I like to write blogs which I think is a topic of interest to all of our pursuit clients and I usually try to think of things which have been asked about recently, as well as bringing in some experiences of my own. So today I thought I would talk about the importance of a good running shoe. I know many of you are planning on taking part in one of the runs (2km, 5km, 10km, half or full marathon) in the Sunshine Coast marathon and Community Run Festival on August 26th. Along with my own injury of a tendon in my foot, I have also noticed some people having few sore or niggling spots here and there, and if left unnoticed these small niggles can become an unnecessary injury.
Despite the fact that a good running shoe is the most vital part of equipment you will need when it comes to exercise and running, many don’t realize importance of finding a good pair and along with that replacing them when they become worn in. Not only can it improve your performance but it will also help keep you and your feet comfortable while running as well as helping to prevent injuries. There are many who don’t know how to pick of good pair of running shoes. A few things to consider: How often do you need to buy a new pair? What will you be mostly using them for (cross training, short or long distance running, track running etc)? Your running style and how does your foot hit the ground? So lets go over these questions a bit more in detail.
So how often should you need to replace your running shoes? There is no simple straight answer for this one, more so just some guild lines to follow. One-way is looking at how much mileage you have clocked up in your shoes, this requires you to keep a training diary and log exactly how much you are running. Usually running shoes will need to be replaced between 300-500 miles (500-800km). Of course some people may find they need to change their shoe before 300 miles, things that may signify this are pain around your knees or shin splints. Others may find that they can get more use than that out of their shoe. If logging how much you are running seems too painful then a rule of thumb is change your shoe every six months. So in saying that how long has it been since you bought new running shoes?
You will need a running shoe that also fits in with what you will mostly be using them for. For example someone who is mostly playing netball is going to need a different shoe to a marathon runner. The biomechanics of each event is different, therefore the kind of running shoe will need will also be different, as it will offer separate types of support and stability. Make sure you inform the person you are buying it from, what exactly you will be using them most for.
From my point of view the most important thing you want to understand before buying the right shoe is the biomechanics of your own body. Not everyone’s body works and moves in the same way and having the wrong support in your shoe can cause lots of injuries, as I’ve found out myself. Up until a month or two ago I was wearing a pair of asics, top shelf ones, I just went ahead and bought them over the internet thinking I was doing something good because I was getting some good shoes to wear for personal training. Although the shoes themselves were good they were the completely wrong support for the way I run and walk, almost continually pushing my foot to roll the wrong way. Hence now I have small tears the tendon in my leg running down to my foot. Now 4 months no running and lots of physio! I’ve since realized when I run my foot supinates. From a biomechanical point of view, the foot can do two things. Pronate, where the arch flattens and foot rolls in or supinate, where the arch raises and foot rolls out. A normal running or walking style requires the foot to have some motion in each direction in each step. Your problems will arise when you do too much of one or the other. If your foot supinates too much you may find you get callouses on the bottom of your foot, knee pain usually around the knee cap or even joint pain in the back of your foot. However if you tend to pronate, common injuries seen are heel pain, arch pain, (outside) lateral knee pain and shin splints. Keep in mind these injuries are not exclusive to that style of running. Obviously your best bet its to go ahead and see a podiatrist who can help you determine which way your foot hits the ground, followed by a visit to a sports store like AMART, and have the professional trained staff recommend the right shoe to fit. Usually someone at the sports store will be able to test your running style or watch you walk or run to help determine which way you tend to roll.
I hope this has helped you all realize just how important a properly fit running shoe is! I myself now realize this and can focus on moving forward and strengthen any weak areas to correct the biomechanics of my body. Happy shopping!!