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The right shoes for jogging
Jogging is a popular sport. From casual joggers to marathon runners, all levels of performance are represented in the population. As with any sport, the right equipment plays an important role. Special attention should be paid to shoes when jogging. Health professionals explain what to look for in running shoes.
If you want to run a bit through the park, you don't need much. But this one piece of equipment has to fit. Why running shoes are so important and how to find the perfect pair.
Footwear plays an important role in jogging
Fresh air and exercise: this combination attracts many people to run. Footwear plays a key role in ensuring that the muscles and tendons survive a jogging session. In other words, nothing works without running shoes. Why this is so and what is important for the models:
Isn't the old indoor shoe enough for the start?
"No, an indoor shoe is certainly not suitable for carrying you far, for example on forest floors," explains orthopedic surgeon Patrik Reize. Different parts of the foot would be stressed when running than with other sports - and would have to be cushioned and stabilized accordingly.
Health problems due to wrong shoes
Otherwise there is a risk of problems, for example in the forefoot area, on the Achilles tendon or in the knees. Especially in spring, when many people start running again, runners with complaints about stimuli and his team keep coming to the Stuttgart Clinic and complain of back pain, for example. "They are often untrained or try out some unsuitable shoes," says the doctor.
Urs Weber from the trade magazine "Runner’s World" also emphasizes: "The shoe is the most important piece of equipment for runners." He makes this clear by comparing it: "I can play football with a tennis shoe, but it is much better with a football shoe."
What should be considered when buying?
Explosion, degree of hardness, cushioning - a number of technical terms are used around footwear. But beginners shouldn't be put off by them, Weber advises. The best thing to do is to do it "without blame and with a lot of feeling". The most important thing is that the shoes fit properly. "You can feel that on the foot," says Weber. Technical characteristics and equipment come afterwards.
It is important to know yourself and your requirements: your own weight, the level of training (beginner, advanced or ambitious runner), the surface you are running on (hard footpath or soft forest floor), the length of the running route and any misalignment of the foot - these factors play an important role in the choice of shoe, explains Reize.
The length of the running route should be taken into account
Take the running route, for example: “For longer distances, I need more support from my shoe,” says Reize. Then it comes down to stability and cushioning. On the other hand, if you are already practiced, you can also look for a very flexible shoe on short distances, in order to exercise and train the muscles and tendons in the foot area, for example, the expert explains.
In his view, beginners should rather rely on more support from the shoe. As soon as muscles, ligaments and bones have got used to the new load, this can be reduced - it depends on the running style and performance.
Heel runner, forefoot runner or midfoot runner?
Most people are heel-walkers, says Urs Weber. That means: after each step you land with the heel attachment point first and roll with your whole foot. "From experience, these runners need relatively well cushioned shoes."
There are two other types of running: forefoot and midfoot. However, Weber emphasizes: “There is no ideal that one should strive for. Everyone just runs as they were born with, there is no right or wrong. ”According to his information, it has not yet been possible to prove biomechanically that a running style is more susceptible to injury or generally worse than another.
If possible, give running advice
Many specialist shops offer this. In principle, Weber would always recommend this. The amount of simple running shoes is very large, he says. “It is difficult to orientate yourself there and to find the right model. Especially as a beginner. ”
What trends are there when jogging?
For a long time, the buzzword “natural running” was on everyone's lips: So, if possible, no cushioning and little support for the foot, high flexibility, barefoot walking with the sole, so to speak. In the meantime, the pendulum has struck back, observes Weber. The trend is again for “well cushioned, super comfortable running shoes”.
How long does a running shoe last?
That depends a lot on the user, as Weber explains. "It makes a big difference whether it is a 50 kilogram runner with a perfect running style or a 100 kilogram runner with a biomechanically complex running style," explains the expert.
In general, the lifespan of shoes has increased in recent years. The midsole material in particular has become much better. Nevertheless, it hardens over time and loses elasticity. So the performance of the shoe deteriorates, the body is challenged more when running. "You don't notice that," says Weber. Another reason is that this wear and tear is not obvious - for example through holes in the shoe.
The expert advises that an eight to ten year old running shoe should be replaced or only used in everyday life. But no longer for jogging in the park or on the running track.
Running shoe trends 2020
"Comfort is the key word," says Urs Weber. It starts with the first impression of wearing, which should be as good as possible. The fact that the shoes feel comfortable on the foot and at the same time offer the necessary support has a lot to do with the advancing development of running shoes: Weber has made a quantum leap in midsole material in recent years. Upper materials are also significantly more functional than before - more elastic, better adapted and more breathable, which makes the shoes more comfortable to wear in everyday life.
Recoil like the trampoline
One catchphrase is the topic of rebound, i.e. how much the shoe pushes back. You can imagine it a bit like a trampoline. Weber explains that there is a carbon plate in the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% that, in combination with a very reactive middle foam, offers a lot of rebound. Ultimately, this should save energy.
Rocker with curved soles
There are now often soles that are bent up at the toe and heel. This technology is called rocker. “So the middle of the sole has the most contact with the ground. That should bring a movement effect forward, ”explains the expert.
Gel shoes with metatarsal bridge
The Asics Gel Kayano, on the other hand, has a flat sole with a metatarsal bridge, which makes the sole more rigid. The foot is held more stable with a firm heel clip and a firmer midsole material on the inside.
Banana oil and algae foam in running shoes
The French sneaker brand Veja promises environmentally friendly materials and fair working conditions for their first running shoe model. But you should also be able to run well in your shoes, says Veja founder Sebastién Kopp: "You won't run the next Berlin marathon with them." Anyone who runs 10 to 20 kilometers a week or two will be satisfied .
In the model called Condor, Veja processes rice waste, banana oil and sugar cane. More than half of the shoe is said to be made from recycled materials and natural raw materials.
The Swedish manufacturer Icebug produces the midsole of the new Outrun RB9X model partly from algae foam. The approaches are rather the exception. The majority of the running shoes on the market are made entirely of plastics.
Midfoot shoes from Kenya
Enda is a manufacturer from Kenya, a country of runners. The Kenyan athletes regularly clear the top spots in marathons and championships. The brand makes the cushioning in the heel harder and softer in the middle so that they bounce more at the point. They are designed for so-called midfoot runners, explains managing director Navalayo Osembo-Ombati. This style is better for knees and hips.
Running shoes with app connection
The right running shoe can of course improve your running style. For example, the Under Armor Hovr Infinite wants to help. He installed a chip in the sole. This not only sends training data such as running time and distance to an app, but also the stride length, for example. “Beginners in particular tend to take longer steps. But from a biomechanical point of view, a higher frequency with shorter steps is better, ”says Weber. In this respect, such an app can be a corrective.
The Digitsole insole has a similar goal. It is designed solely for analysis and not for support and foot correction. For example, she recognizes the contact zone of the feet and notices changes in the running style that indicate fatigue. If you don't want to take your smartphone on the jogging tour, you can upload the data later. They then save the sole first. (vb; source: Tom Nebe, dpa)