Shock-absorbing running shoes are essential for many runners. You may enjoy the natural high that only running can provide, but what about criticisms regarding the shock absorbed by your joints from this activity? There are some people who advocate speed walking over running because the feet do not strike the ground with as much intensity, but for most runners, there is nothing more thrilling than the feel of feet striking ground and the wind rushing by.
The solution is not to give up your passion for running but to make sure you are wearing shock-absorbing running shoes designed for your level of natural pronation. There is no single running shoe that meets these criteria. You have to make a personal buying decision based on information drawn from your own body.
If you are a neutral runner, your feet roll slightly inward toward the arch as you roll through each foot strike. If you over-pronate, your feet roll inward to a sharper degree, forcing more of the shock from impact to hit the inner sides of your feet. If you under-pronate, your feet don’t roll inward enough and more of the shock is absorbed by the outer edges of your feet.
Pronation is important to understand because it will determine how fast you wear down certain parts of your running shoes and how comfortably some shoes fit your feet. You also need the right amount of cushioning in the right part of the shoe to ensure that your feet absorb shock evenly so that one part of the foot is not at risk of developing overuse injuries.
It is true that running forces your body to absorb immense pressure. Each strike can bring a force equaling eight times your bodyweight onto your joints. The best running shoes will protect and support your feet while absorbing some of that shock so that it doesn’t affect your body.
Now that you understand the importance of learning how your feet pronate and finding shock-absorbing shoes, how do you find shoes that will help with shock absorption? Following are just a few recommendations to get you started. Use these examples to determine what you are looking for when comparing other options.
Scott Makani II - The midsole on this shoe is designed to promote shock absorption and comfort. It is lightweight and breathable, but it still provides support so that your joints have some protection. These shoes are promoted as a cross between a trainer and a racing shoe, and many runners find it suits their training needs while protecting their feet from natural shock produced during running.
Adidas adiZero Adios - These running shoes have a dual-layer sole, so they provide a lot of extra cushioning for shock-absorption. It is considered a minimalist running shoe and is extremely lightweight, but it has been embraced by many professional runners for its balance of support, comfort and flexibility.
Asics GT 2150 - Support, stability and comfort are equally tackled with this shock-absorbing running shoe for women. It features well-placed cushioning as well as an Impact Guidance System to support your gait with each strike of the foot. The shoe is also designed for the natural arch most female feet share, so it is quite different from the men’s version of the shoe.