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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > Apr-17 > PICKING THE RIGHT SHOES

PICKING THE RIGHT SHOES

FOLLOW THE SIMPLE STEPS TO ENSUREY OUR CHOSEN SHOE IS RIGHT FOR YOU

DETERMINE YOUR RUNNING STYLE

This is best done by having your gait analysed at a specialist running store. A gait analysis will tell you your level of pronation (how much your foot rolls inwards when you run), whether you land on your heel, mid, or forefoot, and pinpoint any areas that may be affecting your efficiency

DECIDE WHAT CATEGORY OF SHOE YOU NEED

Once you’ve determined your running style, you’ll know whether you need a stability, neutral, or minimal option. If you overpronate, you may need some stability to protect your foot from rolling excessively inwards. A basic level of pronation is best suited to a neutral trainer with enough cushioning to absorb impact, while runners who land on their mid or forefoot are generally more suited to minimal footwear with less cushioning.

GET THE RIGHT FIT

Shoe sizes vary from brand to brand, so bear in mind you may need half a size bigger or smaller than you usually get. Aim for a thumbnail’s length of space in the toe box and ensure the shoe feels snug, but at the same time, not restrictive.

RUN IN THE SHOE!

You can’t expect to choose the right pair of running shoes if all you do is stand up in them. Most specialist running stores will have a treadmill so you can get a true idea of whether the shoe is right for you.

HEEL COUNTER

Plastic or fibreboard piece in the heel that helps to keep the heel centred over the midsole. Watch out for heel tabs being too high as these can rub against the Achilles.

MIDSOLE

Cushions the foot and plays a key role in controlling excess foot motion. The midsole is located between the upper and the outsole and is attached to both

UPPER

The synthetic portion of the shoe that covers and fits to the foot, holding it onto the midsole.

TOE BOX

The forward tip of the upper of a shoe that provides space and protection for the toes.

OUTSOLE

The outer sole of a shoe. The outsole should provide traction and resistance to wear.

JARGON BUSTER

WHAT DO ALL THOSE TECHNICAL SHOE TERMS ACTUALLY MEAN?

DUAL DENSITY MIDSOLE

A midsole (the shockabsorbing foam layer between the insole and the outsole) that is made up of two types of foam – one of a different density or stiffness to the other.

EVA FOAM

Cushioning made from hundreds of thousands of foam cells containing air or gas. On impact, the gas is released. When the foot lifts, the gas is sucked back in

FLEX GROOVES

Horizontal grooves in the outsole forefoot, allowing the shoe to bend naturally with foot. Deep flex grooves mean more forefoot flexion but less shock absorption.

HEEL-TOE DROP/OFFSET

Difference in millimetres between the height of the heel and the forefoot. Zerodrop means the heel and ball of your foot will be exactly the same height off the ground.

TPU

Thermoplastic urethane is a flexible plastic that can be used in a shoe’s midsole to provide more stability for the runner

THEY SAY: This striking shoe is all about cushioning and the distinctive glovelike upper. Responsive boost cushioning is designed to give you great energy return, so you’re springing forward on every stride, while the Primeknit upper “adapts to the shape of your foot through the gait cycle.”

OUR TESTERS SAY: Although initially wary of the shoe’s unusual look, our tester was won over by the springy midsole, which “seemed to encourage a light, efficient running style.” The cage around the midfoot makes your feet feel really secure, although the superstretchy upper then feels roomy around the forefoot in contrast, which our tester found strange. Traction is excellent and the shoe feels light and fast.

GOOD FOR: Efficient runners looking for a glovelike fit and extra midfoot security.

The supportive cage around the midfoot improves fit and security

The Stretchweb rubber outsole flexes under your feet for a springy feel

The Fitcounter heel counter allows “optimal movement of the Achilles”

At 272g, it’s slightly heavier than the neutral UltraBOOST

ADIDAS ULTRABOOST ST W

£129.95, adidas.com

THEY SAY: Built around the same core concepts as the UltraBOOST, this version is designed for runners who need a bit more stability. It features the same boost midsole and Primeknit upper, but the midfoot band is more closely tied in to the foot. The Torsion System between the heel and forefoot gives a more stable ride.

OUR TESTERS SAY: This shoe really impressed our tester with its supercomfortable feel from the very first outing, and its glovelike fit. Although it doesn’t look like a heavyweight support shoe, our overpronating tester found it more than ample, saying, “It felt very supportive, especially under the arch of my foot.” The shoe’s understated looks also went down well.

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About Women’s Running

Coming up in the April issue of Women’s Running… Ramping up your mileage this spring? We’ve got everything you need in the April issue of Women’s Running, out now! Find the best running shoe for you with our first Women’s Running Shoe Guide, featuring 30 models tried and tested. If you’re marathon training, you’ll find part two of our 12-week training plans in this issue, taking you right up to race day. We’ve got an essential stretching routine to ease tired muscles, three gorgeous recipes to boost your health and energy, and tips on how to tackle long runs. Plus, we’ve got all the usual great gear reviews, inspiration and quick training advice.
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