I've been running for 25 years and despite my brother-in-law owning a specialist running shop in London, I used to buy shoes off sale racks based on what they looked like and price. Lots of tutting and raised eye brows from brother-in-law, but I took no notice. I did notice that I usually ran with a niggly injury. It seemed the norm. After a spell of resting for a year I bought some decent running shoes and felt much better, but I still didn't bother getting advice and fitting through gait analysis.
I joined a running club, increased my running, doing half marathons and cross country. I had occasional calf injuries and was gutted when I missed a 10k pb having to pull out of a race near the finish. When I started training for my first marathon, guess what?.. my recurrent calf injuries re-surfaced and I felt like I had blocks of wood instead of muscles. My physio took one look at my shoes and sent me to Running Form for a video gait analysis and shoe fitting. I've never looked back!
At Running Form it takes about 20 mins to have your foot and lower leg posture checked, both in standing and running on a treadmill. You can then try different shoes with the correct level of cushioning and support, and we will help you choose the best shoes for you by reviewing the video clips side by side.
You may be eyeing up your mate's light racing flats, but if you are not out to break records, need cushioning to protect an Achilles injury or support to improve foot alignment, then racing flats might even slow you down! If you do a lot of training off road, trail or fell shoes will help you run better. Off road shoes have specific lugs to help with grip on uneven ground and hills, toe and forefoot protection against stones and branches, and some have features like lace pockets so your laces don't trail in the mud or anti-gravel tongue to keep debris out of the shoe.
Running Form staff are experienced in fitting shoes and advising on the brands and types that would suit your running. Book a video gait analysis at http://www.running-form.co.uk/services.
Remember, the right shoes will help you run well and stay injury free, but maintaining strength, stability and good running form are just as important!