Best Running Shoes for Marathon or Ironman Races
Jakob Ohlsen Published: 21st January 2018
Choosing the best running shoes for a marathon or endurance event can make a big difference to your chances of success. There are a number of factors to consider, and it's a good idea to visit a specialist store for advice. Brand loyalty isn't always a good thing, as manufacturers specialize in the needs of different types of runner.
Many athletes become attached to their favorite running shoes, but it's important to replace them on a regular basis. Keen runners should replace their shoes every six months. Wear and tear means support is reduced with use, and shoes can begin to cause discomfort and pain. The best running shoes for an athlete can change over time if your weight, speed or running style change.
The following points will help you understand how to choose the best running shoes.
1. What's your pronation?
Pronation is the natural rolling of your feet when you run or walk. It helps the body absorb some of the impact caused when your feet strike the ground. Some people pronate more or less than others, and this is called over or under pronation. Marathon and endurance runners need to know how they pronate and choose running shoes to suit their style.
Unsuitable shoes make running for any length of time difficult and can lead to injuries over time. There are simple tests you can use at home to establish if you over or under pronate, but it's best to visit a specialist store if possible. Video equipment can be used to record how your feet land when you run, and a running store will be able to supply the best running shoes based on your style.
2. How much do you weigh?
Body weight is a factor often overlooked by runners choosing their shoes. Extra cushioning is advisable for heavier runners. It makes landing more comfortable and reduces the stress on ankles and lower legs. Lighter runners can opt for lighter shoes with less cushioning. Gel pads can be added to any shoe to increase the level of cushioning, but they must be fitted correctly, or they can move inside the shoe and cause problems.
3. How fast do you run?
If you're new to marathons or iron man events, your goal may simply be to make it to the finish line. As you gain experience and improve, speed and finish times become more important. Racing shoes designed for elite runners offer lower levels of cushioning, and you sacrifice comfort for speed. Running a marathon in shoes designed for speed can take its toll on your body, so only upgrade when you have experience.
4. What weather conditions do you run in?
Comfort is essential when it comes to marathons and endurance runs. The human body generates a lot of heat during a long run, and this can lead to itchy feet if your shoes aren't made with breathable material. Sweat can lead to blisters, and this can have serious consequences. If you run regularly in cold climates, you'll need special shoes designed to keep snow and water from reaching your feet. In extreme conditions, snow traction studs may be necessary.
Choosing the best running shoes is essential for performance. Your feet will take a pounding during a marathon or endurance event, and the right shoes can make all the difference.