|The Direct Footwear Blog|
There's a lot of hype today on the importance of quality running shoes and for good reason too if you run on a regular basis. However, it wasn't always like that and even today we have barefoot marathon runners across the world, but most of these are tribal people who live their lives barefooted anyway.
Some of you reading this may remember a remarkable athlete called Zola Budd, the white South African distance runner. Young Zola burst on the world running scene in 1983 when she was just 16 years of age as she smashed the world 5,000m record. Zola would always run in bare feet and her explanation was simply that she found it more comfortable.
But that was then and this is now and we know a fair bit more about the long-term damaging effects of running without proper foot support and cushioning than we did just a couple of decades ago. In fact today's weekend joggers and runners are spending literally hundreds of dollars to buy advanced technology for their feet and those serious about marathon running will spend as much as they need to on protective footwear.
But however much you pay for your marathon shoes, don't even think of running a full marathon until you have broken them in for at least 100 miles. Don't let that initial comfort and support fool you as they really do need to be broken in. Although running shoes are pretty much an individual choice, one should always take time to find the right fitting shoe that will take the stress and strain out of your race.
It may well be tempting to opt for a flat-lightweight-trendy looking pair of running shoes but be warned if you are a novice as they may give out on you before the end of the race depending on the brand and how you run. If in doubt, seek professional advice from the sports store assistant.
The kind of race you are running and your experience will determine the type of shoe you choose. You will likely have to decide between lightweight flats which are better for speed, or a heavier shoe which gives more support. Remember, running a good marathon is as much mental as physical although it may not seem it when your legs feel like jelly and you shoes like lead.
If you are a competitive runner or you just run for fun, selecting the correct type of shoe is crucial for the long term support and protection of your limbs and ligaments. Good footwear and foot care will mean that you should be able to run for many happy years ahead.