Melbourne Podiatry Clinic

How To Choose The Right Shoe For You

How To Choose The Right Shoe For You

With the New Year brings a new range of running shoes. When you enter a running shoe store it is exciting to see a wall of colourful new shoes but there is so much choice and jargon out there to cut through it can be hard to find the right shoe for you. We have been inundated recently with an array of ‘barefoot’ style shoes with minimal midsoles and reduced heel drops to encourage forefoot running and simply lighter shoes in general. In fact even some of the more conventional running shoes this year have dropped up to 30g. Your favourite running shoe, that you continue to walk in and buy off the shelf without even trying on, may have changed this year so it is important you spend the time to check if it is still suitable for you.

The first port of call for any runner is to have your gait professionally assessed. A gait assessment is an excellent way to detect any gait issues or to help prescribe the correct type of shoe for your running mechanics. The best way is to be examined by a sports podiatrist or at least at a specialist running store with a gait analysis system. The examiner is looking at key attributes that can determine what type of shoe is suitable for you. Pronation is when the foot rolls in and the arch flattens and is a necessary and important part of running, despite many people telling you otherwise. However excessive pronation or under pronation can quickly lead to injuries. Shoes are generally separated into stability (control) and neutral (cushioned) categories and some people require a shoe that provides a great deal of control, while others require a shoe that provides very little control. By assessing your running biomechanics, the examiner can determine what is happening at your foot, knee and hip to decide what shoe is best for you.

With the influx of lightweight shoes it is even more important to have your running mechanics examined. Lightweight shoes are designed for faster running or runners with very efficient biomechanics and typically won’t be as durable as heavier models. They are designed to have greater flexibility and will certainly not provide as much support as some of their more traditional counterparts. In addition, lightweight shoes typically have a significantly lower heel drop (difference in height between heel and forefoot). This is designed to encourage midfoot running (although the jury is still out on this one) but can increase the load on the achilles. For new runners this requires a gradual wearing in program to strengthen the calf muscles prior to running long distances and may need to be used as a short-duration, tempo shoe rather than a high mileage one.

If you’re serious about running this year get your shoes professionally fitted and try not to just purchase your shoes online. The current range of shoes have had some dramatic changes across the board and it is very important to check the fit and support of your shoe is still appropriate for you.

Andrew Maitland is a sports podiatrist at the Melbourne Podiatry Clinic. Having worked closely with many elite and amateur runners over the years he has helped many people in the prevention and treatment of running injuries.

Share this post

You might also be interested in...

Fungal toenail infections (Onychomycosis) are a common concern, often arising after toenail trauma or injury. At MelbournePodiatry Clinic, our team […]

Running a marathon or ultra-marathon is an incredible achievement, demanding months of dedicated training and immense physical and mental effort. […]

So, you’ve just rolled your ankle. Maybe it’s your first time, and you’re eager to get back into your sport. […]

Run Smarter, Not Harder: How Gait Retraining and Cadence Can Transform Your Run For many runners, the quest for a […]

Scroll to Top
Book Online Contact Us