Thinking of hitting the pavement? Read this first
There are fewer better feelings in life than the river of sweat after a good, hard run. Do this a few times a week and you’ll become a new you: your skin improves, your lung capacity increases, you’ll crave better quality food and your expanded waistline will be a distant memory.
But if you are over 30 and already feeling the aches and pains of modern life there’s a chance running might not be your biggest priority. Among the best excuses is the reality that running can actually introduce more niggles, but it doesn’t need to be that way.
It all starts with the right pair of running shoes, perfectly created to match your running style and the dimensions of your feet.
“If you buy non-reputable sporting shoes from a mass market retailer you are not going to get the comfort or support that you need,” says footwear buyer James Crowe, who buys for a chain of SportsPower stores in the mid-north coast region of NSW.
It’s James’ job to see the trends in the industry and buy accordingly, and what he has observed hasn’t actually changed that much over the past decade.
“Like everything in life you pay for what you get. A really good pair of running shoes will cost anywhere from $160 to over $200, that’s where the quality begins and is what regular runners will be buying,” said the 32-year-old, who is in training with his wife for a half-marathon in the near future.
James and his wife both wear , a brand which provides the support, comfort and technical construction many cheaper brands of running shoes cannot compete with.
“There are a lot of chunkier shoes coming through with all different types of support: gender-specific tooling in gels and foams - which help support the runner as they become less efficient in the latter parts of the run,” he said.
“It all comes down to the individual, the goals they have with their running and how much bang they want to get for their buck.”
So which brands should the burgeoning runner be looking at to get on this road to fitness?
“You can’t go past brands like ASICS, adidas, New Balance and Brooks” said James, adding that regular runners often own a variety of shoe styles for their different needs.
“Some people push their footwear too far sometimes, owning one pair of shoes for everything they do. But these brands stand the test of time and are the preferred choice of runners of all abilities looking for a shoe that does everything it should to support their feet but also has some durability.”
“My wife wears Brooks as well, but there are a number of brands in that higher quality bracket which are brilliant for people looking to get back into it, or trying it out again after many years away from it.”
Shoes have come a long way since your writer begged his mum for a pair of KT26s at back in the 80s. However some traditions remain.
“I see people wearing thongs all day and that can lead to pronation issues as well as stress in your feet. But you can buy quality thongs from SportsPower that give you that support. The industry has really come a long way in providing the correct footwear across the range of activities people undertake,” said James.
One tradition yet to be challenged into extinction however is the middle-aged man wearing Nike Monarchs with his denim jeans. Does James see hope in a cultural change in that department?
“Haha, it’s not for me, but it’s all about the individual. If people want to wear runners with their jeans that’s entirely up to them.”
But he does have some advice for people looking to step into a better quality shoe.
“Unless you know your exact shoe size, based on width, length and shape, buying online can be an issue,” he said.
“Get into a store and have your feet measured accurately. It’s the only place where you can try before you buy and you’ll know your feet will end up with the right support for whatever it is that you want to do.”
And we know that is, right? It’s time we got moving and losing.
Losing the weight we don’t need, and getting the body moving to ensure a happier and healthier lifestyle.