It’s a new school year and it’s going to be tougher than ever to stick to your fitness routine. In-between late night study sessions, coffee breaks throughout the day and missing major meals, your body is going to take a hit.
When you do find the time to work out, it’s important that the little time you have is well spent. One thing that could help is having the proper shoe. And if you’re anything like me, you chose your workout shoes based on the colour of your yoga pants (sorry, but a girls’ gotta match).
Luckily, we have expert advice from Skechers representative Laurent Sirois. She’s here to help us break down the difference between running, training and walking shoes, what to look for in the shoe type that’s right for you and the right questions to ask shoe reps at the store.
What should I look for in a shoe if I’m running a marathon?
Choosing the right running shoe is something personal and even more so if you are running many kilometers. There is not a perfect marathon shoe that works for everyone, because it all depends on how much cushioning and protection in the shoe the runner is comfortable with.
One of the best ways to discover your marathon shoe is by adding distance with your go-to running shoe, slowly but surely, and analyzing how your body reacts. Take into account that distance-running success is contingent upon consistency and a gradual, yet progressive, pattern of training.
What should I look for in a shoe if I’m just doing the basic work out routines – nothing too crazy, just trying to keep fit!
A multisport shoe could definitely do the job. Whether you are doing a little bit of cardio, cross training or weight lifting, this type of shoe can accomplish all of those activities to a certain level of intensity and duration.
The Flex Appeal from SKECHERS is a perfect example of an all around multisport shoe.
What’s the difference between walking and running shoes?
When walking, your body weight is distributed more evenly on the foot than when you are running. The shape and cushioning of the shoes will differ because of the motion of the foot during the type of activity. When walking, the pattern is a rocking-chair-like-motion and requires your foot to absorb the impact of only 1-2 times your body weight. But, while running, that impact is much greater, around 3-4 times your body weight. Moreover, when you are running, it’s the outer part of the foot where you land.
When you walk, there’s a certain point where the whole foot is on the ground, which divides weight. However, when running, depending if you are a heel striker or more a mid-foot striker, it is the outer part of the foot where you land that absorbs the majority of the impact. Thus, on a running shoe depending on the brand, the absorption will either be concentrated at the heel or on the mid-foot section of the outsole.
At Skechers, all our walking and running footwear from our Performance division have their respective technologies. In our running shoes, we are mostly renown for our M-Strike technology that helps promote a mid-foot landing for a smoother transition in the motion. Therefore, it is possible to see when looking at the shoe that the outsole has a rocker form. For example, check out the Skechers GOrun Ultra Road.
In our walking shoes, we have the V-Stride technology features unique angled outsole that complements a natural walking gait and promotes fluid stride transitions. For example, check out the Skechers GOwalk 2 Supersock.
What kind of questions should I ask the Skechers representative to make sure I’m purchasing the right shoes for me?
Normally it would be the job of the rep to ask the right questions, so here are the basic questions that a representative should be asking you:
- How much running experience, if any, do you have?
- What distance do you run per week?
- What type of surface do you run on?
- Do you have any short-term goals for your running program?
- For example, are you training for a marathon? Or do you simply want to get around the block three or four times a week?
- What type or brand of shoe do you currently use and are you satisfied?
What are some things I should do in-store while trying on shoes to make sure they fit right?
Here are three basic steps:
- Try the shoes with your usual running/training socks.
- Lace up the shoes correctly
- Take the time to run or walk in the store for 10 minutes or more. (Some retailers even permit for an outdoor test on the pavement. Don’t be shy to ask!)
Keep in mind that immediate comfort is the key on finding the right shoe. Even if the sales associate is telling you that it’s their best seller, if you aren’t comfortable right away, try another model. Also remember that if you are looking for a running shoe, after a certain amount of kilometers, your feet may begin to swell. Look for little bit more room around the forefoot.
Will buying different kinds of running shoes actually make a difference towards my cause (running, training, etc.)?
If you are serious about running, it is definitely a great investment. Most avid runners rotate between thee to four, or even more pairs, of shoes for different types of training. In fact there are eight basic types of running trainings including tempo runs, long runs, fartlek, progressive run, etc. And yes, you could find a certain type of shoe for every one of those specific trainings!