Are You Wearing the Right Running Shoes?

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What is it with Running Shoes?

One of the most important things to have while running is the proper running shoe. According to Elizabeth McLeod Sadler of Vanderbilt University, “Running shoes not only provide substantial midsole cushioning, they also offer arch support, aid in the prevention of injuries and can promote improved athletic performance.”

If your current running shoe is leaving you with leg pain, shin splints, knee pain, or sore feet, then it may be time to buy a different running shoe. Knowing the best shoe to buy can be tricky, but there are many ways you can ensure you are buying the most supportive shoe for your foot.

One way is to visit a personalized running shoe store. These shoe stores offer complimentary videotaped gait analysis to determine the best type of shoe for individual walking or running style. They also determine your foot type, pressure points, and shoe size. For example if you have an arched foot and tend to land harder on your heel, they may recommend a shoe with more arch support that can help you balance your landing so you are not putting all of the pressure on your heel.

Running Shoes

The ‘Wet Test’

There are also some things you can do on your own to determine the best shoe for you. One way is to do a “wet test”. This is done by wetting your foot and placing it on a piece of brown paper so you can see the imprint of your foot. By looking at your footprint, you can determine which areas of your foot press the ground more. You can also look at the soles of your current running shoes to see which areas of the sole have the most wear.

If your footprint is mainly flat, then you can be more prone to overpronation while running. Overpronation means that your ankle rolls down and in during takeoff putting all the weight on your big toe and second toe. This constant rotation can cause knee pain and shin splints.

If your footprint is more worn on the outer edge of your foot, then may have a higher arch and tend to under pronate putting more pressure on your fourth and pinky toe. This can cause strain on the ankle and bone fractures.

The Right Fit Shoe – Worth the Money

Once you determine the shape of your foot and high-pressure areas, you can begin shopping for the proper running shoe. Most running shoes will tell you in the description if they are designed for overpronation, under pronation, or for neutral runners. Remember, running is a great heart healthy exercise if you are protecting your bones, muscles, and joints by wearing the right shoes. Although running shoes can be pricey, a good pair of running shoes is much cheaper and less painful than an injury or expensive doctor bill.

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Sources:

Leaf Group. (2020). What Are the Benefits of Running Shoes? Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/350355-what-are-the-benefits-of-running-shoes/

Runner’s World. (2020). How to Tell If You Suffer from Supination—and How to Fix It. Retrieved from https://www.runnersworld.com/health-injuries/a20865510/what-to-know-about-supination/#:~:text=Supination%2C%20also%20known%20as%20underpronation,after%20landing%20during%20a%20run.&text=If%20you’re%20a%20runner,might%20not%20be%20aware%20of.


 

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