Running is a sport that requires the right equipment. Make sure you’re fully prepared!
In the past few weeks I have been on a bit of a journey with regards to my exercise routine. To be honest, I don’t really know what sparked the change but I’ve become completely hooked on running. I think it’s the sense of escapism I get when I plug into some good music and hit the streets in the early morning before the rest of the city lights up. It’s definitely something everyone should try, especially with the fast paced lifestyles we’re used to in this day and age.
When it comes to running in winter, I must say that it’s important that you’re fully prepared- especially if you do decide to do the bitterly cold early morning sessions. If you’re starting out and still getting the feel for things, I wouldn’t recommend going out and spending a fortune on technical running equipment such as heat insulating tights etc., but I would definitely recommend a nice comfortable hoodie and a beanie/buff to protect your head from the morning frost. There is one piece of equipment, however, that one should definitely not skimp on- the shoes. If there is one thing that I have learnt in my time running, albeit not very long, it is that good running shoes will make the world of difference to your experience out there on the streets. By spending that little bit extra on a proper pair of running shoes you will save yourself from a world of pain further down the line- trust me, I’m talking from experience.
When I first started out, I threw on a pair of my old takkies because who wants to ruin a nice pair of sneakers doing exercise right? Wrong. At first I didn’t really notice what was happening to the bottom half of my body because I was too focused on trying to breathe. Once I got a fitter and started to run further, I started to feel the pain that these worn-out takkies were inflicting on me. It was time to make that all important investment.
Firstly, the shoes I was wearing weren’t the perfect size. I use the word perfect here because it’s important that you get as close to perfect with sizing as possible. You don’t want your foot to feel restricted, yet you don’t want too much movement as this will cause strain on the ball of your foot as you try to grip. The next problem I had was with the material. These days, brands are investing huge amounts of their budgets into research and development with regards to the materials they are using to manufacture their shoes, and the woven knit technology that is currently being used by a variety of brands has completely won me over. My previous pair were pretty rigid and didn’t have the breathability of what I am experiencing today. Also, ability of the material to adapt and stretch with the shape and movement of my foot has made the entire experience a whole lot more pleasant. Lastly, and most importantly, is the construction of the midsole and the arch support that is inherent in shoes made specifically for running. My previous pair were essentially flat and provided zero support, as well as having little to no offset from heel-to-toe. The lack of arch support led to sore feet and an aching back, and the lack of offset meant my knees were taking all of the pressure on the downhills. A recipe for certain post-run pain. Needless to say, my new pair scores 10/10 in all of these areas and has made my morning run a relatively painless excursion.
Now I’m sure you’re all wondering what these shoes are. If you’ve read previous articles of mine you would probably know by now that I am a massive Adidas fan, and I didn’t stray from this when it came time to making this decision. This may come as a surprise to you, but rather than going for the Ultra BOOST option I went for the Pure BOOST style instead. In this case it was just the way it felt on foot. The Pure BOOST, although aesthetically very nice, are a running shoe at heart and so I don’t mind taking them through the worst of conditions. I’ll leave my Ultra BOOST for social events, especially with the price tag that comes with them.
Do you have a favourite pair of running shoes? Share your opinions on the RTW Collective social platforms!