IC RUNNING CLUB

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If the shoe fits…wear it!

Posted June 2nd, 2006 at 4:05 PM by Blake Roebuck

Section: Running & Training, Injury & Rehab, Gear & Apparel, Running Shoes

sneaker..but consider the following article first!

The weather has changed from cool to warm; and whether you are an experienced runner, or a beginner; summer is the time to put in the miles! Whether you are trying to get to the next level, or just begin a program to stay fit, here are some tips to consider before you get out the door.

Although over-training is a prime cause of running injuries, running in a worn out shoe or wearing the wrong shoe are also major contributing factors. So - if you are going to be running 100 miles a week, or even 15 miles a week; proper shoes are the most important tool a runner has.

There are a number of items to consider before buying a new pair of shoes. shoe mechanics, weight, life of the shoe, price, and the most important; foot type and fit.

The most important consideration for selecting a running shoe is your foot type. Few people are lucky enough to have a biomechanically efficient foot, which distributes the persons’ weight evenly from heel strike to toe off. Most of us need to rely on our running shoe to compensate for our lack of perfection.

There are three major types of foot arches: normal, flat (over-pronator), and high (over-supinator).

What your footprint may look like: [source of picture] type of foot

Normal feet have a normal-sized arch and leave an imprint that has a flare but shows the forefoot and heel connected by a wide band. A normal foot lands on the outside of the heel, then rolls inward (pronates) slightly to absorb shock.

Runners with a normal foot require stability shoes, which offer a blend of cushioning, medial support and durability. They provide stability with a medial post or dual-density midsole, and they are built on a semi-curved last. Buy these shoes if you are a midweight runner who doesn’t have any severe motion-control problems and wants a shoe with some medial support and good durability. Neutral or normal cushioned shoes are also a good choice.

Flat arches leave a wide and “filled in” imprint. The flat or over-pronated foot usually strikes on the outside of the heel and rolls inward (pronates) excessively. Over time, this can cause overuse injuries, such as “shin splints” and even knee pain. Motion-control shoes, or stability shoes with firm midsoles and control features that reduce the degree of pronation.

High-arched feet leave an imprint showing a very narrow band connecting the forefoot and heel. A curved, high-arched or over-supinator foot does not roll inward (pronate) enough, so it is not an effective shock absorber. Cushioned shoes with plenty of flexibility. These generally have the softest midsoles and the least amount of medial support. They are built on a semi-curved or curved last to encourage foot motion. This is important for over-supinators who usually have a rigid,
immobile foot.

When buying your shoes, try them on with socks and any inserts or orthotics you would wear on an everyday run. The front toe box should allow your toes to move around. Finally, try on shoes at the end of your work day or run. Your feet actually expand after being on your feet for an extended period of time.

Your shoes should last for roughly 400 to 500 miles. This will vary depending the surface you will be running on. The shoes could last up to 600 miles or more if you were to stay on grass and trails. Shoes could also last only 300 miles if a runner is to pound the pavement everyday. When the shoes midsoles start to develop cracks, the cushioning is breaking down. Replace your shoes to avoid injuries and aches.

Finally, try to purchase your shoes from a running specialty store. Click here to find one near you! The employees at a running specialty store will be able to assist you in purchasing the ideal shoes for you. It is a good idea to bring a pair of old running shoes for them to look at. Doing so will give them insight on how your foot treats the shoe and can give them a base on how to start fitting your properly. The most important factor to remember is to get a shoe that feels comfortable and is ideal for the type of foot you have. Happy running!