How’s your new years resolution to get fit going? If 2016 was the year to get off the couch and tackle a fun run, get trim taught and terrific in the gym or trek some a high mountain on the other side of the world then you better get cracking… Easter is almost here!!!
Whatever you’ve decided to attack in 2016, chances are you’ll be on your feet for a fair amount of time training those legs up to get you to the finish line. This is where you’re equipment becomes so important. Your feet will need some good shoes to protect, support and love them during those hours of abuse on the training track.
“SO WHAT SHOES ARE RIGHT FOR ME?”
If anyone has been into a running shoe shop recently there are more styles, brands and types of shoes than Paris Hilton’s walk in robes. It can be confusing and if you choose the wrong shoe for your foot type and mechanics then you wont only be throwing good money down the gurgler but you will be putting yourself at risk of injury and face weeks or even months on the sideline.
Stress fractures, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, knee pain and hip problems can all be directly related to poor footwear. So lets try and give you 5 tips to choosing the right shoe for you!
TIP 1: work out what foot shape you are.
Running and athletic shoes are made with 3 foot types in mind.
- THE PRONATING FOOT (one that rolls in)
- THE SUPINATING FOOT (one that rolls out)
- THE NEUTRAL FOOT (stays relatively straight)
A good way to test your foot type is to walk in the sand and study your footprint.
NORMAL FOOT – leaves a footprint that has a flare but shows the heel and forefoot connected by a broad band. This foot lands on the outside of the heel and rolls slightly inward to absorb shock.
THE FLAT FOOT – leaves a print that looks like the whole bottom of the foot. This foot rolls in excessively (pronates) and can lead to a host of injuries. This foot needs a stability shoe.
THE HIGH ARCHED FOOT – This foot leaves a print of the heel and the forefoot but nothing in between (or a very little band) appearing like the letter C. This stiff foot type lacks shock absorption and needs a cushioning shoe to compensate for its rigidity.
TIP 2: Put it on your foot!
The sizing of running shoes is notoriously inconsistent, size 9 Asics aren’t necessarily size 9 Brooks or Nike. When you stand your foot can swell 5-10%, added to which the foot elongates and widens over the years. Getting measured up and walking around the store for at least 4min each time you’re buying some new wheels is super important. Be extremely wary of buying a runner over the Internet without trying on the same style & brand of shoe in a store first.
TIP 3 : Choose the right shoe for your activity
If Martha jumped off the Sydney harbour bridge would you? No. So don’t buy the same type of shoes as your best friend. Shoes are made for running, walking, cross training, hiking etc etc. Before purchasing, take into account what activities you’ll be doing in the shoe as well as your injury history, your foot type and your mechanics. It can be confusing so best to seek professional advice about the features of a shoe that will benefit you…why not visit a podiatrist!
TIP 4 : A Fool and His money are soon parted.
This idiom never rings more true than in the footwear department. Quality running shoes start at around $170 with a top of the range runner approx $300+. Most people can find a quality runner for $200. Shoes are designed to last about 600-800km. This equates to approx 10-12months in most active people.
TIP 5: Happy Feet = Happy Life
Shoes won’t change much once you get home so make sure they are comfortable for length and width in the store. Laces are better than Velcro as a fastening. Flexibility at the toe area is essential to allow a propulsive push off. And believe it or not colour and sparkles make no difference to the functioning of a runner – SURPRISE SURPRISE! Sorry guys you need to chose a shoe that best fits your foot & activity not the colour that matches your wardrobe.
OF COURSE IF YOU ARE CONFUSED WHEN IT COMES TO GETTING A NEW PAIR OF RUNNERS A PODIATRIST WILL BE ABLE TO ASSESS YOUR FOOT TYPE AND FUNCTION AND STEER YOU TOWARD THE BEST RUNNER FOR YOU!