With tryouts for the track and field season beginning, athletes face a difficult choice in what shoes to wear for races. The most trending shoes at the moment are the Nike Vaporfly 4. These shoes can already improve the running economy by four percent, and the $250 shoes continue to be put to the test in labs to find out how they make runners more efficient and faster. But, in the end, not every runner wears the same shoes. It’s all personal preference, and not every athlete might like the same shoes as others. In addition, price matters too, and if an athlete cannot afford $250 shoes, they have no other choice but to buy the ones they can afford, and sometimes they won’t like the shoes or won’t feel comfortable wearing them.
Comfort is the main factor why some shoes might be better than others. Runners are not going to use shoes that don’t feel right. Generally, softer shoes provide more impact protection and feel more comfortable on longer, slower runs. Firmer shoes tend to give more ‘spring,’ or energy return, and feel livelier on faster runs. Some runners prefer to use different types of shoes depending on the type of run they are doing. Each shoe is classified as a ‘neutral’ or ‘stability’ running shoe. Neutral running shoes make up 80% of running shoes. These models offer the largest selection and are suitable for most runners. On the other hand, stability running shoes are designed to correct overpronation. Overpronation occurs when your ankle rolls excessively inward with each step. This is why some shoes are designed to help reduce the amount your foot rolls inward. Uncorrected overpronation can increase the risk of injury and lead to arch, heel, achilles tendon, shin or outer knee pain. Junior Diego Brown says, “I have used the Pegasus 36 running shoes and they are honestly the best ones I have used. They feel a lot better than my old ones and I can say not many people like these because they all have their feet different and adapt to other shoes better than these.”
All in all, every athlete has a different style of shoes, whether it is for running, soccer, football, or tennis. Just because the newest cleats that are designed for soccer are three times lighter than the previous models doesn’t mean you have to wear them. Yes, you can try them out, but you also have to keep experimenting and find the best fit for you. The next time you go to pick out your next pair of shoes, put a lot of thought into it, because every pair has its own story to tell.