right arch support
Various runners' feet have various arch levels. The comfort of the shoe varies depending on the arch level of the runner's foot. Runners with a high arch would be more comfortable with shoes that provide total support to their arch.
How would you like to feel?
The thickness of the cushioning and the foam's firmness makes the cushioning provide different "rides." Some runners would be comfortable with a soft ride, while others would not like the thick cushioning.
The best way to make the right decision on the comfortable shoe is to try various pairs and determine if the "ride" is right for you.
Comfortable shoes help reduce injuries, improve performance, reduce the risk of blisters, and help the athlete to attain the economy of energy. In a bid to attain this, all professional runners prefer choosing comfortable shoes over attractive shoes.