Want to join an ultra-marathon?
From the name itself, ultra-marathons are long and enduring runs wherein runners must stay within the track for a long time because of the miles of distance that these runs often include in the challenge. The first you must consider is the best shoes for ultra-marathons.
A traditional marathon length is 42.19 kilometers or between 26 to 27 miles. Anything longer than this is considered an ultra-marathon. It also pays to know that there are two types of ultra-marathons. One is an event that spans a very long length that includes longer routes. The other type is more concentrated on predetermining the time runners will spend on a specifically directed route. The distance size determines the winner of the second type of ultra-marathon that he can cover during the appointed time. In the case of the second type of marathon, the length of time could last up to ten days, also known as a multi-day event.
There are also some World Championships that offer runners the option to represent their country in ultra-marathon events. These events are exciting and inspiring, but they are also a great chance to go around and see exciting places along the way. If you are up to engaging in this demanding sport, you need to have the right gear to prolong your stay in the competition.
You will need reliable shoes among the essential gears to win an ultramarathon.
So how do you choose the best shoes for an ultramarathon?
Before we dig deeper into the requirements of shoes that will be best for ultramarathons, here are some simple considerations to give attention to:
Some other Concerns to Determine when Picking the Best Shoes for Ultramarathons:
Fit versus Space: Take note that when it comes to choosing shoes for running, the space for your toes ought to be given special care, especially that when running, your toes will be under direct pressure as you move. A room at the forefoot would likely be helpful to give your feet some space to breathe during the whole ultramarathon run.
So to make sure that you are wearing the right shoes, be sure to use your boots repetitively before the ultramarathon event. Do not be afraid to change shoes once you feel uncomfortable with your shoes. Your comfort and safety are critical to your goal of finishing the ultramarathon route.
You are determining Drop from Heel to Toe. The pressure that your foot will experience would be reduced explicitly by selecting your shoes’ drop capacity. Before you finally purchase the right shoe to support you in your ultramarathon goal, you need to make sure that the drop capacity of the shoes you choose would be able to carry your weight while also assisting you in making an easy run through a long and grueling trail.
The Tongue of Your Shoes: The tongue of your shoes is that flap in front of your boots usually comes in close contact to your foot before the strings are placed in. checking if the shoe’s tongue gives you the comfort you need as you run and helps you in avoiding rocks getting into your shoes. Sometimes, a wider tongue may prevent rocks from coming into your shoes as you run.
What about the outsole: Use big lugs if you run on soft soil. If you are running on rocky surfaces, it is better to choose small lugs.
Weight of your Shoe: One thing to remember: the lighter shoe, the better.
Price and Brand of the Shoe: Do not be misled about misconceptions about the pricing of shoes and the brand they are known for. You need to try the shoes and make sure that you are comfortable both walking and running with them before you claim that these are the best shoes for ultramarathons that you would want to use.
So, how do we dig deeper?
There are eight points to consider that we will present in this post. These points will help you choose the best shoes for an ultramarathon that will keep you on track and protect your legs and feet from being too pressured and overworked as you run and complete the event.
Not one shoe fits all Feet Not because one shoe brand for an ultra-marathon fits a friend’s fit means that it will also fit yours. The truth is, every foot is unique. Hence, when you are in the shoe shop and trying to find the best shoes for an ultra-marathon, you need to try on several pairs to make sure that it fits your unique foot shape.
Remember that the shoes should be able to withstand prolonged pressure that you will have to resist through the whole length of the event.
Many of those already engaging in ultramarathon events professionally consider their shoes a necessary investment. Some even have specific shoes for the marathon that they do not use for anything else.
Remember that when you use the shoes, you are not supposed to use the shoes right during the event. Using new shoes during the actual ultramarathon event will surely put your foot in danger and will create unnecessary pressure, which may cause foot blisters along the way.
Buy your shoes at least a few weeks before the actual ultra-marathon event. This will allow you enough time to get used to the fit and check if it can bring you places and not disappoint you in the middle of your journey.
- Be Realistic with Your Trail Goals
Are you new to the world of ultramarathons? Try not to overdo your self-assumptions. You will find it hard to get out of the trail, disappointing yourself if you do not plan.
So, how long of a trail can you run? Have you been running shorter marathons before? If you have, then this is a significant step forward for you. But if you have not tried, it’s better to take the smaller marathons first before jumping into this one.
How does this concern the shoes that you’ll buy? You do not want to buy a shoe that will only last you for one trail or a short route and change shoes along the way. Always look through reviews if you find a good brand and a good fit with your foot. While everyone has a unique foot shape, hearing what others have to say with regards to the quality and the Shoes feel in their foot as they run will help you picture if his will be the right shoe for you or not.
2. Take note of the Stack Height
Several materials are put into a running shoe to make sure it is durable and comfortable. The amount of the different materials put into the sole of your shoe is what makes the stack height. Determining the right stack height for you will most likely depend on what you feel as you put the shoe on and how it may feel as you run with it.
So when trying a shoe on, please don’t be shy to move your feet around and position it as you would when you are already running. This will help you determine if the Shoe stack height is alright with you or if it is too much.
Some want to use minimal shoes, which means there would be much less material at the sole, allowing them to run naturally as the shoe follows through the arc of the feet’s sole.
Others who want much more material in the sole often believe that their shoe should be able to carry their weight and handle the pressure as they finish the whole designated distance of the ultramarathon.
There is not one specific style of shoe that fits everyone’s definition of comfort. So, when picking the best shoes for ultra-marathon events, make sure to put your comfort as the primary deciding point on which one to use for your ultra-marathon event.
3. Waterproof or Not Water-Proof?
Many would assume that since the ultramarathon is long and the weather cannot be completely foreseen, even based on weather reports, it would be best to pick waterproof shoes for the running even.
However, the truth is, when it comes to engaging in ultramarathons, waterproof shoes are a no-no. Why? Because of the materials used to protect the shoes from penetrating water, there is a possibility that your feet will sweat a lot during the whole running event. This will be dangerous for you during the actual run and after it, as your foot will develop a foul odor and other physiological conditions that you surely would not want to suffer from in the long run.
If you are on the hunt for the best shoes for ultra-marathons, it is best to stick with breathable shoes. Do not worry about the possibility of rain during the event. Letting your shoe air naturally as you continue running is much better than sweating through the whole route.
4. What about the Length of the Lug?
The shoe’s lug is found at the outer base of the footwear. It is characterized by the indentations designed to support the person using the shoes as he runs or walks, depending on the surface that the shoes come into contact with.
When picking the right lug length for your shoes, there is one logic to follow. When running on soft surfaces, it is okay to pick the long lug; but when running on hard surfaces, a short lug will suffice.
What does this mean? When you are running on a slick and uneven, steep, and rocky surface, you might want to use a shoe that has a short lug length. However, if you will run on muddy surfaces, it would be best to choose a shoe with deeper lug patterns to give you enough elevation as you run.
This means that before you even pick your shoes for your ultra-marathon, you need to learn more about the route you will take. Study the area and research on the surface common to the location where you are to run through. This will help you pick the best shoes for ultra-marathons that you will engage in.
5. The Right Foam Matters
Again, in responding to this need, you ought to research the route of your ultramarathon trail to understand what to expect as you hit the road.
The majority of the terrain you will run through is defined with rocky surfaces; it is best to pick a pair of shoes that can protect you from the shock that your weight and the surface would create as you run.
You need to know about foams because they make excellent shock absorbers. However, some want to have plates included in the makeup of their shoes. While foam makes it easier for the shock to be absorbed and helps the feet suffer from sudden pressure, the plate makes it possible for the shoe to give off a natural feel to the one wearing it and make foot placement more precise, according to foot engineers. During long walks or lung runs like an ultramarathon, plates in shoes protect the runners from injuries better than using a pure foam-based sole.
Again, in the end, it is your comfort in using the shoes that could help determine what type of shoe soles would be best for you, foam or rock plate?
6. How Wide Should Your Shoes be?
Some individuals specifically have a wide forefoot.
Wide feet often call for shoes with a broader width for comfort. Then again, there is a danger to this choice because wide-width shoes are usually not precise to the placing of the feet. Using this shoe may be dangerous, especially if the ultra-marathon route is quite diverse in surface nature.
Hence, if you are wide-footed, you should try different shoes to prepare before the actual ultra-marathon event. The important thing is that when the event finally comes, you are sure about your shoes, and you can easily maneuver around it once the surface changes and avoid clumsy and dangerous instances of foot placing.
Weight of the Shoe
Because you are to run on unpredictable weather different types of terrain for a very long time, any unnecessary weight will affect the way you run and the length of time you spend running. Accordingly, the best thing to remember when picking your shoes based on the weight is that the lighter shoes, the better when it comes to engaging in ultramarathon events.
Ultramarathon events are special events that require the proper mental preparation, physical conditioning, and a great deal of picking the right gear before you jump into the run.
Among all the other gears you will need, an ultramarathon success could be achieved through picking the right shoes that do not only fit your feet but is also comfortable enough to bring you to the finish line.
A key suggestion that has helped experienced ultramarathon runners is that they bring extra shoes packed in a small backpack along with their water and other emergency medicines and first aid kits they think would be necessary to keep them safe and on the go through the whole marathon.
When picking new shoes before the ultramarathon begins, make sure to choose that shoe at least four or more weeks before the event. This will make it possible to fit your feet into the shoe days before the event. This way, you would be able to determine if these are the shoes you ought to wear during this very long event.
In all these, whether you are new to ultramarathon events or an old-time runner, you ought to give attention to the preparation you make, especially in assuring that you will start up strong and end up happy when the event is finally over.
Prepare your mind, prepare your body, prepare yourself, and prepare your comfortable running gears to achieve the goal that you want to accomplish in every ultramarathon event you engage with. Whether this is a one-time sports engagement you want to complete or an already regular activity you wish to join, your experience will only be as fulfilling if you end up safe and satisfied at the end of the marathon.