CHEAP RUNNING SHOES
Cheap running shoes are not necessarily a bad choice.
For some people the cost of high end running shoes these days has escalated to the point where it’s beyond their means.
Yet it need not mean that you cannot perform at a high level because all you can afford is a bargain-priced pair of running shoes.
Many years ago I read a book by a running and fitness expert who maintained that far too much attention was being given to making shoes eye-appealing and full of technical innovations that would make one a better runner.
He claimed that every year major shoe distributors make changes that are supposed to make their latest shoe much better than the pair that was supposedly the very best the year previous.
He suggested that instead of paying top dollar for a pair of name brand shoes, runners might be better off to buy two or three pairs of cheap, “no-name” running shoes sold by large retail “box-stores” who buy on volume.
I took his advice and for the last 15 years of my career I never paid more than $50 for a pair of running shoes.
I also went to a local running store and bought a great pair of light-weight racing flats with minimal support. They were an older model shoe that had been reduced to less than half price.
Once I had them nicely broken in, I put them away for race-day and wore them for about 6 Ironman marathons including one that was a 3:34. Wearing those cheap running shoes was like putting on a favorite pair of slippers. When I say cheap, I don’t mean poorly made….I mean cost effective.
When many people were going out and buying training shoes after every 300 or 400 miles of running as suggested by shoe companies, I was wearing my runners until they were in tatters. The funny thing was, the more I ran in those shoes and the more broken down they became the better they felt.
Many people have really enjoyed reading the book Born To Run.
In general the book is about some of the greatest ultra-distance runners in the world.
An entire chapter is devoted to minimalist running shoes and how they benefit you more than shoes that are built up too much.
The theory was…..the closer you can come to running in bare feet the better.
One expert even went as far as to say you are much better off wearing shoes that are well worn because the less padding they have and the less they constrict your feet the closer you are to running naturally(in bare feet).
That was sort of vindication for me because it was what I had believed years before the book was ever written.
Shoes that are not constricting and tight around your feet, and not built up on the heel will allow your toes to spread out more naturally on every foot-strike and the impact is absorbed much more easily.
Not only does it feel much better, but you far less likely to suffer from injuries that are often a side-effect of built-up shoes that turn you into a heel-striker.
The best thing to do is to feel what it’s like to run in bare feet for yourself. The next time you are at a beach, run for a mile or two in bare feet and you will notice the difference right away.
Your stride and foot-fall will become more natural and chances are you will really enjoy the way it feels to run the way mankind was meant to run eons ago.
It might just convince you to search out cheap running shoes that have very little cushioning and support and by the very nature of their simple construction bring you closer to running naturally.
You may even decide to give minimalist running shoes a try.
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