Shoe Selection Secrets for the Die-Hard Track Athlete

The proper shoes are important in all sports, but especially in track and field. If your sport is a track and field event, it’s imperative that you wear the right shoe. They’re the most critical piece of equipment you can buy. Do like the pros do and spend some time finding the most appropriate shoe for your feet. Don’t let yourself be overly influenced by how good the shoes look; it’s more important that they’re right for your particular track event and your feet. Shoes that seem more fashionable are rarely the best choice, so this should be well down on your list of reasons to buy a pair of shoes.

This doesn’t mean that an unattractive shoe is automatically the best choice, however. Now that you know how important it is to choose the right shoe you also need to know what to look for. Bear in mind that shoes used on a track are completely different from shoes used for road or trail running. A track is a nice flat surface without obstacles (unless you’re running hurdles), while running anywhere else will cause you to deal with uneven grounds, slick surfaces, and objects to get over or around.

The wrong shoes, shoes not appropriate for your sport, or shoes that don’t fit properly will put you at risk for injury. Running shoes must be appropriate for the surface you’ll be running on, or you’ll be wasting your money.

The first thing you need to know before deciding on a new track shoe is which way your feet roll when they touch the ground. The may roll toward the outside or inside of your foot; you can determine which describes your running style by examining the soles of the shoes you’re currently wearing. Under-pronating is caused by wearing out on the outside first; over-pronating, obviously, causes more wear on the inside of the shoe. If you can’t tell if you’re an under- or over-pronator from the wear on your current shoes, have someone who runs with you watch your feet as you run. Ask them to run behind you so they can tell how your feet hit the ground. You have to know what kind of pronator you are before you can begin looking for new track shoes.

Once you’ve determined what type of pronator you are you’ll be on the right track for finding the proper running shoe. If your shoes are worn evenly across the soles, you’re a neutral pronator and you need a well-balanced, flexible shoe. A well-cushioned shoe is necessary for an under-pronator, while a heavy shoe will give needed stability to a moderate over-pronator. Motion control training shoes are required if you’re a severe over-pronator (let’s hope that’s not you!).

After determining what type of pronator you are and you know what kind of running you’ll be doing, it’s time to start trying on shoes. Put both shoes on, lace them up, and take a couple of steps with a running motion. If they feel right and you’ve already determined they’re the right shoe for your circumstances, your search is over.

The proper type of shoe is paramount in any track and field endeavor. Always search for the shoe that’s best for your foot. It must offer protection for your foot based on the type of running you do. And naturally, make sure the shoe fits properly and allows you to compete all day in comfort.

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