Sporty_g saidPLEASE...Help me out with some definitions and differences, symptoms and cures...
"shin splints", "muscle strain", "cramps in the calf", "fallen arches"....
I tend to a certain laziness in some points: ;-)
Cramps, in the world of sports, can be a consequence of either physical defective positions or a simple lack of magnesium. (I am not paying attention to poisoning or illnesses, that affect the central nervous system, now.)
Sporty_g saidand how do you know when a pair of shoes needs to be replaced, if they don't smell bad or "look bad"?
There is a rule of thumb saying every 1000 km it is time for a new pair. Well... and when your pair's broken, ruined, destroyed. ;-)
Sporty_g saidDo inserts help?
Nope. Inserts are made for stabilizing your feet. Whereas shoes are primarily made for cushioning effects.
Sporty_g saidAre there any that are more recommended, and what can, or should, they do for you? Thanks.
Shoes should fit your running style.
Go find a good "running-store". They should be able to advise you on that question; in a better way than Internet can. :-)