One of the the many questions I get asked on a regular basis is what type of trainer do I need for running? Pronator/ Supinator? Support? Trail? Road? Spikes? Barefoot?……. there are so many different types and so much conflicting advice out there, here is some help.
To start when we are looking at trainers they are to support the movement of our foot when we are running and moving, they also need to be ideal to meet the demands of your running.
The answer is there is no one trainer that is right, everyone has a different foot size, width and movements that are unique to each individual runner. So just because the elite runners are running in a very expensive pair of trainers, it doesn’t mean they are the best for you and your running. The key to the right trainers is comfort. They need to be comfortable, well fitting with space in the toe box. The sole needs to be adequate for the type of running you are planning on doing. If you are doing a lot of off road and trail running, a trail shoe with more grip and a more substantial sole will be more suitable for you where as if you do a lot of road miles then road trainers would be more suitable, they do not need as much grip, tend to have a softer sole to absorb impact and are typically lighter.
A few things we advise when you go shopping for trainers that you try on lots of pairs to see what is comfortable. It is advisable to stick with the brand and type you have had previously and that you have had with no injuries or pain with, unless they have redesigned the shoe, then they may have changed a few key features. Trainer shops are there to advise you on what is best based on your foot shape and what will have the longevity over the terrain you run on. Before you run in them outside, wear them around the house for a couple of hours, if you have no pain or discomfort they are good. If you have any rubbing, pain or discomfort then return them as they are not the right trainers for you.
Trainer shops that offer ‘Gait Analysis’ are there to sell trainers and very few are biomechanics specialists so be very careful on the advice they give. Most only look at you from below the knee with the majority of the ‘problems’ they see are pronation and supination on the foot (collapsed arch/ high arch). These are normal for you and the movement of the foot during running so does not necessarily need correcting or stoping by a trainer. If you are getting pain when you are running in the foot or leg then the problem is normally coming from higher up in body. Pronation or supination are then secondary movement due to a biomechanical dysfunction. Unfortunately if this is the case then no running trainer is going to correct the problem and is likely to make it worse. The only way to change it is to correct dysfunction you running biomechanics with a Running Biomechanics Specialist. Contact us to find out more how we can help if you feel this could be you problem.
Remember COMFORT is key!