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I've started running lately. This is mainly to build up my stamina when I play sports like soccer, tennis etc.

So far, I'm running my cross trainers. When I get to about 5km or more, my feet start to hurt. It's probably because I'm unfit and not used to running and I'll probably get over it.

A friend recommended I get proper running shoes but.

I think running shoes will definitely be better for running but is it a good idea if you are running so you can get better at something else? Wouldn't my feet get conditioned to all the comfort and cushioning of the running shoes, and then when I play sports, my feet won't be used to running without them? Should I just bear the pain to try to condition my feet to run in run in actual real world environments?

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Yes, definitely. When running, your feet/joints are under constant stress. The best way to alleviate the shocks they endure from running on asphalt or other hard surfaces is to use running shoes. They are especially designed for this purpose. Not only this, but they also give you the right movement freedom and allow you to run correctly.

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Buy some, but make you sure you get them fitted by a professional in a specialist running shop. I'd also say, don't go for this season's brand new shiny shoes that cost £150. The cheapo ones should be just as good. –  rmx Jun 30 '11 at 10:21
    
I understand the benefits, but what I mean is, since I'm going to be playing soccer which is rougher and have much more shock movement on my feet and body than just pure running, would it be better to try to condition my feet to withstand the shock instead of trying to protect it? –  stickman Jun 30 '11 at 10:26
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@stickman I play football (soccer) every week as well as running (up to 20 miles) and I know what you mean - its a completely different set of movements and stresses though. Running is not like soccer in that the movement is repeated over and over. It's still well worth buying the proper shoes for each sport because you WILL get injured. I think a big factor is that football is often played on a soft surface - running is done on pavements/roads etc. –  rmx Jun 30 '11 at 10:34
    
@rmx : ah ok. yeah that makes sense i guess. Thanks. –  stickman Jun 30 '11 at 14:26
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Running shoes will help protect your feet by adding more cushion or encouraging better stride (go for these!).

However, running long distances is not the best method for improving performance in tennis or soccer. Both of those sports are more focused on short sprints with frequent stops which demand different muscle fibers than developed in long distance running and different tolerances for lactic acid. We had our tennis team focus on sprint exercises and drills that simulated the stop and go motion and we had better results than when we'd tell them to run 5k.

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You're right. And I do try to adjust my speed. But I'm so unfit, I'm trying to focus on just being able to last through the game first! I figure running or other sorts of endurance exercise will help. Once I have the fitness, I will want to focus on drills to actually get BETTER at soccer... –  stickman Jun 30 '11 at 14:30
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Chris is right youll see MUCH better gains in soccer performance with interval training than with long-distance running. Still get the shoes though! –  rmx Jun 30 '11 at 15:01
    
When training for basketball, we ran quarters. Basically a quarter is 16 sprints end to end on the basketball court with no rest. The goal was to reduce the time it took to run a quarter. We would also run suicides, which is sprinting to each major mark on the floor and back (foul line, time line, half court, other side time line, etc.). These are the types of things you should do. –  Berin Loritsch Jun 30 '11 at 17:48
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