Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 10, 2017

XC Shoes Photo

Sophomore Emily Ewen reaches the finish line during the HCAC Cross Country Championship on Oct. 28, 2017.

Photo by MU Athletics 

Cross-Country Team Talks Shoes 

Avis McGovern 

Perhaps the most important piece of equipment for a cross-country runner is the shoe.

Runners have to look for specific elements when determining what running shoe they will buy. “I personally need a shoe that has more arch support,” said Taylor Grehl, a first-year runner. “I have to take out the insoles of the shoe that come with it and put in different ones made specifically from the Dr. Scholl's line for runners. The liner has more arch support to help battle my shin splints.” The typical elements of the running shoe for cross-country also includes being cushioning, supportive and lightweight. 

Runners will most likely find themselves spending an average of $120 per pair of running shoes. They typically buy shoes after 300–500 miles, which is equivalent to a season of running. This ensures that a runner is not left wearing shoes that could cause damage to their feet or legs.

Since competing can put a high amount of miles on the shoes, runners will usually have a different pair to practice in. The extra set of running shoes for practice are typically heavier for the runner. "We wear training shoes on our easy days," said Emily Ewen, sophomore. ”I also wear them during the warmup and cool down on race day. On race days, almost all athletes wear racing spikes during the race.”

Ewen also explains a small addition runners have to their shoes. “Some athletes wear their spikes, or some other type of racing flat on workout days as well,” said Ewen. Spikes help the runners have more traction when racing, especially in conditions where the grass is wet or muddy. 

A runner’s shoe is always having to deal with the weather conditions. Even in the off-season, runners will obtain their weekly goal mileage in the rain, snow, and hail. The more extreme conditions require the runners to wear the proper shoes and spikes. The correct shoe and spike can help lower the risks of getting injured while practicing or competing in unfortunate conditions.

Cross-country runners have many different types of shoes to choose from. Each pair of running shoes has to pertain best to the individual wearing them. And the runners know which pair will be a shoe-in.