Human beings are built from top to bottom to be able to run. Even back in prehistoric times, our biggest strength that helped us survive in the harsh world was endurance running. A lot of experts believe that this is the reason modern humans are shaped the way we are: the shapes of our hips and feet, the long length of our legs compared to a lot of other animals, our shock-absorbing spinal discs, as well as our skin and ability to sweat and keep cool for long distance running is what makes us extremely effective endurance runners. So it’s really no wonder that running is considered by experts to be one of the most fulfilling and beneficial activities for our bodies and brain, to the point where it is considered almost a miracle drug for us.
Running can be a wonderfully fulfilling hobby to get into, and a great way to keep your body fit and stay in shape. It is a form of cardio that is extremely easy to get into and pick up, making it a great way to also improve our cardiovascular health. In addition, it can also benefit your mind and stave away all kinds of mental illnesses like depression, anxiety or senile dementia. There is a long list of psychological benefits that you can get from this sport.
So whether running is something you have to push yourself to do, or it’s a part of your routine that you look most forward to, the benefits of running are immense and undeniable. Running for only 30 minutes a day has been proven to be immeasurably beneficial for your brain and aid in performance if you engage in a lot of cognitively demanding work, such as studying or writing.
Getting into running for the first time especially if you aren’t used to exercising regularly can be a brutal experience, causing a lot of people to quit within a day or two and never go back. However, all you need is the patience to allow your mind and your body to acclimate to this new exertion, and running can prove to be a blissful and amazing feeling that provides you with a sense of freedom. These are some of the benefits of running:
A person with a major depressive disorder can benefit from just spending 30 minutes on a treadmill and running, according to one study in the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. It is much better, in fact, to run outside in nature. In fact, those who are trying to just get started with running can just go at a power-walking pace to receive the same mood-lifting benefit.
There is a persistent myth that running can lead to knee pain and long term joint pain issues. However, contrary to what people think, running can actually be beneficial in preventing this long term knee problem. Researchers found that the more people ran, the less likely they were to suffer from knee pain or osteoarthritis. This is because researchers believe that running strengthens your muscles and keeps your BMI in check, and also strengthen bones.
Running can improve your sleep habits and mood, and show improved signs of psychological functioning and focus better during the day as compared to peers who continued without adding running to their daily routines. These peers were not totally sedentary and did get some exercise, but they did not have a regular running routine. To get the best benefits, according to this study, it is important to run at a moderate pace for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, for three weeks.
It can improve cardiovascular health and is good for your heart, as is any aerobic exercise. The more people run, in general, the healthier their hearts tend to be. With running, people can get benefits without having to do much in terms of accumulating equipment or wasting too much time. Even running for five minutes can be beneficial for you.
There are multiple studies that prove that aerobics exercises of all sorts can help improve people’s ability to cope with stress and anxiety. Peter Salmon, published author in Clinical Psychology Review, concludes that this “training recruits a process which confers enduring resilience to stress.” Researchers believe this is because aerobics exercises increase the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine, and causes the brain to generate new neurons.
And these are not even the only benefits you can get. On the internet, you can find articles that talk about more than 71 (yes, you read that right!) benefits of running as an exercise. The most important advantage of starting running is how accessible it is to all kinds of people, with an extremely low barrier of entry. The only thing you really need to go running is literally any flat surface you can find and some good quality running shoes. You can run on roads, in parks, or on a treadmill, but it is completely up to you. Unlike most other sports that require a ton of gear and equipment, and a large learning curve before the sport starts to become interesting and fun for you to engage in it, and a lot of time and money poured into it right in the beginning. So even if you haven’t really gotten into running as a hobby before, all you need is to purchase some good quality running shoes.
- 1 Criteria for buying running shoes
- 2 Hoka One One Brand
- 3 Which Hoka One One Shoes Are Perfect For Me
- 4 How To Start Running Once You Have Bought Your Perfect Pair Of Running Shoes
Criteria for buying running shoes
Now that we have explored the advantages of running, it is necessary to get into the kind of gear you will need to start running. Like we said above, running really requires perhaps the least amount of gear for any kind of exercise. All you truly need is a safe, flat surface to run on outside, like a safe footpath or a runner’s park. When you go to buy running shoes, however, you will need to buy shoes that are good for you and most benefit your leg shape and your body. The most expensive shoes may not be the very best, so this is something you will need to look into when purchasing your shoes. An aesthetic appeal might be an important criterion for you in the beginning, and while it may be important for you to look good while running, feeling good will save countless injuries, sprained ankles, and repetitive stress injuries in the long run. Let us look into the necessary criteria you will need to pay attention to before buying the perfect pair of running shoes.
This may be one of the most overlooking criteria out there for running shoes. Running shoes made of lightweight and easy to lift materials will make an amazing difference in your gait and prevent countless injuries. Runner’s World magazine, in fact, claims that you hit the ground with a force that’s double your body weight when running. Therefore, it can be beneficial to lessen the impact on your muscles and joints by investing in some higher-quality lightweight shoe made from lighter weight materials.
If you have flat feet, also known as plantar fasciitis, this could be a major cause for heel pain. Wearing the incorrect running shoes that don’t have proper heel support will only make the issue worse. This is the reason for selecting a shoe that holds your heel in place firmly and prevents over-pronation is so necessary. Test the ankle support and heel counter (the back strap that wraps around your heel bone and keeps your ankle in place) of shoes by taking a few laps around the store.
As we mentioned before, experts believe that when you run, you place more than twice your body weight onto your feet. This is why cushioning is so important when you go running to prevent running injury if you wish to recover as soon as possible from any running. The cushion in your shoes should be able to absorb the shock to your knees, joints, muscles, and spine every time your foot makes contact with the ground (or more specifically, your midsole area between your foot’s ball and heel). Your cushioning needs depend on a variety of different factors, including whether your feet tend to roll or stay rigid, and your body weight and BMI, but cushioned running shoes can reduce heel, ankle and toe stress, and prevent future injury with better shock absorption.
Often in the past, people with a wider foot or flat foot used to have problems looking for shoes that come in their size. However, today there are plenty of quality runners that don’t make you compromise on your shoe size and the exact shape and make you wear insoles or other such fillers to compensate for extra space inside your shoe. You don’t need to settle for blisters and pain while running, simply look for wider shoes in the right shape as your feet. One thing to pay attention to is to go for shoes that have a few cms of wiggle room in the front since feet tend to swell up with physical activity. So if your foot size is 8 with your normal shoes, opt for a size 8.5 for your running shoes.
Traction and Grip
This is a vital component that you will need to pay attention to your footwear in order to maintain your balance and grip while running. Your shoes need good traction in all types of conditions. If you run on roads mostly, a pair of running shoes, or a road shoe, with a carbon rubber heel and a blown rubber sole will be great for relatively level terrain and be able to manage the traction and grip. However, if you like to run on hiking grounds or uneven terrains, or even loose terrains like beaches, try to go for a sole that is built from all durable carbon rubber which will provide you with the best kind of balance, stability, and grip while running on unpredictable surfaces.
This is often a missed out quality but is important for the prevention of athlete’s foot or other similar fungal issues. A lot of times, lightweight, synthetic or nylon material is used for making shoes because this is highly durable and lasts for years at a time. However, it is important to also remember that you cannot compromise on breathability for durability, especially when you can opt for materials that give you both. Go for a high-quality synthetic leather pair of running shoes that is strong as well as lightweight, and allows breathability while keeping moisture out. However, make sure that the seams that are often used in these types of breathable shoes don’t cause you painful blisters.
Hoka One One Brand
Hoka One One is a brand of running shoes. It is an athletic shoe company that originated in France and it designs and sells running shoes. It first gained attention worldwide in the running industry by producing shoes with oversized outsoles, dubbed “maximalist” shoes due to the extra cushion. This was in contrast to the minimalist shoe trend that was gaining popularity at the time. Hoka produces both low-profile and max-cushion shoes for road, trail, and all-terrain. The advantage here is that Hoka shoes retain features like a low weight-to-cushion ratio and midsole and outsole geometry designed to promote inherent stability and an efficient stride.
This company was founded very recently, in 2009, in Annecy, France and yet it has grabbed the world by storm with its amazing products. It was founded by French trail runners themselves, Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard. Inspired by the smooth ride provided by mountain bikes and powder skis, Mermoud and Diard wanted to bring a similar floating feel to running. They started by making prototypes themselves and eventually worked with a chemist at a Chinese shoe company to develop an entirely new kind of EVA foam that was soft and surprisingly lightweight—characteristics that are now hallmarks of Hoka kicks. For runners, these shoes provided enough cushion to soften rough terrain and boost momentum but weren’t so heavy that they felt weighed down. The shoes caught on, and Hoka has expanded rapidly ever since. Its current corporate headquarters are in Goleta, California. The company works as a subsidiary of Deckers Brands, whose president is Wendy Yang.
Initially, these shoes became popular amongst ultramarathon runners due to their enhanced cushioning and stability while running for long distances, but over time, they began to grow in popularity amongst the other runners as well for having minimal weight and offering maximum comfort and cushioning. Hoka One One’s original high-end models are now accompanied by lighter weight shoes that have the same cushioning as the original.
The company sponsors a variety of professional runners; its first athletes were primarily trail-ultra runners, but their roster has expanded to include several track & field, triathlon, and road-running athletes. HOKA also has long-term sponsorship deals with the professional training groups Northern Arizona Elite, based in Flagstaff, Arizona. Aside from these, it also sponsors the New Jersey New York Track Club, and California based Aggies Running Club.
Which Hoka One One Shoes Are Perfect For Me
Hoka footwear is considered the “king of cushion” by popular running blogs, and it is no wonder why people seem to flock to this brand above most others really. These shoes have been developed around a few basic principles by their founders Mermoud and Diard: to add more cushioning, to use lightweight materials and to create a wide rocker midsole to help preserve momentum and make running a smooth ride for you. While most other brands have forsaken EVA foam in favor of newer formulations, Hoka has stuck with its proprietary EVA blend known as RMAT, which is an EVA-rubber blend that’s more elastic (for better support and energy return) and more durable (it can stand up to higher mileage) than traditional EVA.
Hoka shoes also come with their traditional Meta-Rocker Design, which combines a lower heel-toe drop and a rounded sole shape to work with your natural stride and help propel you forward. Other tech includes the Active Foot Frame, in which your heel and foot actually sit within the midsole, instead of on top of it. This allows the shoe to cradle your foot, providing excellent support. Hoka has also rolled out another new support tech lately: ProFLY is a cushioning system that combines soft foam in the heel with firmer foam in the forefoot for better response and energy return, and the J-Frame uses denser foam on the outsole to help combat overpronation. Trail runners, road runners, pros, and casual milers alike have all grown to love Hoka’s unique brand.
Here, we would like to talk about our favorite best Hoka running shoes and where to find them in the market for your running needs.
- Price: $150
- This shoe is right for you if: You need the most cushioned ride possible
The Bondi is considered the company’s most cushioned shoe, and when they market a shoe as a “mega cush,” you know they are not exaggerating. This shoe comes with a full layer of EVA foam anchoring a downright beefy midsole. This shoe is one of Hoka’s best selling models as it delivers maximum cushioning for an ultra-cushy ride. There is also an open mesh upper that helps it breathe and the Meta-Rocker sole design can keep you floating along the road for miles on end.
- Price: $110
- This is the right shoe for you if: You are going for tempo runs and quick races
Unlike the Bondi, the Cavu is a super light shoe that delivers lean cushioning geared towards faster and quicker running sprints, such as races. It has Hoka’s ProFLY midsole. This combines a softer heel to absorb impact forces and a firmer forefoot that can help you propel yourself forward at the beginning of the race during toe-off. This shoe also comes with an RMAT foam on the outside that improves its durability and gives it a responsive bounce in your step. Put all these features together and you have a fast shoe that can offer good stability and support.
- Price: $130
- This is the right shoe for you if: You have nostalgia towards the original
This is the original Clifton. First released in 2014, Hoka produced several versions or iterations of the Clifton and named them numerically, but a lot of people wished that they hadn’t updated the original shoe as it was perfect for them. The affection and loyalty people have to the original shoe were so strong that Hoka decided to bring it back for a limited time so that runners can enjoy the one that started it all. In case you don’t have this kind of nostalgia, you can naturally go for Clifton 5, which is the most recent iteration of this pair of running shoes currently in the market.
- Price: $160
- This is the right shoe for you if: You like casual running that’s fun and easy
The Elevon has been specially designed to give casual runners a pillowy ride. It’s not quite as cushioned as the Bondi. It also doesn’t have the strong rocker of the Clifton. However, the Elevon’s dual-layer ProFLY midsole and deep foot cradling make it soft and stable, even on unstable unpredictable terrain. A lightweight and breathable upper is provided for this shoe and offers a snug fit, even after you start to tack on the miles.
- Price: $130
- This is the right shoe for you if: Mixing in road and trail on your run
This is a super flexible shoe that can be used equally at home tearing up your pavement or even bounding up a hiking trail. Challenger ATR is perfect for most people’s needs. It is built to be fast and lightweight and is extremely durable for those mountain hikes you need something good, but it also has a bunch of additional features for your off-the-road adventures. An extended toe cap increases durability, a dual layer mesh provides support, and the outsole’s 4mm lugs are ready to bite into the dirt.
- Price: $130
- This is the right shoe for you if: You need ample cushioning for running races
This is a bit different from the traditional Hoka and can help you get across the finish line as fast as possible, while at the same time, not compromising on the cushioning it offers. The shoe has a close fit with a narrow forefoot, in case you have a foot shaped like that, it will be perfect for you. “From the second I put it on, I could tell it was different from most of the other Hokas I have run in,” one tester said. “It was more fitted, streamlined, [with] not nearly as much cushioning, but plenty of cushion for longer miles.”
- Price: $150
- This is the right shoe for you if: You need high stability and need cushioning
Stability and cushioning need not be mutually exclusive. The qualities at least, are not mutually exclusive with this Hoka model, as this is considered the softest most stable Hoka shoe, according to research. It uses R-Bound foam, a newer version of RMAT, for a lighter more responsive kind of cushion in the middle of your sole but it is used on the outside as well. This is the classic shoe to go for if you need stability for your long runs and half marathons.
- Price: $130
- This is the right shoe for you if: You are an overpronator and need extra stability
The Arahi is a very recent addition to the Hoka collection, released in 2017. This marked the introduction of Hoka’s ever famous J-Frame support system, which features a layer of dense foam on the outsole to support your inner foot and heel as you are running. This system marked a new beginning for Hoka in a new market as this was the brand’s first attempt at building a shoe for overpronators, and when combined with Hoka’s signature cushion quality, it provides one of the softest rides for overpronators that you can find.
- Price: $140
- This is the right shoe for you if: You are a serious runner and need a shoe for rough terrains
This model is Hoka’s flagship model for uneven terrains and trails. The shoe, according to Hoka’s website, is “made to attack all breeds of technical trail.” They have definitely packed it with all kinds of features to make sure it will not disappoint you at rough terrain running. A wide midsole adds stability and creates a roomy fit, and Vibram lugs give superior traction on the wildest terrain. Add in Hoka’s deep cushioning, and you’ve got a shoe that can get you up and down mountains.
Other Hoka One One Models to Consider
How To Start Running Once You Have Bought Your Perfect Pair Of Running Shoes
Even just watching runners zoom past you in parks or on the road as you go about your business is enough to motivate anyone to get into running. The adrenaline, the endorphins and the runner’s high you will get the very first time you finish a workout will be an addictive feeling you will not be able to get enough of. No matter what your personal reason may be to start running, whether you wish to get a hold over your depression or anxiety, you want to lose some weight and look better in photos, or you want to improve your cardiovascular health and make this exercise a part of your regular routine, it’s time to lace up and start your journey. Follow these tips given below so you can find your footing as fast as possible and easily discover a new workout that you’ll get hooked to.
Just Do It
You can keep surfing the internet and looking for the next new thing that will motivate you to get into running and doing enough research that could put a doctorate student to shame, but it is all a form of procrastination and you know it. So forget about spending all week or month, or worse, the year just cooped up in your home on your screens researching the best gear for running or the best strategy to lose the most weight and so on, and in the words of Nike and the ever-famous Shia LeBeouf, just do it. ditch the idea of reaching a certain distance, and instead, just set a time goal. A good beginner running target is to get outside or on a treadmill for 20 minutes, three days a week. Eventually, aim to build up to four days, and then you can bump 20 minutes to 25 and so on.
Try the HIIT method
This is where most newbies in the world of running falter and give up. You simply cannot expect to get straight into running and be as good as someone who has been running for months. A lot of people will get a random burst of motivation, decide that today is the day they will start running and step out the door with the noblest of intentions, and then realize that they simply cannot go beyond the first twenty seconds. After pushing themselves for over a minute and ending up wheezing and heaving, they will go back to their comfort zone and binge Netflix and conclude that they will not “kill themselves” at the gym.
The truth is, running takes some time to break into, just like anything else we do. You cannot expect a child to get straight into Calculus and be great at it, you start with basic arithmetic and then move your way up. Running is the same. “Every able-bodied person can be a runner,” says Gordon Bakoulis, a running coach based in New York City. “Just start slowly and build up gradually.”
This is why most coaches agree that the best way to become a runner is with a run-walk program. Start with focusing on a few minutes of running, followed by a short period of walking. Experts suggest aiming to run for three minutes and walking for one minute—continue to alternate until you reach the time goal, always ending with a walking segment to cool down. A warm-up and cool-down will also help you ease in and out of a run. Start with a few reverse lunges on each leg, followed by squats, side lunges, butt kicks, and high knees, and a few minutes of walking before your run.
Otherwise, you can always follow this ever popular 10-week run-walk plan that you can find on the internet.
Week 1: 2 minutes running/4 minutes walking
Week 2: 3 minutes running/3 minutes walking
Week 3: 4 minutes running/2 minutes walking
Week 4: 5 minutes running/3 minutes walking
Week 5: 7 minutes running/3 minutes walking
Week 6: 8 minutes running/2 minutes walking
Week 7: 9 minutes running/1 minute walking
Week 8: 13 minutes running/2 minutes walking
Week 9: 14 minutes running/1 minute walking
Week 10: Run for 30 minutes.
Take Proper Technique Into Account
Do take the time to properly warm up and cool down. “A good warm-up makes it much easier to get going and keep going,” says Andrew Kastor, former coach of the official New York City Marathon online training program. “It’s much more than just boosting blood flow to your muscles.”
Your neuromuscular system, which is the connection between your brain and the muscles of your body you use while running, gets up to speed and gets some running time. Your body will start churning out important enzymes that will prevent build up of lactic acid in your joints and thus prevent cramping. A lot of beginners simply skip this step to save time, but they don’t realize how much easier it makes the whole workout seem to them. Cooling down is a bit less critical in importance, but it is still necessary to gradually bring your heart rate down and let your body gradually adjust from high-intensity exercise to a resting state. Just a few minutes of walking is all you need to let your heart rate return to normal and for your body to clear out any metabolic waste you created during your efforts. You also want to think about form. Make sure you ask yourself when you are on the road: Am I forward-leaning through the chest? Are my arms swinging? Is my core engaged? Are my knees driving? Are my heels nice and high?
Don’t Get Discouraged
Before you start your next run, make sure to decide what you want to get out of it to keep your focus. Do you want to get outside and enjoy it? Do you want to end smiling and feeling good? Do you want to get mentally or physically stronger? Do you just want to sweat a little? Whatever it is, point it out and use it as your motivation to just keep going. don’t dwell on one bad run, because everyone has them.
The beauty of running is in its simplicity. All you really need is a good pair of shoes. Go to a specialty running store where trained professionals will evaluate your feet, watch you run, recommend the right shoes, and then let you go out for a test drive. You’ll leave with a comfortable pair of shoes that will have you running pain-and injury-free!
How does Hoka compare to other brands?