Running Gear on a Shoestring, Part One: Running Shoes


I would not consider myself an expert in reviewing running gear. Given that I embarked on a journey from a zero runner to a half marathoner with very limited means. I guess I would be in a position to advise runners, especially Singaporean runners on what gear to use and where to get them.

First and foremost, do not allow anyone to convince you that running is a low cost sport. It is not. It takes more than a pair of running shoes and you have to run in running shoes, not court shoes, cross trainers, nothing. You need a pair of running shoes. Period.

The equipment level goes up as the distance you run increases. For example, you may be able to run 1km in a pair of slippers. If the distance were to ramp up to say 3km, what was once uncomfortable will become downright dangerous. You will risk a stress fracture on your foot if you run in slippers. This is especially so for beginners as your body is not conditioned for running yet. Let alone running in slippers.
Before you select your first pair of running shoes, you have to understand the term 'pronation' of your foot.

You will find a detailed description in the following link:
wiki.runnersworld.com/index.php/Pronation

A simple rule of thumb is to look at the wear of your current or relatively worn running shoes or dress shoes. Put the pair of shoes together on a flat surface and look at them from the rear. If the shoes roll towards each other, chances are that you overpronate. If the shoes roll away from each other, you are more likely a underpronater or supinator. If they remain even, then you have neutral pronation.

Once you are aware of your pronation, you will be able to select the correct type of running shoes for yourself.

Overpronator = motion control shoes or stability shoes (mild overpronator)
Neutral = stability shoes
Underpronator or supinator = cushioned shoes

A detailed shoe selector can be found at this link,
www.myprecisionfit.com

To be honest, unless you have deep pockets, the shoes reccommended by this website will most likely be out of your budget.

However, if you are a Singaporean male and have served national service ie; the armed forces. You can always get the shoes in the above mention category at your nearest friendly army store; the Emart. I am a supinator and severe heel striker. I completed my half maration in the old New Balance 383 which is no longer on sale. It is a stablilty shoe which actually was not the most suitable shoe for me. I had to add an extra insole (also provided by the army at SGD$5) for more cushioning to prevent injury. Ideally, a cushioned shoe is necessary for me. The shoe cost me merely SGD$38, if I remembered correctly.
The army now provides two types of shoes, cushioned and stability shoes. Asics is now the current shoe supplier and you have a choice of the cushioned shoe Gel Kanbarra 4 SP(green) and stability shoe SP 105 SP (blue). They cost about SGD$42 per pair. They cost only half of what the shoes, the Mizuno website will reccommend. So go get them!

Severe overpronators will still have to fork out hard cash to get motion control shoes. They are usually the most expensive running shoes there is. Overseas readers, though you will not be entitled to the army discounted prices, but you may use this post as reference for your shoe selection. :)

Comments

  1. Hi. do you by any chance know the heel-to-toe drop of the gel 105? I am trying to get that info online but I can't seem to find an affirmative answer. thanks.

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  2. Nope. I don't have the dimensions. The specifications of the shoes is not very important. Most importantly, it must fit you and be comfortable for you to run in. The SP105 is for flat footed runners and is a stability shoe. So if you are not flat footed, it will be very uncomfortable. You may go to nearest emart to have a feel of it. Usually I go to the emart at Mount Faber Safra. Hope, the above helps.

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