How to Choose a Proper Shoe for Jogging

The most important investment a prospective jogger can make is to pur­chase quality shoes. Proper selection is important because an appropriate, well-fitting pair of shoes can prevent or alleviate blisters, shin splints, and ankle, knee, and hip-joint injuries.

Shoes made especially for jogging have some common characteristics. The heel should be about one-half inch higher than the sole, and it should be well-padded. The sole should consist of two sepa­rate layers: The outer layer should be made of a durable rubberized compound for traction and longevity, and the inner layer should be thick and pliable and made of shock-absorbing material.

The heel and sole preferably flare out so the impact with the ground can be distributed over a wider area. This is crucial because the jogger’s foot hits the ground 1,500 to 1,700 times per mile and each foot strike absorbs a force equivalent to three times the body weight. It should come as no surprise that the incidence of overuse injuries rises proportionately to the number of miles jogged.

Flexibility, another characteristic of a good shoe, can be determined by grasping the heel in one hand and the toe in the other and bending it. If it does not bend easily, it is too stiff and inflexible for jogging.

Proper fit is essential. The shoes should be one-half inch longer than the longest toe, and the toe box should allow enough room for the toes to spread. The toe box should be high enough not to pinch the toes. The heel of the foot should fit snugly in the padded heel of the shoe for maximal support and minimal friction. The shoe should have a good, firm arch support.

When purchasing a pair of shoes, you should wear the same type of sock you will wear when jogging, to minimize errors in sizing. Some atten­tion also should be given to shoe maintenance. It’s best to own more than one pair of shoes so they can be rotated from workout to workout. One pair will suffice, however, if they are allowed to dry between workouts.

Shoes should be inspected periodi­cally and discarded if they wear deep into the outer layer. As the shoe wears, the angle of the foot strike changes, producing forces at sites in the legs and hips to which the jogger is un­accustomed. This increases the likeli­hood of injury.

Of the shock-absorbing qualities of jogging shoes, 30 percent dissipates at about 500 miles of wear, regardless of price, brand, or type of construc­tion. At that point it is best to replace your jogging shoes.

Jogging shoes should be purchased from a store that specializes in the sale of sports footwear. The profes­sional salespeople will suggest shoes in your price range that are appropri­ate to your needs. Selecting a jogging shoe can be intimidating because there are literally hundreds of models from which to choose. Running Times and Runner’s World evaluate running shoes periodically. Their evaluation is probably more objective than that of a salesperson at the local running shoe store.

Filed Under: General How To's


About the Author: Bruno Silva is an entrepreneur from Portugal with over 15 years of experience in Online Marketing. He is also a blogger and writes on variety of topics from online marketing to designs, cars to loans, etc.

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