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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > Apr-17 > PICKING THE RIGHT SHOE

PICKING THE RIGHT SHOE

Follow these simple steps to ensure your chosen shoe is right for you

MEN’S RUNNING SHOE GUIDE

■ 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 running 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 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 on hand so you can get a true feel for the shoe.

HEEL COUNTER

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

UPPER

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

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

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 shock-absorbing foam layer between the insole and the outsole) that is made up of two types of foam – each with a different density or stiffness to the other.

EVA FOAM

The most commonly used form of cushioning in running shoes, made up of hundreds of thousands of foam cells that contain air or gas. Landing on it, the EVA pushes the gas out, and when you release the pressure the gas is sucked back in.

FLEX GROOVES

Horizontal grooves in the forefoot of the outsole to allow the shoe to bend with the foot at its natural bending point. Deep flex grooves mean increased forefoot flexion and reduced shock absorption.

HEEL-TOE DROP/OFFSET

The difference in millimetres between the height of the heel and the forefoot. A zero-drop shoe means that the heel and ball of your foot will be exactly the same height on the ground.

TPU

Thermoplastic urethane is a flexible plastic that can be used in a shoe’s midsole to provide stability.

ADIDAS PURE BOOST

£129.95, adidas.co.uk

THEY SAY: ‘Run strong in these shoes built for a fast, energy-filled ride. Designed for high speed, these are built with cushioned boost™ for maximum energy return. The minimalist sock-like upper adapts to the shape of your foot as it moves, and a stretchy outsole flexes in any direction to adapt to the way your foot strikes the ground.’

OUR TESTERS SAY: “The trainers look great at first-glance, and the visually nice design means you could wear them day-to-day rather than just to train in.” Our testers also praised the shoes outstanding comfort, with one saying, “it almost felt like I was wearing socks rather than trainers.” One gripe was with the midsole, with one tester saying “a lump underneath the ball of the foot can be quite annoying,” but overall our testers were impressed and “would definitely buy the shoe.”

GOOD FOR: Speed sessions and casual wear.

Knit upper for a ‘premium, natural feel’

STRETCHWEB outsole ‘flexes underfoot for an energised ride’

FITCOUNTER moulded heel counter for ‘optimal movement of the achilles’ boost™ cushioning for heightened energy return

ADIDAS SUPERNOVA

£99.95, adidas.co.uk

THEY SAY: ‘Challenge yourself to a longer run with confidence in these men’s shoes. A boost™ midsole combines with a flexible STRETCHWEB outsole for a responsive, energy-returning ride. The engineered mesh upper with seamless panels provides ventilated comfort, while the heel hugs and guides your foot.’

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About Men's Running

I’ve put that question to runners of all abilities – some professional, some amateur, all keen – and their answers are varied and unique. For some, self-improvement is their motivation, whether to lose weight, overcome health issues – both physical and mental – or to simply be fitter. For others running is key to their social life, a community brought together by a common interest, and the friendships made within it. For those who have the talent and determination to compete at the highest level, it has become their livelihood. Then there are runners who do it just for fun, they always have, and they always will. I’m a recent convert, I managed to avoid running for most of my adult life. Maybe my attitude was formed in school where I showed zero aptitude. That didn’t change in my 20s when exercise was way down my list of priorities. As I got older I started to focus more on my fitness but, still, running never figured. But now, if I’m honest, I feel slightly foolish for leaving it so long, as I can see how a few weekly runs would have improved virtually every aspect of my life in some way. Plus I’d be a hell of lot faster than I am at the moment. I’m now one of those annoying born-again runners, the type forever extolling the virtues of “lacing up my trainers and getting out there.” I’m in good company though, as having bought this magazine I’m guessing you’re pretty enthusiastic too. I look forward to bringing you the best magazine dedicated to our shared passion in the months to come.
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