Buying Running / Walking Shoes

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 Some of us see a new trail and we'll give everyone whiplash in the car pulling over to check it out. 

Some of us just like to walk. Whatever your speed NEVER cheat on the shoes. Go straight to the experts at a running specialty store. It doesn't make a difference weather you are in search of running shoes or walking shoes. Plan on spending some time there because the person who fits your shoes should ask you lots of questions, do some tests, and have several shoe options for you to try out. Wash your feet wear a clean pair of socks bring a smoothie or a latte and enjoy the process. 

Image DetailBecause there is no "BEST" shoe, there is only the best shoe for you. It is important to know what your foot is doing throughout your gate and not just how long and wide it is. It is important to remember, that even though you may not be a runner you spend a large portion of your life on your feet. Your feet are the base of operation for the rest of your body. If your feet aren't happy the rest of you can't be.

Where you shop is important.  They should look at the shape and arch to figure out what type of foot you have. Determining your foot type is the key to making sure you get the right shoes. Your foot should be measured in the standing position. Your running shoes are usually fit 1/2 to a full size bigger than your regular shoe size because your feet will swell when you run and you need plenty of room in the toebox. If your toes are crammed in the front of the running shoe, you could develop bruised or black toenails. In the assessment they may also look at the wear on the bottom of your running shoes to get some more insight on your foot plant. They should also do a running / walking analysis for you. The technician will watch you run / walk in the shoes, and observe your balance and movement.

They'll determine whether you're over-pronating (your foot rolls inward) or supinating (your foot rolls outward) when your foot strikes the ground. They should be asking you questions about what type of walking / running you do, how often, where you typically run / walk , if you're a competitive racer, and what type of surfaces you run on. After you're fitted with your new shoes, DON'T take them home and leave them unused for any length of time. Test your new shoes by running / walking in them for a week. If you quickly develop blisters or foot pain, they may not be the right shoes for you. All specialty running stores have liberal exchange policies and allow you to return running shoes even if you've been running in them for a week or more. Take them back and work with your technician to exchange them for another pair of better fitting shoes that will solve you issues. If you use orthotics or custom-fit insoles, bring them with you to try on your running shoes. You need running shoes that are roomy enough to accommodate your insoles.
Even the socks are important. That bag of 6-pack socks that you normally grab may not be the best for your feet.
Look for anything that's says, fast dry or wicking.  These are going to help your run out. They're going to help draw that moisture out from the actual foot because the softer your foot gets, the more apt you are to blisters.

Normal foot

This is the most common foot type. A normal arch leaves an imprint that has a flare but shows the forefoot and heel connected by a wide band. Runners with a normal arch should select shoes in the neutral to overpronating categories.

High arch
High arched feet leave an imprint showing a narrow band connecting the forefoot and heel (or none at all). A curved, high-arched foot is generally termed a supinating or underpronating foot. Runners with high-arched feet should select shoes in the under pronating to neutral categories.

Low arch
A low arch leaves a nearly complete imprint with a slight inward curve.

Flat foot
Flat feet have a low arch and leave a nearly complete imprint. There is little inward curve where the arch should be. This usually indicated an overpronating foot that strikes on the outside of the heel and rolls excessively inward. Runners with flat feet should select shoes in the overpronating to very overpronating categories.

Your foot does swell up when you're doing a lot of walking and standing, running so you want to get a shoe that's going to fit when your foot is swollen.
A stability shoe will have dark grey material on the instep of the shoe which helps with a lower arched person whose feet  while running tends to roll inward. A neutral shoe is geared toward more cushioning.
  • Aim for fitting later in the day, after your feet have swelled.
  • Stand while your foot size is measured.
  • Fit with the socks you will run in.
  • Try on both shoes. Your right and left feet may be different sizes.
  • Allow about one-fourth inch of space between the end of the longest toe and the front of the shoe. This accommodates swelling during running.
  • Check heel fit. It should be snug and not slide or rub against the heel counter that wraps the base of the heel.
  • Be sure all seams are smooth and no areas are glued improperly.
 I just finished reading "Biomechanics of Sport Shoes", Dr. Benno Nigg’s newest book. It is enlightening and definitely is a departure from general thinking . As far as shoe fitting and posture compensation is concerned. Dr.Nigg is one of the top biomechanic researchers in the field sport shoes, foot inserts and foot orthotics in the world.  Dr. Nigg reveals that foot orthotics, which are devices designed to align misaligned feet, are actually not aligning the skeleton at all. In fact, Dr.Nigg’s book reveals many disturbing facts about orthotics, shoes and inserts. Including, that there is weak evidence orthotics lessen injury. Furthermore, changes in skeletal alignment due to inserts are inconsistent and minor.
Dr. Nigg goes on to warn that one of the dangers of the consistent use of orthotics is that they reduce functional demand on muscles may be associated with the deterioration of the muscles strength and function. So even though a foot orthotic often helps in the short term, over the long term Dr.Nigg warns their use may cause problems.Despite Dr. Nigg debunking inserts and orthotics, you may think he must be a proponent of barefoot running. Not so. Dr. Nigg does not believe there is any evidence currently that barefoot runners sustain fewer injuries than runners in shoes. Something to keep in mind.

Proper fit should be the highest priority over price, brand and appearance, to maximize performance and minimize potential injuries. Walking or running it's your choice your pace. Just do it in a good pair of custom fit shoes, and save yourself some nagging injuries down the road. Good Luck...

                      How To Lace Em Up !

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1 comment:

  1. Thomas superb work dude, well explained and much informative post!