20 Facts About Running Shoes
Running doesn’t require much equipment. However, a good pair of running shoes are a must for any want-to-be or should-be runner.
And before you buy a pair, it pays to know your facts about running shoes. Ultimately, these tips can help you make the right decision when it comes to buying a pair of runners. So, what should you know? Here are our top 20 facts about running shoes.
1. The average running shoe costs between $115 and $120.
For beginners, the cost may sound like a lot. For an experienced runner, it’s the price one must pay to reduce the risk of injury.
And yes, prices have gone up over the years – like most products. For instance, the popular Nike Pegasus sold for $39.99 in 1983. Today, you won’t find these running shoes for under $100. Yet, it’s well worth the cost. After all, your comfort should come first. Plus, injuries aren’t ideal.
2. Generally, running shoes last for 400 miles or 650 kilometers.
Most experts recommend swapping your old running shoes for a new pair between 500 to 750 kilometers.
However, the rate of wear depends on the person as well. Uneven or rough terrain or hot asphalt may cause your shoes to wear down faster. Your running stride may also impact how worn your shoes become.
Usually, you’ll notice when your shoes are beginning to show their wear and tear. Your feet or knees may ache after a run. The shoe may look more condensed, lacking the support it once had. Keep an eye on them to find signs of age. It may also benefit you to track your miles per each pair of shoes.
3. The innovations in fabrics for running shoes and apparel arose from women’s lingerie.
We’re not kidding.
What do these two things have in common? They’re stretchy and supportive. They also need to fit somewhat like a glove.
The running shoes and apparel took these ideas and literally ran with them. This led to the fabrics and design used in running shoes today.
4. Running shoe brands created the three types of running shoes – and it may be slightly flawed.
Running shoe brands promote three different types, neutral, motion control, and stability. Surprisingly, these categorizations were likely created to sell the shoes and it was based on how much an individual pronated their feet as they walked or ran.
Yet, a recent study states that moderate foot pronation isn’t necessarily associated with increased injuries, putting these concerns to rest.
The good news? Running shoe brands are responding to this news. In fact, many of them are altering their categorization accordingly, offering more types than before that are geared toward addressing consumer wants and needs.
5. There is no “perfect” running shoe.
Ultimately, your running shoe comes down to your personal preference. Each runner may run a different amount of distance, have a different shoe shape, and have different biomechanics.
All these aspects impact what type of running shoe is best for you. Many runners will often find a shoe they love and then they stick with that brand and type for many years to come.
6. Determining what type of foot or arch you have can serve as a great starting point.
Do you have high arches, low arches, or neutral arches? Knowing your feet pays off! It can help you find the right fit and the right shoe.
These things matter because it helps you find a shoe that provides your feet with the right stability and support – or at the very least, it can help narrow your choices down.
7. There are various running shoe brands that have attempted to include electronics into their design.
The Puma RS-100 Computer Shoe in 1986 was one of the first to do this. While it sounds silly today, this shoe had a computer chip in the heel, which recorded time, calories, and distance.
Other shoes have also tried to incorporate lighting into their shoes, such as LA Gear CrossRunner.
The Adidas 1 shoe, a 250-dollar pair of running shoes, also tried to do this by having the shoe adjust as you run. However, consumers seemed to conclude that the shoes may not be worth the additional cost. Many suggested this problem could simply be solved by finding the appropriate shoes for you and your needs.
8. Many running shoe brands are also experimenting with 3D printing.
Nike, Adidas, and New Balance are experimenting with ways where parts of the shoes can actually be printed. Interestingly, some of them are already doing this with certain aspects of their shoes, meaning in the future, you may see your running shoe potentially solely coming from a 3D printer.
9. Nike’s name comes from the Greek Goddess of victory.
Just a fun fact – one of which not everyone knows!
10. Adidas is actually pronounced ‘Ah-dee-dass,’ not ‘Uh-dee-duhs.’
It’s also not, as popularly believed, an acronym of any kind including ‘All Day I Dream About Sex.’
Adidas, like many brands, is named after its founder, Adi Dassler.
11. Brooks Sports, a popular running shoe brand, is owned by Berkshire Hathaway which is run by Warren Buffet.
Warren Buffet is one of the richest people in the world, as well as a successful investor. And Berkshire Hathaway doesn’t only own Brooks Sports. Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, and other well-known brands are also owned by Berkshire Hathaway. Thus, they – too – are run by Warren Buffet.
12. There are many running shoe brands that have come and gone.
These include LA Gear, Etonic, Converse, and KangaROOS. Although, many of these brands continue to make shoes – just not ‘running’ shoes per say.
In addition to these brands that have come and gone in the running realm, many others have stayed. These include Under Armour, Skechers, Newton, and Altra.
13. Many doubted that Skechers, a shoe brand known for its casual approach, would make it with running shoes.
…but they successfully proved many wrong. Skechers sent Meb Keflezighi their early design of their GoRun shoes. Impressed with their performance, Keflexighi signed a two-year sponsorship contract with the Skechers brand, propelling them into the running scene.
14. Today, there are more running shoe brands in existence than ever before.
In the US alone, there are over 35 running shoe manufacturers. The reason behind this is that running is one of the most accessible sports. The general population has further become more health and fitness conscious than ever before.
And with more shoes comes better shoes than there has ever been. Technically, there’s a shoe for every individual. With proper testing and measuring, you’re bound to find the right one.
15. Nike’s co-founder used a waffle iron to create his first outsoles.
Bill Bowerman, the co-founder of Nike, was a very innovative individual. In fact, most agree that the brand wouldn’t have been successful without him.
This original waffle iron shoe mold was actually found buried near Bowerman’s previous home in 2011.
16. The earliest form of a running shoe dates back to 1865.
In Northampton England, the earliest form of the running shoe included a regular shoe with nails hammered through them. It’s thought this simple leather shoe with nails was used for cross-country running.
Yet, it wasn’t until 1917 when rubber soles were added to shoes. In the 1940s, two brothers, Rudolph and Adi, in Germany created competing shops where they sold footwear specifically for track and field. Consequently, Rudolph founded Puma and Adi started Adidas.
This set in motion the events in the coming decades where running shoes underwent various innovation and design changes. Nike, amongst other brands, emerged from this innovative spirit.
17. The sole stiffness of your running shoe greatly impacts how much energy you use to run.
Stiff shoes cause your calves to work harder, as well as limit toe flexion. This can make running more difficult, using more energy to perform the same movement.
On the other hand, you don’t want a running shoe that is too flexible. Ideally, you want a moderate stiffness in the sole of the shoe.
Another important thing to note here is that when you get a new pair of shoes, they will be stiff. It’s a good idea to do your research and understand how much more flexible the shoe may get with wear.
18. You should never place running shoes in the dryer.
Any intense heat for prolonged periods, even in the sun, can melt the midsole. This means you will wear through your running shoes much faster.
19. You shouldn’t use running shoes for lateral activities or sports.
Stick with the principle that you should have different shoes for different activities. This means if you’re playing tennis, you should likely have tennis shoes – same for basketball.
Why is this the case? Running shoes are designed for forward movement. In other sports, like tennis or basketball, you frequently pivot or move side to side. There are shoes designed specifically for these movements, offering you better support and reducing your risk of injury.
20. The area where your running shoe strikes the ground depends on how fast you’re running.
When you run fast, you’ll probably notice that you’re up on your toes more often than not. At a slower pace, such as when running long-distance, you’re more likely to strike the ground at your midfoot. As you fatigue and slow down more, heel strikes become more common.
Did we miss anything?
What did you think about our 20 facts about running shoes list? Is there anything we should add?
Remember, when it comes down to it, the best running shoe is the shoe which you feel the most comfortable in. Let us know what you think in the comments below.