Running gear for athletes: Running Shoes and Shorts

Running gear for athletes: Running Shoes and Shorts

So you recently started running and you are trying to get the best out of your sprints. You’ll want to do everything to ensure that you’re able to maximize the benefits of your training and achieve your personal fitness goals, whether it’s rapid weight loss you’re after, or you’re integrating running exercises in your workout regimen as part of a Speed training program, you’ve made the right choice by starting to run.

If you’re a newbie runner or an athlete who just started out running exercises to boost your fitness routine, you’ll probably be asking yourself what the ideal running gear is. This is because for an intense workout like running you’ll need to wear the right clothes that will keep you as comfortable as possible. Wearing the right apparel actually helps you to get the best out of your running exercises and can even make you feel better about yourself. Depending on what season it is, you’ll need to purchase clothes that are breathable and comfortable and don’t get stuck to your skin when you begin to sweat.

Most pro runners and track and field athletes often shop for running clothes in sportswear specialty stores. There is a wide selection of clothing based on the type of material, the purpose of training and aesthetic (beauty) value, but most newbie runners enter into a sportswear shop and just don’t know where to start and what to look for. This article will serve as a guide to enlighten you on the bare necessities good running apparel should have, so when next you enter a specialty shop you can make enlightened and informed choices. Keep reading to find out more…

Running Shoes

A key component of your running gear is your running shoes. The correct running shoes offer you the best comfort and maximum comfort to your feet while running, and prevent you from getting nasty injuries. Running footwear will have to be chosen based on your foot type because the structure of your feet will influence your gait, balance, and strength while in motion. Pronation is a unique characteristic of your foot that determines how your legs carry your body weight.

There are three main types of feet; normal foot (Normal pronation), arched foot (Over pronation) and flat foot. (Under pronation)

Normal arch

If your foot has a ‘normal arch’ structure, it means you’re a normal pronator. Your ideal footwear type would be any good stability footwear that offers reasonable control to give your feet that extra stability while running.

High arch

If your foot has a ‘high arch’, your foot arch does not drop inward enough, hardly at all. You may have noticed that the impact of your foot when landing on the ground causes pressure on your legs. Having a high arch foot can also make you prone to running injuries, but the right footwear can help. Runners with high arch feet need to buy moderately-cushioned footwear to run comfortably and avoid injuries.

Flat foot

If your foot type is ‘flat’ it means that you are an over-pronator. Your foot arch tends to drop inward. Having feet also suggests that you’ll be more prone to injuries as a runner. Not to worry, a good pair of motion control footwear can prevent injuries and keep your feet as comfortable as possible.

Choosing your running footwear based on foot type

Depending on the extent to which your foot is arched, (pronation) you will need to select the ideal footwear that will provide you maximum balance and comfort. The three main types of footwear for the normal arch, high arch, and flat foot are

  • Motion control footwear
  • Cushioned footwear
  • Stability footwear

Let’s discuss these three in a little more detail:

Motion control footwear

Motion control footwear is designed for runners that have a prominently flat foot. This type of footwear is uniquely designed to ensure that the insoles of your foot get a very firm support during motion. The design of motion control footwear is to create an artificial pronation for the flat foot to prevent nasty running injuries.

Cushioned Footwear

The cushioned running footwear is specially designed for people with a prominently arched foot. For such foot type, contact with the ground while running is much higher and your feet may receive an excessive shock if you don’t use the appropriate footwear. The cushion built into this footwear will help to absorb almost all the shock and pressure generated during running.

Stability footwear

Stability footwear is designed for the normal foot arch type. This type of footwear has a moderate supports with cushioned midsoles. By design, it helps to ease the rigidity that could occur when you lift your feet while running.

Running shorts

Every runner or athlete must select running shorts carefully. The best running shorts are the types that will make you feel most comfortable during your exercise. Running shorts must be made of materials that are durable, moisture absorbent, (materials that wick away sweat from your body and prevent the fabric from sticking to your skin) and heat resistant. Jogging pants should have the same qualities also.

Studies have shown that wearing running shorts that are too tight can restrict blood flow and cause fatigue to the runner. It’s always preferable to buy shorts or tights that fit snugly and are made of breathable material.

Many newbie runners do their running training in regular shorts but this isn’t an ideal way to practice. A good pair of running shorts is a must-have for every running aficionado.

For athletes that train for track and field sports, the recommended type of running shorts is running tights. Running tights help to keep the body in good form and promote agility. Due to their sleek appearance, they offer little or no resistance to wind forces, unlike regular shorts. Wearing good running tights can also prevent sore muscles and fatigue common with most beginner runners after some intense running has been done.

Last Words

Getting the right running gear is critical to having an efficient and profitable running training and also helps to prevent running injuries. It’s always a good idea to purchase them from a specialty sportswear store where you could have access to a wide variety of designs and choose the models most suitable for you. You could also use the opportunity to get some expert advice from the store manager and learn a few things about running you never knew about.

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