Running Insoles – Hit the Road with Structure and Comfort
On the Road Again
There is nothing like lacing up your running shoes and heading out to log a fast five miles. The quick pace you develop as you push off the street surface means you can run fast. It's easy to get into a groove. Before you know it, you're sailing along, powered by your runner's high.
Road running is an incredibly popular sport in the US. There are lots of road races – from turkey trots to marathons – all across the country. Many people enjoy running the roads. Other city-dwellers, feeling trapped in a concrete jungle, reluctantly run on pavement. Whether you are a road aficionado or a reluctant pavement pounder, understanding the pros and cons of road running – and how to prevent injury – are key to enjoying the sport.
Road running is fast. The flat, level surface of a paved road means that you exert less force to spring off the ground. Compare this to the effort it takes to push off softer surfaces like grass or dirt – there's a big difference.
While harder surfaces mean you can run fast, they can also lead to injuries like shin splints and stress fractures. In fact, concrete and asphalt are what some runners term the "least forgiving" of running surfaces. Repeated impact can give significant shock to the joints of your feet and legs. But there is a big difference between the two:
- Concrete is ubiquitous in urban areas. It is the hardest material to run on, and it is up to 10x more dense (and less forgiving on your joints) than asphalt. Most coaches and runners recommend limiting the time you run on concrete.
- Asphalt is one of the fastest surfaces for running. It is significantly more forgiving than concrete. For the urban runner or road runner enthusiast, asphalt has lower shock forces than concrete. Your musculoskeletal system will thank you. Luckily, many urban running trails are asphalt, and most road races allow you to run on the road itself (asphalt) or the sidewalk (often concrete).
While they have some drawbacks, both concrete and asphalt are relatively smooth and regular. When running on grass, dirt, or trails, the uneven surfaces can wreak havoc on your feet and legs. Sprained or rolled ankles and major falls are much more common on softer and uneven surfaces. And some people believe that road running is better for achilles tendonitis as the even surface keeps the achilles tendon in a less-tensioned position.
Running Insoles for the Road Warrior
The less-forgiving surfaces of city streets mean that your footwear needs to have proper structure and cushioning. The first step is choosing running shoes that match your gait and running lifestyle. The next step is to insert running insoles. Proper running insoles will provide the extra structure and support to help reduce the shock of harder surfaces.
Running insoles for the road should:
- Fit Properly: Guarantee strong support and great comfort with a perfect fit. With Tread Labs' four arch heights, it's easy to get precise fit.
- Support Your Arch: Road running is hard and fast. Running insoles need to be built to last. Tread Labs' medical-grade arch supports will not break down over time.
- Maintain Proper Biomechanics: Running insoles need to correct your foot's biomechanical irregularities. Firm support controls overpronation and helps relieve and prevent common running injuries like plantar fasciitis.
- Provide Cushion: It may be tempting to slip in a pair of super cushioned inserts. But these flimsy additions won't support the structure of your foot. They might provide initial comfort, but they won't prevent injury. Tread Labs' deep heel cup and flexible yet firm arch support will provide all the cushion you need. Like your feet, the insoles flex with every step.
Worried that normal insoles won't fit into your minimalist running shoes or your lighter-weight road racing shoes? Try the new Stride Thin. Thinner top covers are perfect for lower volume shoes.
Looking for maximum cushion in regular running shoes – Stride insoles are your best choice. Either way, before you hit the road, slip in a pair of Tread Labs' running insoles. The road belongs to you.