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To wear spikes or to go spikeless: this is the question faced by many cross country runners, especially those new to the sport. Like many choices, the answer depends upon the individual athlete. Do you run on rocks or loose dirt, terrain prone to causing slipping? You’ll need spikes, since that’s exactly what cross country spikes are made to prevent. If your preferred path to run takes you along paved roads, tracks, or trails made specifically for runners, and you are not running to train for a race, spikeless cross country running shoes are just fine.
A running shoe has to be comfortable and practical at the same time. It has to support your feet and your ankles, while being able to endure months worth of cross country running. When you shop for spikeless cross country running shoes, there are a few things you should take a close look at before deciding upon the pair for you.
The Uppers: The top part of the shoe is generally made from leather or some sort of synthetic mesh. It is important that the material is breathable. Leather does not breathe, so shoes with leather uppers should have holes in it for airflow.
The Insole: The part of the interior of the shoe your feet rest upon is the insole. It should have some measure of cushioning to help absorb some of the impact of running. If they don’t have sufficient cushioning, however, it is easy enough to buy extra cushioning. The insole can also be replaced with orthotics, should you have any you need to use.
The Outsole: This is the very bottom of the sole of your shoe, made from rubber for good traction. This part absorbs some of the shock of running, but it also provides the traction so your feet don’t slip.
The Midsole: This cushioning layer above the outsole absorbs additional shock and can be made of ethyl vinyl acetate, which is very good for reducing the impact of feet against the ground.
The Toe Box: The very front of the shoe, where your toes are, of course. There should be enough room for you to wiggle your toes. If there isn’t enough room, your shoes are too small.
The Heel Counter: That’s the name of the rubber part on the back of your shoe, on the heel. It provides cushioning for your heel.
A good running shoe is light on your feet. Heavy shoes will just make you tired more quickly. Remember that spikeless cross country running shoes are not a specific type of shoe. They come in a number of varieties, one of which might be just perfect for you.
Motion Control: Runners who tend to walk and run on the outsides of their feet, or overpronate, should look for these.
Performance Training: These light and balanced shoes are great for racing or for training.
Racing: Ultra-lightweight shoes especially for racing. If you have any injuries, avoid these shoes.
Stability: These are also great for runners who overpronate, because they provide extra arch support and cushioning.
Cushioned: The best possible support and quite possibly the most comfortable type of cross country shoe. They also help if you have high arches.
Off-Road: Just like the name says, these are good for those rugged trails where you might run into puddles or mud. They are more durable than the usual spikeless cross country running shoes.
write by Alma