Running shoes have gone through several metamorphoses, and will continue to evolve. Yet, one recent trend that seems to be sticking lately are running shoes with a neutral sole. A neutral sole is one without a lot of extra arch support or pronation-control features. This is according to a comprehensive study done this spring by the internationally-recognized organization, The American College of Sports Medicine.
Early on in my running days, I loved lacing up a pair of my Nike Cortez’s and hitting my stride. Dating myself much? No bells, no whistles, just an all- American, good- looking, rather flat leather sneaker that was simply designed for runners. Now, the $3.1 billion running-shoe industry offers every design iteration imaginable. Yet, recent studies show that runners are just as well to get a pair of well-made running shoes that fit properly without having the shoes drastically alter the way we run in the shoes.
“We typically buy a few styles from high quality running shoe vendors without chasing down every trendy style out there. Fads come and go, but our best-selling shoes tend to have more of a traditional design with the latest materials and colors“, reports Danny Swenson, Athletic Footwear Buyer and Manager at The Barn.
Of course, it’s always best to come in to a reputable shoe store where you can be properly fitted by a trained salesperson. There are certain construction nuances in running shoes that are significant in keeping you pain and injury-free. Try on several pair and see which ones speak to you. Some runners still need shoes with extra support and stability. But, according to Michael Fredericson, director of Standford University’s Runner’s Injury Clinic in Redwood City, California, “The stronger you can have your foot and the less support you can get by with, the better.”
Although middle-ground shoes seem to be the way to go for the majority of runners these days, there is nothing average about the color of running shoes. Brights, neons, and tricked-out trims are all the rage this fall/winter and right into next spring. The secret sauce is getting an expert to help you find the right middle-ground shoe for your foot.