Why It’s So Important To Wear The Right Running Shoes
In the past few weeks I have seen too many patients who have developed problems directly related to inappropriate or worn running shoes. From blistering to foot injuries to black toenails, all of these issues could have been prevented if they were properly fitted with the correct running shoe in the first place.
There has been much conjecture regarding running shoes over recent years over whether less shoe is better or the other way around but the best advice I can give is to find a pair of shoes that you feel most comfortable running in. The hardest thing about choosing a pair of running shoes is you have no idea how they will perform until you run in them. Often it may take 2 or 3 runs in a shoe before you are able to know and this can still change depending on the duration or terrain of the run.
What you can do however is take advantage of a sports podiatrist’s knowledge and expertise in determining what shoe will best suit you. The first step is to get an idea of the type of shoe that will work for you by conducting a running gait analysis. A sports podiatrist will assess you running to match the right shoe option to your foot and running needs. Your biomechanics, foot type and any history of injuries are all considered when deciding on the right running shoe. At Melbourne Podiatry Clinic, once we have conducted this analysis we give you a number of shoe options that will be suitable and then you can go into the shoe store and find the one that feels the best on your foot.
The role of the running shoe store is to fit the shoe based on the size, width and depth of the foot and the runner’s role is to choose the shoe based on the feel of the shoe on the foot both in stance and during running (if possible in-store). We then get you back into the clinic to analyse you running in the new shoes before you finalise the purchase. Most running shoe stores encourage customers to check the shoes with their podiatrist and if there are any issues they can always return or exchange them. This eliminates the guesswork for runners and allows them to hit the road with more confidence knowing the shoe will work for them.
I strongly encourage ALL runners before you pull your old, battered running shoes for your first run of the year to take the time to get properly assessed and fitted with your new running shoes to save you the time, frustration and money running injuries involve.
Andrew Maitland is a sports podiatrist at 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.