The right footwear is essential. All runners – from beginner to elite athlete – will require comfortable, well-fitting shoes that suit their bio-mechanical characteristics, running style and discipline.
The right running shoe is essential for the newcomers as for elite athletes. A comfortable and correctly fitting running shoe is the basic requirement, but you will also need shoes to suit your foot type, gait, personal running style and running discipline (track, cross-country, trail etc).
Modern running shoes are made with light, breathable uppers to keep your feet dry and comfortable with cushioned soles for support. The type and amount of material used in each (sole and upper) will dependent on the shoe type and intended use – minimalist and lightweight for racing shoes, tough and weatherproof for trail running shoes and a balance of both for ‘all-rounder’ training shoes.
When buying your first pair of ‘proper’ running shoes it is often an idea to have a professional gait analysis carried out, which will establish your level of pronation (how your foot rolls when you walk or run – a ‘neutral’ runner will display little or no pronation while an ‘over-pronator’ will find their foot rolling towards the inside and will require a shoe that compensates).