There are a few significant differences to the way men and women run. When selecting a great running shoe it’s important to understand the physical differences in order to choose the right footwear.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a petite size 4 or a size 9 ladies shoe; running companies are now implementing ways to educate female runners.
So how do you choose a great running shoe for a woman? First of all, attempt to stay away from the aesthetics. The colours, patterns and everything that looks remotely pretty will be decided after the important things, sorry ladies.
To begin with, women have a wider Q-angle; this is the angle of incidence of the quadriceps in relation to the patella. Without the right running shoe, women will pronate a lot more than men and will heighten the chances of injury.
For this reason it is essential that the developers and designers take into consideration the biomechanical differences between men and women. Results have shown that women’s feet have different characteristics, especially in the arch, the first toe, the ball of the foot and the lateral side.
When choosing the right running shoe you must take the ‘wet test’ on a flat surface. If you have a flat foot, you’ll leave a fat and complete footprint. If your footprint appears almost cut in half vertically, so that no print from your arch is visible, you have a high arch foot. A normal foot is somewhere between the two of these.
You have to become familiar with the way you run. The majority of sports shops will ask you to jog on a treadmill so that they can determine how your feet make contact with the ground. Naturally, the feet should roll inwards to help absorb the impact, this is known as pronation. A lot of people tend to overpronate their feet, this means they roll excessively as they run which can lead to injury, particularly in the knees.
Once you’re aware of your basic running style, you will be able to narrow down your search for the right pair of running shoes. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you have small feet or you’re a large size 9 ladies shoe, specialists will be able to advise you on the right running shoe for you.
There’s the Mobility shoe, this will prevent excessive inward rolls of the foot.
The Motion-Control running shoe will assist with severe overpronation.
Neutral-Cushioned are for the more ‘neutral’ runner, primarily those with flatter feet who do not pronate or over-pronate at any time.
Trail are shoes designed for running on softer surfaces such as tracks or grass.
Performance running shoes are self explanatory, they will help the runner when racing or in speed training.
Once you know exactly what type of foot you have, and you’ve taken the appropriate steps to getting the right advice on selecting the shoe; you can now finally think of the aesthetics. Unlike men’s running shoes you will have a lot more choice in design and colour. From florescent pink, purple and green, to a more delicate and subtle white or beige. Enjoy!