Put your best foot forward

Shoes are the most important piece of equipment that you need to run, so having a pair that fits you properly is crucial to your running success. There is no one shoe that is right for every runner and there is no shoe that is guaranteed to eliminate an injury. To find the right shoe for your feet, go to a specialty running stop. The best running stops will watch you run and analyze your gait and stride to put you in the proper shoe. However, many shops will note that you don’t have the ‘perfect’ running gait and that your foot rolls inwards or outwards. They will then offer you a pair of shoes to correct this rolling motion – pronation or supination.  Once this has happened, and you have the perfect shoes that will stop this supposedly terrible terrible gait you will probably start to get injuries and aches & pains that you never got before.  Over pronation or supination is not necessarily a bad thing and so it doesn’t have to be corrected.

If you can run and run comfortably and painlessly, why change it?  If it is a new thing and it wasn’t there before, it has more than likely developed from a bio-mechanical starting point.  Your hamstrings could be tight because of your pelvis being too low or tilted, which could be due to your new job of sitting down at a desk all day.  This in turn could be effecting your gait.  The person in the shop doesn’t know this and therefore isn’t best placed to hand out advise.  A good sports therapist will notice these bio-mechanical imbalances and then dig deeper to find out why they have developed.

A new pair of shoes won’t correct your pelvis, but they will ‘correct’ your gait.  Now you have even more presure on your body and the problem will worsen and worsen.

Altering your footwear and foot strike to more of a mid foot strike, and shoes that promote that, aswell as increasing your cadence and letting your body move naturally, not confined to a tight shoe will likely be the best move you can make to correct any gait errors.

As a general rule, shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles (depending on your size, weight, foot strike, and shoe type). Keep a training log to keep track of your shoe mileage and be sure to replace them when you hit the 300 to 500 mile mark.

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