Choose the right shoes
Choosing the right running shoe is an important part of your overall running comfort. It can be the difference between enjoying your run and sustaining long term injury. But how do you choose a shoe?
Surely a running shoe is just a shoe? Not so. Here are a few pointers on what you should consider before you go out and spend money on running shoes.
It’s not for nothing that runners are incredibly loyal about their shoes.
Once you find something, stay with it. Look at what worked in the past.
Comfort is important
Comfort and cushioning are important features to consider when buying a shoe. This might sound obvious to you, but, if the shoe feels rigid, too flexible or narrow, too soft or hard, then rather don’t get it. Your first experience doesn’t guarantee later experience, but if it’s not good then, it’s unlikely that it’ll get better over time.
If you’re a first-time buyer, it’s obviously different. You’ll need to try the shoe on and remember that if it’s not perfectly comfortable when you lace it up, then it probably won’t be comfortable after an hour of running.
Flexibility of the shoe, and even its shape, make just any old cross trainers unsuitable. They also tend not to give much support to the arches.
Many of us are lured by the look of shoe, and by the gadgets and marketing. People want the ‘air’ or the ‘gel’ or any of the array of marketing claims, because they’ve either read about it, or a famous athlete uses the shoe, or they have friends who recommend it. But there are other factors you need to consider too, such as whether or not you tend to pronate.
Do you pronate?
This involves the rotation of the foot outwards during the landing period.
That means that those who pronate land on the outside of the foot (usually at the heel) and then roll in, over towards the big toe. When this happens too much or too fast, there is believed to be a risk of injury because of the weight that joints have to support.
Many people do find that a stability shoe helps them because it does change the movement of the foot. These are the shoes that have a built up inner portion, so that when the foot lands, it is “blocked” from rotating inwards.
If you do this excessively, then you might be better off in these shoes, whereas people who roll in normally are better off in cushioned shoes.
You must be careful not to choose a heavy shoe that restricts movement of the foot.
If you find you are in some pain in your feet after running, rather see The Podiatrist for expert opinion.
How long will your shoes last?
Generally with shoes, one talks about the mileage of the shoe, and not about the time the shoe lasts, for the obvious reason that some people will run once a week, whereas others run six times a week, and so over six months, the shoe is used completely differently!
Even for mileage, it can be difficult, because it depends so much on the runner. Mass is obviously a key factor – 100kg running 8km is going to wear a shoe differently compared to 65kg running 8km.
Mechanics also affect the shoe, because it wears a shoe in different places. Generally, shoes will last 600km as a minimum, more in some people.
The only way to really gauge is when the midsole starts to get so compacted that it loses all its softness. Or, it gets compacted one side, but not the other, so the shoe starts to “lean”. Or the black rubber outsole wears away.
Posted on March 30, 2012, in Contact a Podiatrist, Running Shoes, What is a Podiatrist, Your feet and tagged air, athletes, Athletic shoe, Caron Orelowitz, comfort, cross trainers, Cushioning, cushoned, feet, flexibility, Foot, foot pain, Footwear, gel, Hallux, injuries, Lace, Podiatrist, podiatry, pronate, pronation, running injuries, Running Shoes, shape, Shoe, sore feet, stability, supinate, The Podiatrist, your feet. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.