Running sandals vs running shoes, this seems like an odd comparison with all the running shoes that have come and gone over the years. The running sandals are a bit new to most runners, especially those that have only been exposed to running shoes all their entire running life.
Running had existed for a long, long time, even before that warrior raced across the land and accidentally established the marathon. Running has been part of humanity’s survival mechanism, and even though we are not running from predators anymore (or are we?), it is still being enjoyed by millions and millions of enthusiasts across the globe.
Modern technology has allowed running to evolve into a more competitive state with new gadgets and equipment that compliment streamlined clothing when it comes to boosting performance. Running shoes are part of this equipment that has evolved from its iteration of tough leather soles to lightweight fabric material.
On the other hand, while it seems like a new thing, running sandals have been around since running began. It only faded away with the onset of shoe development, and especially more so when running shoes were introduced into the market. But what is the difference between the two and what do you stand to lose if you choose one over the other?
What Are Running Shoes?
Running shoes are the current poster child of running all around the globe, with statistics and awards trying to persuade the public that championships and distance covered is all because of what you wear on your feet. While this is unnecessarily debatable, running shoes have evolved from its first iteration in the early 1900s until the newest model that came out within the year.
The first ever running shoes came as an attempt to answer the need for rubber-soled shoes that can be used for heavy activities and sports although it wasn’t until the 1920s that Adolf Dassier used vulcanization to create the modern running shoes, complete with running spikes and a customized look. You may not recognize Adolf’s name but the company he founded a decade later is now one of the most popular manufacturers of high-quality rubber shoes today. Some say that a family dispute caused the company to be split into two, both of which still exist and are very popular in the mainstream.
Benefits of Using Running Shoes
The modern running shoes addressed the need for a sports accessory that is comfortable, lightweight and has a firm grip on the ground that you run on. Aside from this though, other benefits of using running shoes include the following:
- Midsole Cushion
The function of a shoe’s midsole is to provide cushion and bounce to the feet; it also protects it from sharp objects and other debris that can cause injury. It is said that the technology used to create the midsole and its main design play a big part in how far you can run wearing the same pair of running shoes.
- Arch Support
The arch is the part of the foot located under your entire body and is in between the heel and the toes; you can call it as your wheel axle if you want. This particular body part dictates your pace, and an excellent running shoe provides support for the arch so that you would not feel the distance no matter how far you go. Some modern shoes even have flexible arch support that forms around your arch and follows its movements.
- Prevents Injuries
A good pair of running shoes prevent injuries caused by a wrong step or by misguided debris trying to act upon a strange force trodding on it. Better shoes can even protect from sharp objects and animal bites.
- Athletic Performance
This is debatable although it does make sense that running shoes can help improve a runner’s performance, if only by a small percentage. Good running shoes can make the runner feel more comfortable and stop him from worrying about everything else and just run.
Disadvantages of Using Running Shoes
Running shoes are guaranteed to have its list of benefits, but it does have its fair share of disadvantages if you would compare it with a running sandal, a few of these would include:
- Risk of Injury from a Wrong Fit
Poorly sized running shoes can do more harm than good as it raises the risk of injury, regardless if it’s too large or too small. Smaller shoes can cause fractures and sprain to your toes as you try to run with them cramped inside. Larger ones have a higher tendency to trip as you go along your route.
- Flimsy Shoelaces
Shoelaces come in all sizes and colors, with some just decorative while others are meant to be as tight as a noose on a neck when it comes to preventing the shoe from taking off on its own. Flimsy shoelaces that are often used for aesthetic purposes can unravel at any time, causing you to trip and fall; trips often lead to sprain and other injuries.
- Restriction of Movement
A tight running shoe can restrict the movement of your feet which can then cause you to have cramps, and even fracture the bones of your toes. Records have shown that wearing too tight of a shoe can cause debilitating injuries, something that runners try to avoid at all cost.
What Are Running Sandals?
Running sandals are something new to the ears of the many runners in this modern age. Unbeknownst to them, running sandals is much older than the running shoe, and can be as old as running itself. Ancient civilizations have employed sandals in all forms of activity, and this includes running a marathon, wrestling against beasts, and even fighting a war. Running sandals let you feel a primal form of freedom as it connects you back to humanity’s roots.