The question about the best kind of running shoes to wear arises very often at our clinics. It is really not easy for many runners and triathletes to make a proper choice in an ocean of information from the shoe making industry catalogs, ads, and press. The abundance of different designs, all appealing, makes the actual choice an almost unbearable suffering.

What kind of shoes are better for running?

What kind of shoes are better for training? And for racing? Dr. Romanov recommends light-weight shoes with thin soles that you feel comfortable in. There is a certain philosophy behind this recommendation, which consists of several simple concepts:

1. The shoes should be light

So light that their weight didn’t deteriorate the feeling of the foot as a part of the leg. It means that the feeling of the foot wouldn’t differ from the feeling of the whole leg, psychologically. Biomechanically it may affect the foot transfer in space and time: its speed, acceleration, and trajectory, which could all be deteriorated by heavy shoes. We can deliberately use heavy shoes for some special occasions of strength development, but not for a long time, and surely not permanently.

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2. The shoes should have thin soles

and have no cushioning or very minimal. It reduces the weight, but this is not the main reason.

First of all, it allows you to develop a very precise, refined feeling of interaction between the foot and the ground, while landing. Obviously, it is impossible to do this through a thick shoe sole. In a movement, when every hundredth of a second counts (the time of support in best runners is 0.15-0.20 sec.), the support time is a crucial thing for neuromuscular coordination. When the signal for the foot to touch the ground reaches the muscles and makes them prepare for landing, it’s already too late. And cushioning here is the factor which deteriorates timing and as a consequence, running technique, by increasing the time of support and due to this, loading of joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

Second, a thick sole and cushioning increase the possibility of pronation or supination, if the runner has a tendency to it. Hence, it leads to injuries, and we’ll talk about this separately.

Third, in Pose Method® landing occurs on the ball of the foot, not on the heel, so the thick shoe heel structure doesn’t make any sense. Even more, it reduces the freedom of the heel, and ankle movement and decreases the calf muscle stretching elasticity effect.

Therefore, we would recommend lightweight shoes with thin soles and some racing flats meet these requirements.