There are many myths about running shoes you may or may not have heard, and may or may not choose to believe. We have picked out the top five myths about running shoes, which we would like to look at closely and discuss the facts to find out whether they are worth keeping in mind when choosing running shoes or not.
Here are the top 5 common myths regarding running footwear:
- There is such a thing as “best running shoes”
Every year multiple lists of the best running shoes of the year appear on various running related websites, blogs and magazines. Usually they vary quite a bit, which is perfectly normal given that every runner has different expectations when testing new shoes for running and racing.
Given the growing popularity of recreational running, the athletic footwear manufacturers are constantly working on designing and making new and better footwear for the runners around the world. The thing is – different running shoes are made to serve different types of runners, foot shapes, gait types, strides and running types. So, when you read a list of the best shoes, do not expect that the choices of that particular person will be the best choice for you personally too. Usually when you read that a certain shoe is awarded with a “thumbs up” or “Editor’s choice” rating, it means that the people who tested the shoe received what they expected, and that it serves the purpose it was made for well.
Overall, the choice of the best shoe for running is an individual one. Different runners have different expectations, needs and should choose the running shoes which they find the most comfortable, stable and which enhance their running performance. So, there is a pair of “best running shoes” for every runner, but not one universal pair which can be named the universal winner in this race.
- All running shoes by one brand are equal
Whether you are a fan of Asics, Mizuno, Nike, Brooks, New Balance, etc. you must have noticed that in some cases you may find that the latest style released by your preferred brand doesn’t meet your expectations in a way that the previous running shoes from this manufacturer did. The leading athletic shoe manufacturers tend to work on the design and production of a wide range of running shoes for the different types of runners, different foot types, and in order to meet the expectations and win over more different types of customers for their products. So, a general question such as “what do you think about Nikes?” does not have one definitive answer. Yes, each producer does have its own unique and specific mold shape (“last”) around which the shoe is built for each type of running shoe series, so if one style of this mold fits you well, the probability of the newer style of the same mold fitting you well too is high. But again, the manufacturers have different lasts for the different types of running shoe categories, such as: minimalist, motion control, stability and other types of footwear for running. Also, in order to meet the growing demands and expectations of the runners, footwear makers do tend to change the molds themselves periodically too.
In conclusion: brand loyalty is not a bad thing, but make sure that you stay open to other brands as well, because you could end up being disappointed by the latest styles released at any point of time.
- There is one right running shoe for you – the one prescribed first for you
Many newbies in running end up getting “prescribed” a certain type of running shoe by a shoe fitter and salesman, and believe that this is an infinite prescription and should be followed for the rest of their lives. The truth is, yes your foot shape, your gait type and other factors do affect the choice of the running shoes which will fit and serve you best, but remember that your body as well as your feet do change over time, and so does your running efficiency and speed. Such changes should be taken into consideration when purchasing new shoes for running. This means that the best shoe for you can change over time, and it is an ongoing challenge to keep finding the most comfortable running shoes which answer all your expectations. Make sure you measure your feet and get your stride type assessed before buying a new pair of running shoes.
- Brand loyalty is a virtue
Many runners find the “perfect” shoe for themselves at some point, and then believe that if they stick to this particular shoe they will stay happy forever. Buying the same model over and over again, and even stocking up out of fear of discontinuation of their production is not uncommon, but in actuality, experimenting and running in different shoes can help you train better and improve your running, strengthen your muscles, ligaments and joints and make you less prone to injuries and foot pain. The truth is, it is a good idea to have two pairs of different styles of running shoes to interchange for the different running and training sessions, such as a pair for longer runs, and another pair for speed work exercising. This will reduce the risk of overtraining injuries, as the stress will be put on different muscles and body parts when you are wearing different shoes. In conclusion our advice is to not be scared of experimenting with new shoes, brands and styles.
- Good running shoes can make you run faster
This may be the oldest of these myths about running shoes. People believe that there are running shoes which can turn them into instant winners at the next race. Yes, running shoes are crucial for your performance, and can make you feel as if you are improving your stride, speed and overall running skills, but the true strength of running comes as a result of training regularly and improving the performance of your heart and lungs.
Yes, running shoes are important, but regular and persistent running and training is what will actually make you faster and better!