Footwear & Apparel
ASICS - True Sport Performance Since 1949. Born in Japan, ASICS is at the forefront of the global sports market. Highly regarded for technical superiority and rigorous quality, ASICS is undisputedly the leading sports performance brand for the true sports people and professional athletes alike. By creating the best products for runners with research from ASICS Institute of Sport Science in Kobe, plus 60 years of experience of technical innovations, we continue to create the most technical shoes in the world. These standards have put the company in good stead since 1949 and will remain hallmarks of the brand as it innovates and develops well into the 21st century. At ASICS, we believe comfort equals performance, that's why both our footwear and apparel is always designed with the runner's comfort and support in mind. To view the full range of ASICS footwear and apparel visit www.asics.co.nz
A comfortable running shoe is a shoe that fits, but finding one is not always easy. As you are about to spend a lot of time in a pair of shoes, it is worth the effort of getting to know your personal running style in order to find a pair of ASICS running shoes that are perfect for you. We recommend that you visit your local ASICS Running Expert Store where they will take you through a free assessment and gait analysis to find the right shoes for you.
What to Look for in a Running Shoe
If comfort equals performance then a well-fitting shoe is of paramount importance. A shoe that fits snuggly around rearfoot will prevent the heel from slipping in and out of the shoe with each stride, thus reducing the likelihood of blisters. It is also important to ensure the upper of the shoe does not rub or irritate the front of the foot. Some footwear companies have softer stretchier fabrics in areas of high shoe buckling to reduce friction on the top of the foot. To avoid injuries to the toes make sure there is a thumbnails’ distance between the end of the shoe and the end of your longest toe.
The amount of support ideal for you will depend on your basic foot type. Someone with a flat foot or a foot that rolls in during running will require more support than someone with a neutral or high arch. If you need more support, look for shoes with a high density post located on the inside portion of the midsole and a firm plastic shank under the midcourt of the shoe. These will help guide your foot into a more neutral motion during running.
It is very important to run in a shoe with the correct amount of cushioning as too much cushioning can be as damaging as too little. If you have a high arch and walk more on the outsides of your feet, you will need more cushioning to assist with the dispersion of the impact forces associated with running. If you have a flat foot, a supportive shoe that is a little firmer under the foot will result in healthier feet and a better performance.
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- Assessment and Prescription
How do you choose your shoes for running?
Something that will make you stand out right? Nice and bright. Are you all about the weight, dropping as much from the shoe as possible to give you that extra edge? Are you interested in the latest trend in shoes, or something to match your running tops? As much as you love your shoes and not matter how much hard work you are prepared to put into them, how can you be sure they are doing everything they can to work with you?
The only part of our body to contact with the ground is our feet on the road. This makes our shoes vitally important and something which can have a significant impact (good or bad!) depending on how we select and look after them.
A marathon (or a half or 12k) is a long way to run! Unless you run this distance on your way to the shoe store, your feet will probably swell more in the race, be ready for this and ensure that your shoes fit appropriately. A shoe that is too big will cause you just as much trouble and discomfort as one which is too small. As a very general rule of thumb, you should aim to have the width of your thumb between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. If a shoe is the wrong fit for your foot then it will work against you and make efficient running much more difficult.
- Foot Type and Function
Pronation (rolling inwards) has been a bit of a swear word around runners for a number of years now, although this is changing. Imagine a long drive without shock absorbers, your car would start falling to bits and you probably wouldn’t enjoy it very much! This is why pronating with some support is a good thing, it helps to reduce and redistribute the force of walking or running. The main problem with over pronation is when it is not supported, it increases the load on parts of your body that are not designed to tolerate the load. For this reason you need to be aware of what your foot does and find a shoe that suits you. It is very difficult to gauge this for yourself as it is more complex than the height of your arch or the way you have worn your last pair of shoes. Seek some advice from a technical shoe store or a podiatrist who will be able to help you work out what your foot needs.
There has been lots of hype recently about minimal shoes, these work very well for some people and not for others. Make sure you are someone who will benefit from this change and make it carefully if you choose to do so. Once again, advice on this is highly recommended. Remember, the shoe is not going to stop you from heel striking or magically make you more efficient. This is a change that can be made carefully with professional assistance/monitoring. Contact us if you need any further pointers here.
- Shoe Wear and Longevity
How long should my shoes last and how can I look after them?
Generally speaking shoes will last anywhere between 700 and 1200k. This might sound like a long way but you will surprise yourself with the training in the months leading up to November. Check the wear on your shoes by examining the midsole (the white bit where the gel etc is on the bottom). Just like most of us this begins to show the odd wrinkle with age. If you notice any horizontal compression lines, especially around the inside heel and arch, then the shoe is beginning to become worn. This will mean that the midsole is becoming less resilient to the load experienced when you walk or run on it.
Virtually every running aficionado and veteran will tell you how important variation is in training for this kind of distance. One form of variation is to have a couple of pairs of shoes. Whilst this is not essential it can help change things up and reduce your chance of over-use injuries. If that’s not enough, you may even get a little more wear out of your shoes!
This marathon business (or half, 12k or 5k!) is hard enough without making it unnecessarily harder for yourself! Get a shoe which encourages your foot in the right direction and does not get in the way. For you this might mean something light and bright, or you may be best in a shoe with a little more guidance or control. You are the boss, shoes should work for you not against you.
If you are having problems with your footwear or you find it hard to get something comfortable, you may need to seek further advice. Find a podiatrist who regularly deals with runners and make an appointment to get checked out.
At Sports Lab we deal every day with runners and walkers and our passion is to ensure nothing gets between you and that bridge! We will provide you with a clear understanding of what you specifically need to look for in a shoe, provide you some suggestions and review your progress once you have the new shoes.
To enquire or make an appointment give us a call on (09) 368 1552 or check out our website at www.sportslab.net.nz .