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The Different Types of Running Shoes Explained
Additionally, it is a good idea to regularly rotate your shoes giving them time to dry out between runs. Having shoes designed for different purposes means you can run in different terrains and always be a peak performance and safety.
The basic types of running shoes are:
1. Trainers. These are heavier shoes designed to provide maximum cushioning. If you are looking for an everyday running shoes, these are probably what you are looking for. These shoes are generally designed to provide maximum cushion and are great for those who pronate or supinate too much. Trainers also come in a lightweight version that offers less padding to reduce the weight of the shoes and are a good alternative if you don't pronate or supinate too much.
2. Cross Trainers. These shoes are designed more for traction with a wide surface area and lots of contact with the ground. Consequently, they give you better control in stop and go situations or when going side to side. This type of movement makes one vulnerable to rolling the ankle so Cross Trainers are also typically built with better better support of the ankle in mind.
3. Trail runners. Trail runners are much like cross trainers but designed to minimize slip on all surfaces and maximize protection of your ankle. These shoes are ideal for running in all weather conditions and uneven surfaces, just as the name would imply.
4. Racing shoes. Racing shoes come in a number of varieties which depend much on the running surface. The main theme with racing shoes is that they are very lightweight. At half the weight of standard trainers, these shoes allow for maximum speed. When performance is your primary goal, racers are what you need. Included in the racing shoes category are spikes which are basically racing shoes with metal spikes in the soles designed to provide grip. However, Spikes can really only be used on soft surfaces such as a racing track or on non-concrete, non-asphalt, etc. type surfaces. If you have to run on a road at anytime, however, they can become quite uncomfortable and will wear out quickly.
5. Walking shoes. This is a very broad category of shoes encompassing all shoes not intended for running. It is an important distinguishment because the motion of walking is very different from running and unless you are truly intending to run in your shoes, walking shoes will give you easier motion and more support.
6. Barefoot shoes. Barefoot shoes are basically a glove for your foot that hugs your foot giving you the feel of running barefoot, but protection from punctures and other hazards. They can be quite uncomfortable when the surface has rock and jagged surfaces.
There are many different types of shoes each designed with a different purpose in mind. One of the best ways to maximize performance and avoid injury is to wear the best shoe for your application. If you truly intend to run cross country, then trail runners or spikes are your best bet, but if you just looking for a gentle stroll in the park on Sunday, then a nice set of walking shoes will probably suit you best. The key when shopping for a pair of shoes is to know where you want to go running and then buy accordingly.
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