Calling all Marathon runners: how to choose the best running shoe

Date published to the Blog: March 1, 2020

Only 8 weeks to go until the London Marathon! If you’re still feeling a little unprepared then our friends at Runners Need in Cotswold Outdoor will be more than happy to help you with your preparation and make sure you have the best shoe to get you through the day with minimum discomfort and injury.

Runners Need in Cotswold Outdoor at Newnham Court Shopping Village is very into running and has running clubs on a Monday and Thursday - for 5K, 10K or just OK!

For us, it's not how far you run that matters, it's that you lace-up, step out and just go running and we like to incentivise our runners with collectable stamps at our free weekly run club to earn exclusive rewards. After your first 3 runs you'll get an exclusive goody bag and a Just Run T-Shirt. Plus for every 10 stamps we'll give you £10 to spend in-store or online. Spend your stamps as you earn them or save them up, the choice is yours.

Many of the club runners are taking part in this year's London Marathon, so they're all geared up to giving the best advice for training and equipment for this amazing endurance race.

Why is getting the right shoe so important?

With the Marathon being run exclusively on roads, it’s really important for you to make sure that you have the right shoes and support to keep you springing along injury free for the whole 26.219 miles!

Road running shoes are the most common types of trainers and generally what most people think of as running shoes. Most important is their shock absorbency level, which needs to be HIGH when you’re hitting the concrete for 4 hours or so.

Key factors to consider when choosing your running shoe:

  • Foot shape: High arch vs flat feet - high arch is good. Flat foot is more prone to injury and needs more support.
  • Running Gait - there are three types:
    • Neutral - a neutral runner usually has high arches and the ideal gait for avoiding injuries, especially over long distances. All runners would love to have a neutral gait!
    • Over-pronation - foot rolls too far inward when you walk or run, causing pain and unnecessary strain and correlates with back, ankle and knee issues. Overpronators usually have flat feet or low arches)
    • Under-pronation (or supination) is less common and when your foot rolls outward as it hits the ground and often causes pain and blisters to your little toes
  • General comfort: the right amount of cushioning
  • Fit: too little to too much room can be equally as damaging. They have to be perfect! Runners Need recommends 1/2 size bigger than your normal fit to accommodate for heat and swelling
  • Traction: don't forget, it could be wet (this is April in England!) so you don't want to be slipping on wet roads
  • Breathable fabric:  to help keep your feet from overheating and swelling, rubbing and blistering...

It’s not just the shoes either, socks and toe protectors are also really important if you want to reduce the risk of crippling blisters! Technical running socks ( with padded arches and heels) are recommended and always wear them to shoe fittings.

With so much choice and so much at stake, it's always best to consult the experts when choosing a running shoe, so the running consultants at Runners Need are here to help. Take advantage of our easy to access, free parking and come and see them to test your gait, foot shape and talk through any other injuries or issues you might have.

Aside from shoes, they have every other piece of running kit you might need on the day.

If you want to do a bit of preparation, they also have a handy online guide to give you everything you need to know to help you choose the perfect road running shoes.

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