Race Trainers: 6 Ways To Consider

If you go to a running shop, you will be confronted by a wall of many different coloured shoes. Identifying the correct shoe out of a lot of possibilities is no simple feat.

It gets more complex, and not every shoe is suitable for you. No matter which set of shoes you pick, they have to fit your feet perfectly and feel good when you’re running.

These days, a majority of people like to shop online; however, it can be more dangerous if you are not able to try it on before making a purchase. Many shops allow customers to take advantage of a trial period without taking any risks, so it is possible to put on your shoes and go out for a trial in the same way you would in the shop.

How Your Shoes Should Fit

Every component of a running shoe has its own purpose and is tailored to fit the foot perfectly. Even the slightest differentiation may affect your experience.

We have dissected the primary aspects of the running shoe to help you identify them and ascertain that each is suitable for your foot. If you’d like to explore the topic more in-depth, you can find out more about the components of a running shoe here.

All the components of the running shoe that are situated above the sole make up the upper. In the past, shoe manufacturers would construct the top of their footwear with layers of textiles and mesh stitched and bonded together.

Present-day adaptations more and more utilize knitting and 3D printing to build flawless single-piece garments that are flexible and give support where they should. The material should fit comfortably against the skin without causing any irritation, pinching, or constricting.

Picking the Right Trainers for Race Day Guide

1. Consider Your Running Surface

This is where the rubber of your running shoe makes contact with the surface of the road. It is usually composed of different rubbery or foam elements in specific sections to prolong its duration or enhance its elasticity or suppleness.

Materials that offer traction and resilience without extra weight or stiffness, in an outline that suits your needs and provides the desired level of balance.

2. Midsole Shape

A lot of shoes are constructed with flex grooves beneath the toes so that the footwear can better conform to the natural flexibility of the foot. By having a toe spring and cutting away the midsole into a rocker pattern, it enables the foot to move more freely through the stepping motion.

Varying your position a bit or adjusting the angle could affect the movement and feel, so pick a level of flexibility that matches your gait as you speed it up and slow it down.

Rocker-style midsoles often have a more active toe spring to help promote a fast, forward motion during a stride. Search for a shoe that bends and follows the movements of your feet – suitable for the speed of your activity.

The midsole acts as a cushion between the outsole and the upper; it is made of foam material, and it helps absorb shock when running and assists with guiding the foot through the stride. Every runner will have their own preferences.

Select a middle sole thickness and material that is comfortable to use when running, fulfils your preferred softness or stiffness, and does not add unwanted mass.

3. Heel and Forefoot Cushioning

The purpose of the midsole material around the heel is to reduce the shock from the act of striking the ground with the heel. In addition to employing numerous shock-absorbing materials, certain shoes contain an area at the outer side of the foot or an arched external heel to reduce the force of impact when landing.

It has been discovered that the human body supplies the majority of shock absorption to your joint areas and that one tends to land more heavily in a shoe that provides more cushioning, so the cushioning of your heel is usually thought to be a question of comfort.

You’re likely looking for a combination of comfort, stability, and connection to the ground. While conducting test runs, observe if the shoe hits the ground in the spot where it is supposed to, and slides into the stride in an even mode.

Cushioning at the front of the foot helps to reduce the amount of force that is generated with the initial step and when pushing off.

The body’s movements cushion the parts of the body above the ankle, while specialized cushioning in the shoe protects the bones and tissues of the foot.

The promise of new materials and designs that offer more energy in return is that they can both secure and propel your foot forward. Notice the reaction from the shoe, trying to find the perfect equilibrium between a soft feel and a stiff push-off base.

4. Heel-Toe Drop

The difference in height between your heel and the ball of your foot when standing in the shoe is referred to as the drop.

There is not a unanimous opinion about the role that drop plays regarding injuries, especially involving Vibram’s, however, specialists agree that a change in drop has an effect on the way that forces are applied on the foot and leg, and it can modify the manner of running.

Choose a shoe that is comfortable from the moment you put your foot down until you lift it off the ground, one that takes the pressure off any weak spots in your feet. Shoes with a zero-drop design, such as those created by the brand Altra, have the same distance between the heel and toe and the ground.

5. Assess Your Gait and Running Style

Designers deploy various technologies including social media posts, duplex foam, various wedges, guide rails, and wider shoe shapes to try and impede the foot from extreme movement, especially overpronation or rolling inwards.

Researchers concur that the majority of individuals do not need pronation assistance, yet control and stability tools appear to assist certain athletes to keep their favoured gait course.

Your shoe should offer stability as support, not over-correction. For those who overpronate, a shoe offering more stability may be beneficial.

6. Try a New Insole

An insole (also known as a sock liner) is a pad of foam that is found inside the shoe, which lightly cradles the shape of the sole of your foot while providing a soft cushion. The shape of the shoe, combined with the arch support it provides, gives the wearer a comfortable fit from the first moment.

Take note of the sensitivity of the shoe while running, as a softer shoe is not always superior and the foot works flexibly to produce its own strengthening and cushioning. If you are using an orthotic, make sure it is comfortable when inserted into your footwear.

What to Wear for Cold-Weather Races

One needs to think about a lot of things when getting ready to compete in cold weather. If you don’t wear enough warm clothes, you’ll likely have to spend most of the race trying to get warm. If you take on too much, you could become weighed down by excess baggage. Find a happy medium with these cold-weather clothing tips.

Layer up. Gown up with multiple garments so that you are relaxed when you begin the race. If the weather is fairly cool, try wearing running tight or trousers. If it is extremely cold outside, try wearing fleece-lined trousers.

You should consider bringing a thin, long-sleeved top with a quarter zip and/or a waterproof and windproof jacket, depending on the temperature and the climate. As you progress through your journey, Dworecki suggests that you take off layers of clothing.

Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics. Even though it is chilly outdoors, you can still break a sweat while wearing several layers of clothing. If you start to perspire heavily, not only will your clothes become wet and thereby heavier, but you will also be vulnerable to losing your body heat.

Avoid cotton and wear a sweat-absorbing sports bra (if necessary) and a long-sleeved undershirt to keep yourself warm and dry while running.

Gainacopulos states that this will help protect you from getting wet and help manage your body temperature. Search for apparel constructed of moisture-absorbing fabrics such as merino wool or polyester.

Consider the pre-race journey. Arriving at the beginning of the race may require a significant stroll or bus trip, lingering in an enclosed area, or hanging around for an extended amount of time.

In cold and wet weather, Dworecki suggests bringing along something like a big garbage bag or long-sleeved garment that you can take off at the beginning of your jog.

Train in the garbage bag or spare top during your workouts so that you are prepared to take it off without any issues when race day arrives, she suggests.

Note your race distance. The way you attire yourself for a marathon is distinct from what you would wear for a 5K. Gainacopulos states that during the course o a full marathon (26.2 miles), you will experience more shifts in temperature than when running a 5K (3.1 miles).

Take heed to layer your clothing and bring items that will bring protection in all possible temperatures or types of weather if you are preparing for a complete marathon or a half-marathon.

You don’t need to wear as many layers when running a 5K or 10K. Put your coat, gloves, etc. in your vehicle or give them to someone you trust.

Invest in a great jacket. Investing in a running jacket can be costly, but the benefits outweigh the expense.

A good quality men’s or women’s running jacket can help minimize the amount of clothing you need and also have handy features like pockets for snacks and lip balm to make running your race a better experience. Gainacopulos suggests finding a jacket that meets the following criteria:

  • Wind-resistant
  • Water-resistant
  • Reflective design
  • Large enough to fit layers underneath without being bulky

What to Wear for Warm-Weather Races

The advantage of competing in a warmer climate is that you won’t require a lot of layers or equipment. Nevertheless, your choices of attire are still very significant. Here are a few ways to stay stylish in the summer heat.

Prioritise moisture-wicking. Search for sports apparel like shirts, pants, and underwear which say “moisture-management” on the label, such as Nike Dri-FIT clothing.

You can ensure that your clothing does not become too heavy on you after you start perspiring. The material will pull moisture away from your body to the external layer, where it will evaporate quickly. Fabrics that are best capable of drawing moisture away from the body include polyester, nylon, bamboo, merino wool, and polypropylene.

Less is more. If it is extremely hot outside, wear a sporty tank top or T-shirt with some running shorts or cropped trousers. Pairing shorts with tight-fitting bottoms such as briefs is desirable for the extra support and prevention of skin irritation they provide.

Extras make a big difference. When you’re running in hot weather, sunglasses, a sweat-absorbing hat or visor, clammy-resistant socks, and anti-rub undergarments can be extremely helpful.

It might be worth looking into using nipple protection and/or lubrication to prevent chafing. Be certain to try on the items in question during your practice sessions so you can determine whether they will be suitable for you.

What to Wear for Trail Races

Trail races are different beasts. Your apparel should resemble kit appropriate for a road race, but there are a few modifications to be made to suit your off-road experience. Use these suggestions when planning your trail race outfit.

Safeguard your skin. Trails can be full of branches and brambles. Put on leggings or combine your shorts with longer socks to prevent your legs from getting scraped.

Layer up. Take into account that going for a run along a track is likely to take a greater amount of time than running the same distance on the road because of the inclines and different surfaces.

It is more difficult to foretell what the weather will be like due to the same causes. Dworecki remarks that the atmosphere at the summit of a mountain can deviate drastically as compared to lower elevations.

If you are running a long trail race with multiple support stations, it is important to put on several layers of clothing. Dworecki recommends dressing in layers to remain comfortable during long, challenging hikes and while at the summit or on the descent.

Begin your outfit with a fabric top which absorbs sweat, and also add a sports bra if necessary. Then put on a thin, zip-up or long-sleeve shirt, and cover with a waterproof and windproof running coat.

Bring a pack. Think about using a rucksack-style hydration system if you’re participating in a long trail race that has changes in altitude. You can keep your snacks, additional clothing and required equipment for the trek in this manner.

What Shoes to Wear on Race Day

A lot of runners like to buy shoes which are specially made for racing. Running shoes that are more lightweight and intended to improve your speed and power are used for racing, on the other hand, training shoes tend to be made of heavier material to provide more cushioning and shock absorption.

The type of running shoe you need partly depends on the length and type of terrain for the race. Here are a few categories to consider:

  • Trail races. Uneven terrain calls for running shoes with plenty of traction and stability. Check out trail running shoes to find a pair that can carry you up and over any mountain.
  • Long-distance road races. Marathons and half-marathons require you to spend a great deal of time on your feet. Lighter shoes can help with speed, but you’ll probably still want a bit of cushioning to help with shock absorption.
  • Shorter road races. Tackling a 5K or 10K? You may be able to get away with minimal support and cushioning.

When you’re purchasing racing shoes, it is important to consider your own individual tastes.

Some runners opt for a close-fitting shoe, while others require some extra space to account for their feet possibly increasing in size during extended jogs. Pay attention to what characteristics you require from a pair of running shoes so that you can find a pair which is perfect for you.

Some final tips:

  • Go to a speciality running shop, not a big-box or department store. A salesperson will observe your gait and bring a selection of shoes that they believe best fit your needs. They’ll let you try each one, and help you narrow it down to the right choice.
  • Get your feet measured. You may think you know your size, but your feet change over time, and one model’s fit can be drastically different from another’s.
  • When you go shopping, bring along the shoes, socks, and inserts you’ve been using. That way, when you try on a new shoe, you can compare it directly to your current experience.
  • Shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles depending on the brand and model. Keep track of the date that you bought them in your training log and make note of when they start to feel worn down.


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