Monday, 04 August 2008
It’s taken a few years and thousands of kilometre to realise the importance of my running shoes. I find there are basic lessons.
I have a few pairs of each shoe type, and they are numbered 1 to 4, each morning I will use a different pair and so rotate them, never using the same pair more than once in 4 days. I find that this helps to stop the shoe getting too much ware and moulding to your foot thus retaining the softness and support in the sole. Use the correct shoe for the terrain ahead, we often think that one shoe can do it all, this really does not work on a long journey, you need to nurse your feet all the way and you will for the first time find out the importance of good specific footwear.
During the event there are 4 basic terrains on which we run.
A) Tar- ultra soft well ventilated light shoe- My choice, Adidas AdiStar cusion6.
B) Gravel-Slightly harder road shoe- My choice Adidas Supernova cusion7
C) Sand and off road rough- when running in the sand or on the beach you need a firmer sole so that your foot does not flex too much and tire- also if possible make sure that the mesh on the shoe is fine to stop the sand from entering the shoes. With the rough terrain you also want to make sure the shoe has support on the sides to keep the bridge of the foot from moving too much and thus giving better ankle support- a strong sole that stops sharp rocks and thorns from bruising and penetrating into your feet- River crossing, make certain the shoe drains well or you run with wet feet all day- My choice Adidas Adistar trail3.
D) cold- rain- mountain I have a gortex lined semi waterproof shoe that keeps my feet warm till wind chill of -15 These are firm hard sole and heavier than all the other shoes as this terrain is mostly hiking- My choice Adidas Climaproof adventure trail series- gortex
A really important point for any off-road shoe , make sure that you walk the sole in for a few km before heading down the trail, because a new shoe on a wet rock you will slip and fall as the rubber is smooth and has a bit of waxy substance on it from the mould, it needs to roughen up a bit to get to its optimum grip level.
I also try to change my shoes and socks, if possible once a day, when you slip your tired feet into a new pair of shoes – Well, it’s hard to explain, but really a great feeling!
It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.
Robert W. Service